Essay, Writing

Standing Up To Pee

It is awesome to pee standing up, and my dad is super impressed by it. While I have had many fans of my upstanding peeing, he’s the biggest. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

It’s just a cup, and a tube. It seems simple, but once, in Cuba, I tried to make one out of a file folder, and pissed all down my leg, and honestly, all over myself. It’s not nearly as simple as it looks. I call it a Pee-er Stander Upper. That’s not its real name, but that’s what it does for me. It lets me pee standing up.

I’ve been using, and evaluating, Pee-er Stander Uppers for twenty years. Back in the day, I (and other MoC folks) would use a pocket knife to hollow out a little dildo, and then stick an aquarium tube through it. When soft packs became readily available, we hollowed them out, and shoved medicine spoons into them. Try pissing through a medicine spoon. Have some paper towels, and a change of pants handy. You’re going to get soaked in piss.

I’m not exactly trans identified, and while I have a transmasculine experience that I share with many trans men, I have my own, individual identity, and in no way can speak for or represent trans men. Like everyone, I just am what I am.

Back then, as now, I used men’s bathrooms when I am in hostile environments. As much as I hate some of this new, Southern legislation, part of me is pleased that at least it is out in the open. There are many, many places that are unsafe for genderqueer and trans persons. We have never been safe, and like it or not, many people want us dead. Most of the country is not friendly to us, and has not been, during my lifetime. This new legislation just makes that visible to the rest of you.

I much prefer women’s bathrooms, because they’re not nearly as filthy. Otherwise, a toilet is a toilet, and I really don’t give a shit. If you’re not an upstanding pee-er, and you’re wondering, yes, it is fucking awesome to pee standing up. If I had the factory installed parts, I’d piss on everything, and everyone.

Back in the day, I thought that I needed a realistic looking packer to safely use the urinal. Women’s bathrooms were terrifying, because I was always getting kicked out of them. But until I tried it, I thought that using the men’s bathroom would be worse, because of the greater proximity to bigger, stronger, more violent people. I was wrong. It’s so much better! Men either don’t look at one another’s junk, or don’t admit to it (#homophobia). They don’t seem to notice whether I’ve got a pinkish (cuz I’m a pinkish type person) part coming out of my fly, or a tube thingy coming out of my fly. Unlike women, they’re not gender-patrolling their bathrooms. (They do gender-patrol the women’s bathroom – I was physically attacked by a man who didn’t want a ‘faggot’ using the bathroom with his girlfriend, and have been verbally accosted on many other occasions).

Now, I pee freely, wherever I want. I am no longer restricted to devices that look like like flesh. If, for some reason, I want to take a piss sitting down, there is usually a stall in the men’s bathroom. I put the seat up when I’m finished. That seems fair.

I have at least six different Pee-er Stander Uppers. Some of them involve realistic looking packers. I really want to love the ones that are made for trans men, because I want to feel solidarity and to support trans businesses. But those are not the ones that I love.

The perfect Pee-er Stander Upper, for me, is the Sani-Fem Freshette Feminine Urinary Director. Finally, this year, for the first time, it’s no longer pink. Yes, for years, I’ve put up with it being pink. If you know me, you know how hard that has been. The Freshette is not attractive. It doesn’t look realistic. But with the Freshette, you never, ever, piss down your leg. It’s the best I’ve tried, by far.

Why did I mention my dad? Why the fuck does my dad care about how I take a piss? My dad’s a libertarian, and would never call himself a feminist. He hates pretty much everybody, equally. Nonetheless, he’s a really butch, working class, white, Southern guy, who really likes it when women (or any people) are self-sufficient, tough, direct, and don’t need him, or anyone else. My dad has enormous respect for women, and he won’t stand for anybody fucking with his kids.

In queer and trans communities, and even among leftist activists, Pee-er Stander Uppers are familiar. But I have never seen anyone as excited about them as my dad was, the first time that we went hiking, and I took a piss standing up.

I hate hiking, but I’ve done it all my life. My dad, as I’ve written about elsewhere, loves trees. He loves the woods. I love my dad, and going into the woods with him has been a gift to me. So we’ve hiked. Perhaps ten years ago, we stood on the trail, turned our backs to one another, and took a piss, standing up. When we got home, a few days later, he couldn’t stop talking about it. He has been trying now, for years, to convince my mother to get a Pee-er Stander Upper.

My mom has not gone for it. To her, sitting down to piss is important. I guess that’s important to being a woman. Personally, I don’t really care whether I stand or sit. I just want to know that I’m safe.

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