Changing rooms can be dysphoric to some people, since most changing rooms in stores are labeled “men” or “woman" —genderfree changing rooms are unusual. This page suggests some tips that might be useful if you are struggling with changing rooms, as well as known stores with gender-neutral changing rooms.
Tips to avoid dysphoria[edit | edit source]
There are several things that you can do in order to avoid using changing rooms or feeling too much dysphoria while using them:
- Avoid them entirely: this might be difficult in some contexts (such as school changing rooms), but it's the most straight-forward option. In stores, ask if you can return clothes after buying them and try them at home —if they don't fit, return them. If you need to go to the gym, public pool, or similar places, consider choosing a facility that is close to home and wait to change your clothes until you are home. Finally, in the case of a school, consider not changing your underwear or asking your PE teacher or director if something could be arranged (if you feel safe enough to make your identity public).
- Research stores or gyms with neutral changing rooms: this is an even better option, although they might be difficult to find, depending on where you live. See the section below for a list.
- Use a nearby neutral toilet instead: if you are quick about it, no one will mind that you are using it to change your clothes. Of course, this is not possible in all contexts, and finding a neutral public toilet can be a challenge too.
- Use the store or gym during off hours: while this won't avoid using the changing rooms, it might help to make the dysphoria less intense, since the changing rooms will be more empty than usual.
Stores that offer gender-neutral changing rooms[edit | edit source]
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- Refuge Restrooms is a web application where you can search your location and find any gender neutral bathrooms recorded nearby. It is a database mostly created by its users, and anybody can contribute to it.
- Primark: Primark has launched two genderfree changing rooms in its stores. As of 18 March 2019, the only stores with gender-neutral changing rooms are the ones in Bluewater, Kent and Hastings, Sussex.
- Topshop: All of Topshop’s changing rooms are genderfree.
- Thrift Stores: Many thrift stores in the USA, such as Goodwill, offer gender-neutral changing rooms.
- Urban Outfitters: this store has a gender neutral changing room policy.
References[edit | edit source]
- https://www.refugerestrooms.org/about Archived on 17 July 2023
- Primark launches gender neutral changing rooms in two stores, Metro Lifestyle (18 March 2019) Archived on 17 July 2023
- Topshop announces gender-neutral changing rooms after trans customer was refused access to female cubicles, The Telegraph (8 November 2017). Archived on 17 July 2023
- Topshop Makes Its Changing Rooms Gender Neutral But Not Everyone's Happy, Grazia (9 November 2017): "Topshop now joins the ranks of retailers like Urban Outfitters and COS, where customers already make use of single-cubicle unisex changing rooms."