Having organised our first swimming session for our community members, we wanted to share some of the feedback we’ve had after the sessions. We asked each participant 2 questions.

When was the last time you went swimming?

4 years ago – 10 years ago – August 2016, then 4 years before that – June 2016, then can’t remember before that – About 2 years ago – Not in the last 3 years – About 10 years ago – I can’t remember – 15 years approx –  Two years ago –  Around 10 years ago –  So many years ago I cannot remember, maybe 2010? –  10 years ago –  Easter 2015 abroad before coming out –  About a month ago – A month ago.

How has this swimming event made you feel and why?

A sense of freedom – Wonderful- I’ve always been conscious that I’m privileged enough to not be afraid using a public pool, but most aren’t – This was an opportunity to swim with friends who haven’t reached the level of confidence I have now.  Before surgery I never dared go to near a pool – Happy and especially as I got to feel safe swimming with my children – The best experience ever.  So happy that I could wear my binder and just swim – Free, comfortable, happy.  I could enjoy myself away from judgement and have fun with friends, just like everyone else gets to – Much more confident with myself and more confident to want to get back into swimming.  It was enjoyable and there was no worries about anyone staring or fear of being rejected.  Relaxed and stress free.

Comfortable and relaxed knowing I can be myself.  No judgement or questions about me! – Amazing, free to be myself, great around like minds, no judgement, relaxed – Happy, free, not judged, being a part of it –

Liberated, the feeling of being in the water was freeing!  Not worrying about judgement or the need to dress as someone I’m not –  It was amazing, I felt safe and I had no dysphoria for once –  Not feeling observed and safe changing clothes and taking a shower –  Fantastic, no dysphoria because other trans people won’t judge me, and make me feel safe.  I felt so happy –  This swimming event was brilliant, it made me feel the most masculine I have in a long time as I was able to swim without dysphoria with friends who didn’t care what I looked like –  Great, refreshed, no judgement –  More comfortable with myself and body.  Less conscious about swimming in public, which I enjoy very much but haven’t done since puberty due to not having the courage to wear swimsuits of preferred gender.

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