The swimming club

9 minutes

Freedom, power and water: turning the community pool into a transgender safe space

The phrase ‘a safe space’ emerged from the women’s and LGBT movements of the 1960s and ’70s, and has since been taken up by a broad swathe of identity-based communities. But it has also increasingly been viewed with derision by those who think that it represents an overly sensitive culture. In their short documentary The Swimming Club, the UK directors Cecilia Golding and Nick Finegan offer a sweet yet staunch defence of the importance of safe spaces, in this case the pool used by the London Trans and Gender Non-conforming Swimming Group (TAGS). The film profiles several members as they describe how swimming together – including wearing the swimsuits of their choice without prejudice – has allowed them to find a sense of freedom and ‘serene power’ that rarely exist in the world outside the pool.

Via Short of the Week.

Directors: Cecilia Golding, Nick Finegan

Get Aeon straight
to your inbox
Join our newsletter Sign up
Follow us on
Facebook
Like

‘Aeon is what readers and writers dream about. It is wide in scope, without ever being shallow. It offers stimulating issues, yet never seeking to be tantalising.

Publishing at its best. I love it.’

Professor Luciano Floridi, University of Oxford

‘I read one article and decided that I wanted to support an organisation that promotes critical thinking around ideas that affect our everyday lives.’

John T, Canada, Friend of Aeon

‘I believe it’s increasingly important to support accessible scholarship and aspirational ideas.

Thinking people can no longer afford to be alone.’

Christine T, USA, Friend of Aeon

‘Aeon is my favourite online magazine.

I have found no other place that so regularly provides interesting, clear and informative articles across academic disciplines on topics that matter.’

Dr Robert J. Hartman, University of Gothenburg

‘Aeon is always providing great, thought-provoking content, and it would be a crime for me to not donate to a service that I use daily.’

Jarry A, Canada, Friend of Aeon

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Essay/
Religion
Not your Tibetan Buddhism

Behind the beatific image of Tibetan Buddhism lies a dark, complicated reality. But is it one the Western gaze wants to see?

Mark Hay

Essay/
Politics & Government
Everyday politics

Imperial Chinese conscription shows how ordinary people exercise influential political skills, even in a repressive state

Michael Szonyi