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Coogee women’s baths reform transphobic policy after backlash

Sydney’s McIver’s Baths have revised their discriminatory entry policy that excluded trans women from their site.

The legendary Coogee women’s baths have just amended their admittance policy after it was revealed that the pool was preventing trans women who had not undergone gender-affirming surgery from entering the site.

The baths, which had previously been considered a “safe haven” for women, went viral for the transphobic and discriminatory policy and have since copped fierce backlash from the community.

trans baths

Following the influx of criticism, the website was amended, changing the clause to read: “Transgender women are welcome to the McIver’s Ladies Baths, our definition for transgender is as per the NSW Discrimination Act*.” The baths also took to Facebook to announce the change, a post which has since been deleted with all further questions directed to the Randwick city council.

Twitter users responded to the policy, with one saying: “I wonder whose job it is at McIver’s Ladies Baths in Coogee to check people’s pants to see if they have the “correct” genitals?”

“The ‘drop your pants so we can check’ policy is breathtakingly offensive, and evidence of extremely outdated, reductive and classist thinking,” another wrote.

“I’ve always enjoyed McIver’s because I’ve seen it as a safe and accessible haven for so many in Sydney. Your website says a ‘safe space for all women’ but this policy says another,” wrote a third.

Since its establishment in 1920, the baths were considered as a place of “healing, acceptance, and security” where women could enjoy themselves without the added concern of peeping Toms.

“Historically, our pool was one of very few places where women were allowed to swim,”  the website states.“Protecting this special place for women has been the work of many generations of women. Today it provides a safe place for women of many ages, religions, and backgrounds.”

A spokesperson for the Randwick council pushed back on the criticism, asserting the Association is an “inclusive organisation that values diversity in our community, and we have always supported the inclusion of transgender women at McIver’s Ladies Baths.”

The McIver’s Baths are sub-let to the Randwick and Coogee Ladies Swimming Association, who are “responsible for management and entry to the baths.”

After the news of the policy surfaced, the hashtag #LetThemSwim circulated on social media in a bid to raise awareness about the ongoing discrimination of Trans people in society.

 

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