Topless Transgender Women Create Confusion, Questions in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

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Posted

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. - The captain of the Rehoboth Beach Patrol said he will seek clarification on the law and consider creating a new policy after several topless transgender people initially resisted requests by lifeguards to cover their breasts on the beach.

Lifeguards sought guidance from city police after beach visitors near Queen Street complained that several male-to-female transgender people had their breasts exposed on the beach over the weekend, said Captain Kent Buckson.

The visitors initially refused to cover up, claiming discrimination, but eventually agreed to comply, Buckson said. The people involved had either transitioned or were in the process of transitioning to become female and some had breast implants, Buckson said.

Rehoboth Beach Police Chief Keith Banks said the city already has laws regulating which parts of the body generally need to be covered in public but said it is a gray area when it comes to transgender people.

Banks said no one received a citation for the incident and said he did not believe his officers actually contacted those involved, though he admitted that he had not yet spoken to responding officers about the complaint.

The city's indecent exposure law requires men to cover their buttocks and genitals - women to cover their buttocks, genitals and breasts - under circumstances where their conduct could alarm another person. Banks said the people complaining were alarmed by what they saw. Another ordinance bans topless bathing suits for females older than 5.

Buckson said he will consult with City Manager Gregory Ferrese and Solicitor Glenn Mandalas about the existing rules and whether a separate policy should be created to handle similar events in the future. Lifeguards were caught off guard on how to deal with the situation, Buckson said...

http://www.wboc.com/Global/story.asp?S=12587184#

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Posted

"...the city already has laws regulating which parts of the body generally need to be covered in public but said it is a gray area when it comes to transgender people."

while that "grey area" is only grey because the law applies "under circumstances where their conduct could alarm another person," another law flatly prohibits any female over the age of 5 to go topless on the beach. because of this, i fail to see why any extra or special laws are required. and as far as that "grey area," i would think that it would not be limited to just TG/TS individuals. seems to me, once a person has transitioned, s/he should have to abide by those [gender-applicable] laws just like anyone else.

perhaps the women had never been to that beach and were under the mistaken impression that the beach, or parts of the beach, allowed females to go topless.

""There were families very close with children and I think that's a little upsetting," Beardmore said."

this could explain why there was such a flap - it's possible that the adults might have figured the women were TS and felt they had to "protect" their children from something.

since the article doesn't say the women were waltzing up and down the beach as if it were a catwalk in a fashion show... for all we know they might have been lying face down on their blankets with their bathing suit tops undone for even tanning like many women do.

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Posted

They may have also been trying to make a point. "If you won't consider us women then we don't have to cover up." Just guessing.

Bonnie

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Posted

good point ... hadn't considered that angle.

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Posted

Some years ago I wrote an essay on this subject:

(4-16-04) The "BREAST" Things In Life...

I am a resident of South Florida. Every hot-weather season we experience an

annual event In one of our seaside communities, a group of activist ladies

inevitably organize a protest march, complete with signs and bullhorns, decrying

the inhumane treatment of women. It's not their boyfriends, husbands or bosses

they rage against, but an unfair system that won't allow them to appear topless

on the beaches. They see men all around them bare from neck to waist, and they

demand the same right of exposure.

Last year, a demonstration took place in Delray Beach, the highlight of which

was to be a planned public "unveiling" of some 14 middle-aged women. But at

that crucial moment when push came to shove, only ONE of them was brave enough

to "take it all off." She was promptly arrested for public indecency, to howls

of complaint from her outraged but nonetheless more timid sisters.

End of march.

This got me thinking.

We have an exceptionally large TG community down here. Many of us gals, myself

included, are Pre-op. I've had a breast augmentation, and am currently about a

DD. I'd like to see all us Pre-ops get together, that is, all those who have the

"M" on their driver's licenses and are therefore considered legally male, so

that we can stage a "topless" protest march of our own, in solidarity with

our oppressed GG sisters. Wouldn't THAT make for an interesting little parade.

So, what can happen? Can the cops legally arrest topless "guys" just because we

have breasts, and are therefore "indecently dressed"? Can they paddy wagon us

away simply because we're TG? (I smell Supreme Court case here!) And if they DO

pinch the lot of us, which section of the jail will they house us in while we're

being processed-- BOYS or GIRLS? (Supreme Court.....take 2!)

I can imagine that because of this unusual action by our group, the current laws

would have to be amended from--- "women may not go topless" to "ALL individuals

with substantial breast tissue must be properly attired in public, that is, the

nipples and aureolae may not be visible."

OKAY-- Does this mean that flat-chested women are then free to go waist-up

naked, while fat old geezers with flabby "man boobs" will be required to cover

up-- wear a sports bra, at least?

The possibilities are delicious.

Annie

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Posted

I have always wanted to wear a womens swimsuit to cover everything up. I always wondered if I would get thrown out of the pool for not being without a shirt as a male. Does anyone know about rules condisdering me wearing a women's style swimsuit. 1 piece or bikini? Interesting.

Amie

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