If you're a transsexual and you gotta pee, there are at least 21 locations in Houston where you won't run into any problems - at least according to safe2pee.org, a website that lists 1,848 transsexual-friendly bathrooms in 476 cities.
Hair Balls tried to get in touch with the person who started the site, but we haven't heard back. But in the FAQ section, ze writes:
"So the story goes something like this: Back in Fall 06 there was a really bored queer. Ze had a lot of extra days off, and roaming corners of san francisco by bicycle, was in need of safe (gender neutral) places to pee. Ze remembered reading about PISSR years before, but was not able to find the site anymore, and could not contact the great people behind it.... and so the idea occurred to create a fun, new dynamic gender neutral bathroom resource! The project grew as the community added hundreds of bathrooms and others joined, wanting to work to add more features and improve the site."
The Houston section lists some places you'd expect - JR's, the Mining Company, Baba Yega - and some other places that just seem random, like the Popeyes on Harrisburg and a couple of Jack in the Boxes.
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Baba Yega's manager, Chester Dickerson, said he wasn't aware of the existence of safe2pee.org. "We don't care if they are transsexual," he tells Hair Balls. "They are allowed to use any-sex bathroom...We don't have a problem with that."
He seemed to think Baba Yega's inclusion on the list was a no-brainer. For one thing, there used to be a transsexual working at Baba Yega as a "waitress, bartender and manager." He added, "I would hope [the list] wouldn't be needed in Montrose. I would hope they wouldn't have to worry about it. We're located in Montrose; it should not be an issue."
Hair Balls also called Jack in the Box on the Gulf Freeway. The manager there wasn't aware of safe2pee.org, either, but said their policy is to allow bathroom access to everyone. Then she directed us to call Jack in the Box media relations.
- Cathy Matusow