I went swimming on the 26/6/2021 with Swim Freedom (Swim Freedom | Your Swimming Adventure) as part of the LEAP Sports Festival Fortnight (Festival Fortnight | LEAP Sports Scotland). LEAP Sports Scotland stands for 'Leadership, Equality and Active Participation in Sports for LGBTI people in Scotland' and the festive fortnight was a way for lgbt-led sports to be given a louder voice. I was glad I could participate in this one event and might do more sessions with Swim Freedom in future as a result.
Again, I was reminded once again of the power of community (can you tell that coming out as trans has been a massive learning curve and continues to be so?) in that I went and felt shy and a little panicky because I was outdoors and with new people. However, I needn't have worried as I could completely be myself with people and no one really said anything other than words of praise. I didn't flounder and, when I got a little panicky, I was able to go at my own pace. I think if you're scared of doing cold water swimming alone, these sorts of clubs are the best way to go. If you're able to get to Edinburgh easily, I can recommend Swim Freedom (link posted above). Or do what a lot of people I know have done and sign up to facebook groups and find people who wouldn't mind going with you. Or you can always do what I did which was to cajole my friends in to coming with me as I knew I could swim, I just didn't want to go alone and couldn't find anyone online. Not going to lie, I think my own prejudices against straight cis people was a big part of that. As you may be able to tell, my own inner transphobe is loud enough to make me feel like everyone is staring at me and judging. Or at least it was. I think surgery helped that, but that is by the by. I am learning not to think of myself as any less because I identify as trans. I am learning that it is ok to have to take the time to invest in myself instead of trying to become invisible. I am allowed to take up space.