I was having a cup of coffee today with a friend; we were bringing each other up to date on the state of trans activism on campus, and also catching up on each others' lives. (We hadn't really seen each other since before winter break.) At one point, I excused myself to dash to the ladies' room, then came back to continue chatting as before.
Finally, it was time for us to head our separate ways - me to my office, she to class. She asked me if I was going to the Big Humanities Building, which is across campus from the coffee shop and pretty far from where her class was. I said no, but my office was right next door, so I'd be heading in roughly that direction; why?
She replied, "Oh, because I have to go to the bathroom before class, and that's where the bathroom is."
I paused a second, confused; there was a bathroom in the campus coffee shop. I'd just used it.
Then I realized - she meant "the safe bathroom."
The ladies' room I had just used may or may not have been a good place to test the waters of trans-friendliness - not with so little time to spare before class. Better to avoid the question altogether by cutting across campus to the nearest gender-neutral bathroom, then cutting back across, and get to class a minute or two late but entirely intact. The ladies' room is only there, according to some people, for ladies like me: for wimmyn-born-wombyn. Of course. How could I have forgotten?
I nodded, all matter-of-fact clued-in nonchalance, and my friend and I walked together toward the bathroom in Big Humanities Building, so we could keep chatting as long as possible...