Summer is coming and we're all thinking about making a splash.
For parents and guardians of gender diverse and transgender children -- this one's for you.
Supporting our kiddos isn't just about selecting the right pattern and style at Walmart. There's more to consider in ensuring body positivity rules -- like for those children who are stealth; ensuring the right coverage also equals comfort and support.
Finding the right fit can often present us with our own unique set of challenges.
I believe in tackling the tough stuff together. Here's some tips and links shared from our experience and other loving parents helping to navigate these waters for their children:
Children who are Assigned Male at Birth (amab):
Skirted swim suits offer a frilly detail to ensure great coverage and comfort. But they're not always easy to find for older children.
1. Skirted Suits: Online store Qyqkfly (a.k.a. Quick Fly) is a company on Canadian Amazon selling cute skirted suits in an array of patterns for children from 4-years-old to 14-years-old. Prices start from $24 CDN.
2. Made in Canada: NoZoneClothing sells made-in-Canada girls skirted swimsuits.
3. Leolines sells a fantastic array of underpants and a super cute one piece swim suit worth checking out.
4. Full spectrum options: Rebirth Garments are gender non-conforming wearables and accessories for people on the full spectrum of gender, size and ability. They've an array of swimwear and also an Etsy store AND you can custom order.
Children who are Assigned Female at Birth (afab):
As parents and guardians, we want our children to feel confident and body-positive. Younger children can rock boys swimwear and there are a variety of board shorts and surf- styles on the market.
1. Swim trunks with packer pouch: It's all about positive affirmation in our house and supporting our kids in feeling great about themselves and who they are. When your child is experiencing heightened gender dypshoria (the distress people can experience when their body doesn’t align with their gender identity), using a packer or STP may help to increase confidence, decrease dysphoria and help a child feel more aligned with their identity.
And great news! These products are available in small sizes for children, tweens and teens. There are some online shops (message us and we'll happily refer you) selling packers and STPs and they will adapt boys swim trunks so they will work with your purchased packer. I'm no seamstress, but the idea is sewing in a pocket without the thread showing on the outside of the swimwear. If you can do this yourself, more power to you!
Surf or board shorts tend to work best for this kind of adaptation.
2. Built-in binder swimwear: Afab and non-binary youth may want to check out swimwear with hidden, built-in binders. Didos Secret Super Flat swim top and trunks gets a 4* rating on amazon.ca or you can search Didos Binder Swimwear on the site.
Hope you all get out there and make a splash this summer as your best selves; confident and awesome.