If you're a breast cancer survivor who's undergone a double mastectomy, or a transgender man, congratulations: You may now execute topless breaststrokes to your heart's content in any of the city's public swimming pools without fear of being censured by city employees.
On November 7, Christopher Williams, superintendent of the Seattle Parks Department, signed off on new rules outlining acceptable swimwear and guidelines on how employees should respond to people who require special accommodations to swim comfortably. "I have directed staff to implement the recommendations beginning immediately," Williams writes in a letter. Some of the recommendations are typical Seattle woo-woo speak (.pdf), but here's the meat of the swimwear change:
In addition, all public pool signage will be updated to read, "You are welcome to enjoy this facility. Please wear appropriate swimwear. If you feel you need an individual accommodation, we invite you speak with the Pool or Swim Beach Coordinator." All coordinators are being retrained this month with a special emphasis on "strengthen[ing] welcoming access" for everybody.
Jaecks, who helped craft the new language, says she's excited for the changes but hasn't yet taken an inaugural swim. "I have intended to, but my work schedule keeps getting in the way," she says. "I am so looking forward to getting that initial dip out of the way!"