It's been ___ days since I've startled a straight woman in the loo

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I'm not a girly girl, but am a delicate flower. I'm not feminine, but am gentle and walk with a quiet step. I haven't had long hair in almost a decade, and get called sir about as much as I get called ma'am. It doesn't bother me, I know what I look like. I am quite confident and comfortable in my own skin, now. 

This isn't a writing about gender or sexuality, it's about humor and being a human. 

When you look at me, you can see the curves of my body under my button up oxfords. You can see the brightness in my smile and the lightness in my voice when I say "hello" to let others know I'm in the intended restroom. 

In 2 weeks, I'll hit the anniversary of working in an office job for 18 years. I'm  2 days shy of 34. I've worked in a professional office environment since I turned 16. I still get asked where I go to college, and not so long ago, asked what high school I go to. I've traveled around the world on business alone, have been out of university for 12 years, and still, along with many many others, appear as an anomaly to strangers.

I've never been drunk, nor high, nor smoked a cigarette, nor had a one night stand, nor kissed a stranger, nor had a regrettable traditional right of passage experience. I care not for seeing other people's bodies or places like Hooters or Twin Peaks or wherever else has partially dressed women serving food. I'm.a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. 

I was washing my hands in the ladies' room at work. I work in a nice office building, for a large technology company, in which I've worked for 7+ years. It's my second home. As stated above, I'm fully aware of my appearance and how others perceive me, and the below scenario happens about once a week: 

"I'M IN THE WRONG BATHROOM!" she shouted as she ran out and checked the sign outside the door before she ran to the lobby to tell someone else she went into the wrong restroom. I knew her confusion, it's the same as it has been with countless others that don't yet know me. I'm the only androgynous lesbian in my office, or that I've ever ran across in the entire company in any location I've been to. I get it. My presence is startling. (Insert eye roll here.) 

As I exited, giggling to myself, the offended confused lady and another were walking down the hallway back to the ladies' loo, where it was now safe and free from my startling presence. 

It happens everywhere, until I make eye contact and say "hello, how are you?" in my softest and most polite tone manageable, to let them know it's okay, I'm not a male intruder in the ladies room and hopefully, just hopefully, I open the eyes of folks to help them understand that we are all different, and all alike. We all want to tinkle and wash our hands & get on with our day. 


As always, I hope you all Live Good, Live Well. 


Beth Derrick