Using the pool is part of normal life

A trans woman in Dunedin says her use of Moana Pool changing rooms has never been a problem, after an anti-trans activist brought the issue to the attention of Dunedin City Council.

Dunedin’s wife, Jennifer Scott, a former nurse, outraged some councilors earlier this week with a submission on the use of Moana Pool changing spaces by trans people.

She said women and girls felt unsafe and urged the council to maintain what she called “designated gender-based private areas”.

His comments were deemed unpleasant and detrimental to the Rainbow community by Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins.

Dive instructor, model and trans woman, Charlotte Goodyear is a regular user of Moana Pool, and said her use of the locker rooms was never seen as a problem.

“I’ve been going to Moana Pool for years, including recently, and never had a problem,” Ms. Goodyear said.

“I’ve just been a normal person changing, a little embarrassed.”

In her experience, it’s trans people who feel uncomfortable if someone is hateful towards them.

In this case, they would choose a more private option.

She said the argument made by Ms Scott boiled down to the misrepresentation of trans people as predators and the validity of their identity.

“The reality is that trans people have always existed.

“We’re just trying to live a normal life and there’s no reason it should be so hard.”

She worried that speaking out against the comments would make her a target of hate, but she felt she had to speak out.

“I was disgusted. I feel grossly misrepresented.

“It’s really rude to say that about someone you don’t know who is a real person.”

A council spokeswoman said there was no policy regarding the use of gender-specific changing rooms by transgender people.

No Moana Pool staff had been told this was an issue by a member of the public.

The council aimed to provide an inclusive, welcoming and safe space for all visitors.

If a person did not wish to use a gendered locker room, accessible locker rooms were available as stand-alone spaces.

Additional gender-neutral changing rooms would be made available during the renovation of the swimming pool.

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