The City of Kitchener says it is launching a new program that will dedicate swim times at area pools for trans and non-binary individuals.
It says it launched the BE U Swim program in an effort to allow trans and non-binary individuals, as well as their friends, allies and family members, to swim “in a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment.”
“It’s important that all members of our community have the opportunity to access pools without barriers related to gender identity or expression,” Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic stated.
“It’s fitting that we’re launching BE U Swim during Pride Month, as it represents meaningful action taken by the City to address barriers and support 2SLGBTQ+ community members and their families.”
The program will begin on June 22 at Lyle Hallman and Cameron Heights pools with lane and leisure swims for trans and non-binary community members who are aged 18 and over.
Kitchener says it will look to add regular dates to its schedule going forward.
“The idea behind the new program came directly from a member of Kitchener’s trans community,” Elin Moorlag Silk, interim director of equity, anti-racism and Indigenous initiatives, said.
“Adding the BE U Swim program to our regularly scheduled programming at City of Kitchener pools is one way the City can affirm, support and stand in solidarity with 2SLGBTQ+ communities and meet the needs of those who identify as trans and non-binary in our own community.”
The city says it will provide 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion training to its aquatic staff ahead of time.