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.
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
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.