Transgendered ... and Topless?

Some Rehoboth Beach-goers told to cover up

By Adrienne Welsch
|  Friday, Jun 4, 2010  |  Updated 10:15 AM EDT
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Transgendered ... and Topless?

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If you want to go to Rehoboth Beach, you have to cover up.  No exceptions.

According to WBOC-16, lifeguards were forced to call city police after some beach-goers complained that there were people walking around with their breasts exposed.

It turns out, those people didn’t think they were doing anything wrong.  They were male-to-female transgenders, who had either transitioned or were in the process of transitioning and had some breast implants.

Rehoboth Beach Police Chief Keith Banks tells WBOC that the city already has laws regulating which parts of the body need to be covered up.  But there really is no rule that covers transgendered people.

The people in question initially refused to cover up, saying it was discrimination.  However, WBOC reports that they eventually complied. No one was cited for the incident.

Rehoboth Beach has long attracted a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender crowd.  Steve Elkins, Executive Director of the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center told WBOC, “if a person was born male but identifies and is transitioning as a female, then they need to abide by the laws that deal with females.”  However, “they also need to be respected and treated that way,” Elkins added.

The captain of the Rehoboth Beach Patrol told WBOC that he will seek clarification on the law and consider creating a new policy to include transgendered people.

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