REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) — Rehoboth Beach in Delaware isn’t a topless beach — but a few transgender women caused a stir by treating it like one.
Police say passers-by complained after they removed their tops and revealed their surgically enhanced breasts over Memorial Day weekend. A lifeguard asked them to put their tops back on. They initially refused, but covered up before police arrived.
Even if they hadn’t, though, Police Chief Keith Banks notes they were doing nothing illegal. Since they have male genitalia, they can’t be charged with indecent exposure for showing their breasts. Banks says there’s no need for a specific law to address the issue.
Rehoboth Beach commissioner Kathy McGuiness isn’t so sure. She says the matter will be discussed at a town hall meeting next week.
This kind of thing makes me glad to live in a place where toplessness is equal-opportunity and not illegal. But that aside, the whole story is weird. I always thought that the problem with female toplessness was OMG BOOBS! But here we have female toplessness and boobs, but it’s not illegal because there’s no vagina involved? (As an aside, how does anyone even know what’s in the pants of the topless trans women?). Of course it’s a good thing that the trans women weren’t arrested, but it’s kind of cold comfort when the reason behind it is, basically, “You aren’t really women.” Wouldn’t this be easier if we just stopped freaking out about boobs and bodies, and if we all just agreed that if some people can have their chests on display in public, everyone can?
I’m sure the upcoming town hall meeting on this incident will be a real treat.
via The Frisky.
UPDATE: A commenter says that the individuals in the story are mis-gendered, and that they’re actually transmasculine/genderqueer. Also, it is a good idea to contact Rehoboth to make sure that trans people are treated fairly.
OK, I actually know the folks who are the topic of this story. The truth of the matter is much worse than it seems, because the media has gotten the details COMPLETELY wrong. These people are actually transmasculine/genderqueer, NOT transwomen! Which does mean that they were technically breaking the law, but the egregious failure of the news media to write a story without -sensational “chicks with dicks” viewpoint bothers me far more than anything else. My friends (who are trying their damnedest to stay anonymous in all this) are shocked at the scale this story has taken on, especially at the aspect leading to a potential new transphobic law being created in Rehoboth! Please contact news organizations and Rehoboth gov’t people to help clear this up and get trans-positive voices heard!