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Transgender only swim night to be held after trans people admit fear of discrimination

Meka Beresford February 19, 2018
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A transgender-person only swim night has been set up by an Australian council in an attempt to create a safe space for trans people.

Darebin City Council in Melbourne set up the trans-friendly evening after concerns were raised by trans residents over discrimination.

Darebin City Councillor Steph Amir shared some of the fears raised by trans and non-binary people on Twitter.

Many people cited the changing rooms as the biggest deterring factor from using sports facilities.

“Change [sic] rooms can be scary places that aren’t inclusive if you’re not in the (cis) binary,” one person explained.

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM – APRIL 11: Mark Foster of United Kingdom competes in the Men’s 50m Butterfly Heat during the ninth FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) at the MEN Arena on April 11, 2008 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Others added that they didn’t want to be stared at “or asked about my scars”.

“The wider community feels like we owe them explanations about what body parts we do don’t have,” another explained.

However, they championed the decision to make the inclusive night, which will operate outside of usual pool hours.

One user wrote on Facebook: “I have been too scared to go swimming as my real female self.”

“Terribly scared actually. My swimsuit has been collecting dust for two summers now. Thank you so much for this opportunity. Can’t wait.”

The evening has been described as “Victoria’s first ever Trans and Gender diverse swim night”.

It aims to provide a pool “where trans and gender diverse people can exercise, socialise and feel safe”.

The night, which takes place the Reservoir Leisure Centre is also open to the children of trans people.

A spokesperson for the council said that the decision to hold the event came after discussions with members of the LGBTQ community.

It is in “similar ilk” to events held for religious and other cultural groups.

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 25: Demonstrators protest for transgender rights on February 25, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The demonstrators were angry with President Donald Trumps recent decision to reverse the Obama-era policy requiring public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A description of the night reads: “Come along to be a part of something truly wonderful in a safe place amongst like-minded individuals.

“The initiative is in support of a recommendation of the Darebin Sexuality, Sex and gender diversity advisory committee.”

Some right-wing figures have slammed the evening, including Gideon Rozner, a researcher at Institute of Public Affairs, a right-wing think tank.

“Activist councils like Darebin should spend less time focusing on identity politics and more time on the core business of local government”.

“Council amenities like swimming pools should be open to all ratepayers, regardless of gender, ethnicity or religion,” he said.

Related topics: Australia, Australia, exercise, LGBT, swimming, Trans, trans-only swimming pool, Transgender

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