By Dirk Smith
Taking place on Saturday, November 9th, 2019 from 2-4pm at the West Hollywood Aquatics Center. The West Hollywood Aquatics Masters Swim Team is hosting a Trans & Non-Binary specific clinic for swimmers of all ability levels to get in the pool and work on their swimming skills called “Lanemate X.”
“West Hollywood Aquatics (WH2O) is a Masters swimming and water polo club based in West Hollywood, California. The teams include athletes of all abilities ranging from former Olympians to beginners. Everyone is welcome regardless of skill, gender, race, sexual orientation, or disability.”
WH2O has been a staple team in the LGBTQI swimming community and has served as one of the very first swim teams specific for LGBTQI people. However, there has long been a lack of representation and participation of Transgender and Non-Binary people in the sport of competitive swimming. This has been confounded with many different issues, including swimsuits and locker rooms as well as a lack of a safe and inclusive environment in which transgender and non-binary people can feel comfortable in.
With Lanemate X, WH2O is taken an important step toward building such safe and inclusive environments through active participation. Not only will trans and non-binary swimmers learn how to develop their skills in the pool, but WH2O will learn how to better connect and adapt to serve their transgender and non-binary swimmers. This will create a model for other LGBTQI swim teams to follow and help build representation of transgender and non-binary swimming at larger sporting events such as the Gay Games.
WH2O has led the way in promoting gay and lesbian competitive swimming since their foundation and has overcome many obstacles to educate and represent gay and lesbian swimmers simply by participating in LGBTQI and non-LGBTQI swimming competitions. This kind of activism through participation has helped to grow swimming among the gay and lesbian community while also changing the competitive swimming community’s perceptions of gay and lesbian people. All of this simply by getting into the pool and swimming.
Thus, with Lanemate X, WH2O is taking the lead to make competitive swimming accessible for trans and non-binary swimmers that will continue this legacy.
For more information or to sign up, contact WH2O Coach Shea at shea@WH2O.org