sensible summertime

If You’re Transitioning From Male to Female, You Must Wear Your Bikini Top at the Beach

Say what you will about the dress codes at beaches and public places, but in American society, there are a certain set of rules governing proper decorum at public non-nude sandy escapes, and they involve ladies wearing their bathing suit tops. That includes ladies who used to be men.

Lifeguards in Rehoboth Beach — Delaware’s (only?) gay destination) — called in the fuzz when a group of MTF transgender beach-goers refused to put their tops on, according to Rehoboth Weekend Update. According to “one police source,” at least two of the individuals had female breasts, from implants or hormones, but still had their male genitalia.

“We have like a bit of an odd problem,” a lifeguard said over the radio. “There are girls on our beach without tops. Well apparently they are transgender and they have female breasts and a [incomplete sentence]. We tried to tell them to put shirts on and they told us they are transgender so that it’s illegal to discriminate and I just had a problem with it and that’s where we’re at right now.”

And while the police didn’t issue any citations (they managed to convince the gals to put their tops on), a quick look at the city’s sunbathing rules, established in 1974 and amended since, might clear things up. Or confuse things more.

§ 198-12 Indecent exposure.
[Amended 8-13-1993 by Ord. No. 893-2]

A. A male is guilty of indecent exposure if he exposes his genitals or buttocks under circumstances which he knows his conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm to another person.

B. A female is guilty of indecent exposure if she exposes her genitals, breasts or buttocks under circumstances which she knows her conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm to another person.

Editor’s Note: Former § 11-56, Wearing apparel, amended 7-11-1975 by Ord. No. 775-1, was repealed 7-11-1980 by Ord. No. 780-2.

§ 198-13 Topless bathing suits prohibited.

No female over the age of five years shall wear a topless bathing suit or otherwise fail to cover her breasts with less than a full opaque covering of any portion thereof below the upper portion of the nipple.

§ 198-14 Disrobing in public.
[Amended 6-16-2008 by Ord. No. 0608-02]

No person shall disrobe under the boardwalk, on the beach or in any vehicle while such vehicle is parked upon any public street or way or other public place in plain view of the public. Any violation of this section is declared a civil offense pursuant to Chapter 126 of the Municipal Code of the City of Rehoboth Beach.

This seems to be the reverse of the situation faced by folks like Dominic Scaia, a FTM post-op fella who published photos and videos of his breast-free chest to Facebook and YouTube only to see them taken down.

So what general rules should we follow? If you’re transgender and transitioning (or have fully completed changing) to the other gender, follow the rules polite society has in place for that sex. If you’re female-to-male and had your breasts removed, flash that bare chest till you’re sunburned. If you’re male-to-female and weren’t born with breasts but had a surgeon give you a nice cup size, then show them off — with a cute top.

As for biological men with man-boobs, well, most cities say they can go without coverings. Take it up with your councilman.