I think all trans persons experience difficulty with navigating bathroom issues, particularly before they have surgery and get their walking papers. I know some trans-folks do not get any surgery and a few jurisdictions allow trans-folks to use the bathroom that coincides with their gender identity/presentation regardless of whether they have a surgery letter from their doctor. But getting your documents where they should be definitely helps.
After I transitioned in 2001, well before my surgery in late 2006, I too suffered with public bathroom anxiety. Early on, I was not confident in my ability to “pass” and hesitated every time I had to use a public bathroom. I did know that being androgynous was not the way to get accepted in the bathroom, so I always did my best to appear feminine and confident. Until 2004, I was mostly at school where no one seemed to care or notice me. (more…)