Swimming and Gender

So, I’ve been trying on the pronoun “they/them” and actually I’ve decided I prefer “she/her.” I really did give it a shot. I just feel comfortable with she and her. I still feel really non-binary/genderfluid though. I still don’t feel like getting medical interventions for my gender stuff, I’m happy with the body I have.

So it was kind of surprising to me when I went swimming today how much apprehension around swimming I have had due to gendered issues. I didn’t realize I’ve had so many negative experiences swimming because of being a little girl (when I was one) and being a masculine girl especially. Anyway, there were some differences in my experience today that made me relax and feel better about it.

The first one was my swimsuit is a one piece Beefcake Swimwear swimming suit that is modelled after 1920’s swimming suits, so it’s got like, shorts, and a higher top, and it covers a lot, and for my gender it feels really good. I didn’t like all the other swimming suits I have had, ladies one piece flowers etc things with skirts and shit like that. And this is made for non-binary people and others who don’t feel comfortable with regular swimwear. It felt really comfortable and I felt protected even though I was just wearing some spandex. But I don’t know, it made me feel at ease with myself and my body. I liked it. So that was a big change.

Also the pool we went to is new, and the gendered things you find in most pools just weren’t there. There’s no gendered group change rooms, you go into individual stalls to change. Which also made me feel better as a queer, because I hate just trying to put on gym/swim clothes knowing there’s a big neon sign over my head going “DYKE! DYKE!” and feeling like lesbophobic women are starting to act weird. ANYWAY yeah, ALSO it’s just nice having privacy like that to change. I’m not really like, prudish, I don’t think, I can be naked lots of places. But I don’t always like being naked with strangers.

There’s also not gendered shower rooms, like basically it’s a totally gender neutral aquatic centre which I found SO AMAZING. I didn’t realize how uncomfortable I felt with gendered swimming pools until I went to one that wasn’t.

They actually do have swimming times there that are specifically for women, and I’m curious about going to those. But mostly I was just feeling pretty safe. And it was lane swimming today, pretty “boring” stuff, so it was mostly people wanting to exercise and not really just playing in the water. I’ve never done lane swimming before, it was kind of nice though, and my arms feel a little bit stronger from it. But yeah, there were a lot of elderly people there, and that felt comfortable too, because I don’t really like being around jerky youth that treat me shitty because they don’t get me. Maybe I am just remembering that from when I was also a youth.

Anyway, I have another exercise activity I can do, and that feels pretty awesome. Swimming and boxing! I’m gonna stick with that for a while and see what happens!

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