Summer months can be some of the most difficult of the year for trans people. Both for trans masculine and trans feminine people, the heat and the atmosphere creates some sticky situations. Just like the rest of the year, you want to feel as comfortable as you can in any situation, and one of the most uncomfortable events we can face is the beach day.
Even for cis people, the issue of the bathing suit can be troubling. Whether you’re a woman shamed into loosing weight to create the perfect “beach body” or someone who wants to cover themselves up and possibly suffer from heat issues, the beach can be a dangerous place. But for the trans women especially, the beach is an easy way to get outed in a very public way. This is a guide that can help those women pick out proper beach attire to help them pass and not be in danger of assault for not looking like a cis woman.

As a disclaimer, I’d like to point out that none of this is mandatory as a trans woman. If you are comfortable with your body and the current shapes and angles you create naturally, that’s fantastic. Like any woman, wear whatever you want. Your body is perfectly emphasized however you wanna wear it. But if you are either a) extremely dysphoric or b) scared of being outed, this guide is for you. That is a perfectly okay way to express yourself as a woman and don’t let other people tell you that you’re forcing patriarchal ideals onto yourself. Keep your safety above your ideals always.

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 11.45.45 AMScreen Shot 2015-07-13 at 11.48.05 AM

Two suits with illusion hips

1. Choosing your suit.
Just like with choosing any clothes as a trans woman, you want to de-emphasize your shoulders and place the emphasis on your neckline and your hip curves. You want to look for a suit with a low V and that widens your hips. There are suits that create illusions that can make your hips look bigger and accentuate your hourglass figure. Finding the right suit that you can look great in is all about finding the suit with the right proportions. So find the suit that emphasizes your butt, ruffles and belts and attachments make your waist look smaller and your ass look larger which will give the emphasis to the right areas and help you pass more. Flat necklines draws more attention too your shoulders and if they’re larger, it can be a giveaway. Unless you have a more petite figure, I’d stay away from stringy bikini tops. Try to go for irregular curving necklines as that places the emphasis on your face. Of course, lengthening your legs is always a good thing, so wearing some heeled sandals can be a safe bet to help you pass.

2. Tucking
Tucking is incredibly important at the beach, you want to make sure there isn’t anything that would give cis people and excuse to go after you. Cis men and women can see a bulge in the wrong place and instantly you can be in danger. If you don’t know how to tuck already there are various excellent resources online that you can find. Just make sure your tuck is waterproof if you want to go swimming and also that it is kept safely in place. I’d recommend having some kind of swim skirt or cover if you are not comfortable tucking in public and in such a revealing way. When wearing a very small bikini bottom, I’d recommend using a jean gaff instead of sock or whatever else you may be using as it keeps everything more secure.

3. Confidence and Walk

Truly, confidence is key on the beach. If you feel uncomfortable or out of place, that’s how you will read to people. Know that you pass well and you deserve to be out in the sun, enjoying the summer like anyone else. You don’t have to call attention to yourself, but walk like you know what you’re doing and people will never question you being there.

Not everyone can go swimming, for some people it is just too dangerous and that is the unfortunate product of the transmisogynstic society we live in. But if you want to, don’t let anyone stop you by trying to scare you out of it. I hope you have a great day at the beach/pool/wherever you’re swimming, and remember you can pass perfectly fine. Have that confidence and force people to accept that you’re there!

# # #

July 13, 2015