Seattle’s parks director has approved more inclusive guidelines for Seattle’s public pools and beaches in response to a flap this summer over a cancer survivor who wanted to swim topless after her double-mastectomy. Parks officials told the woman, Jodi Jaecks, that she couldn’t, but relented after The Stranger wrote about her. Jaecks wanted to swim laps but said swimsuit tops were uncomfortable on the scars from her surgery.
The city didn’t have an official policy about swimwear before, said parks spokeswoman Dewey Potter, but convened a Swimwear Review Task Force to craft guidelines. The city will train its employees to be more inclusive and empower them to make temporary allowances for people with special needs who want to use the pools or beaches.
The guidelines specify that swimwear won’t be allowed if it exposes genitals or female breasts, or if it is otherwise inappropriate, such as a thong. People who need exceptions can ask staff members in charge of the beach or pool that day. The city will post this language at the city’s beaches and pools:
“You are welcome to enjoy this facility. Please wear appropriate swimwear. If you feel you need an individual accommodation, we invite you to speak with the Pool or Swim Beach Coordinator.”