Category Archives: TAGS

TAGS North London Swim!

TAGS North London Swim

Tag Support CIC (TAGS), is pleased to announce, its monthly, North London Swimming Session at Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre, starting on Monday 20th June, between 20.30-22.00.  (Please note this is a change of date)
The price is £5.55 for the session.
The space, like the Lewisham space, is completely self enclosed with our own changing rooms. There is a cafe in the centre, and one of the Tags volunteers will be there at the pool to support.
Megan and Roberta will be training Pool staff with a short 45 minute course, to ensure that all staff are made aware of trans issues.
The pool has disabled access and the event is for 16+ swimmers.
For more information contact Roberta:
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TAGS Access to Swimming Survey: Results

TAGS Swimming

This is an outline of the recent TAGS Access To Swimming Survey. Jane Chaplin who supports the Tags Birmingham space has very kindly put an outline together. It comes from all over England and part of Wales. It makes very interesting reading as it outlines the need there is for safe swimming spaces.
Please feel free to comment on the survey (email
Outline of the survey
192 responses
Question 1
Last swam up to 12  months     39.58% – 76 people
Last swam up to 5 years            36.98% – 71 people
Last swam up to 10 years         23.44 – 45 people
Clearly there is a reason why people are not swimming which is outlined in later questions, reasons given include Dysphoria and Transphobia in situations where public swimming is available.
Question 2
Reasons to stop swimming
Fear of being outed                                        78
Ridicule                                                          108
Transphobia or the fear                                  127
Reaction from pool staff                                    95
Not Safe to change                                         118
Other reasons                                                    60
Dysphoria associated with being n public pool    34
Fear of transgender people                                 1
Question 3
Distance to travel
Not prepared to travel        3.15%        6
Up to 10 miles                    65.26%      124
Up to 20 miles                    24.74%       47
Greater distance                  6.84%       13
This presumes reasonable traveling by public or own transport with reasonable parking or taxi/bus access to baths
Question 4
Frequency of event
Monthly         37.23%         70
Fortnightly     30.32%         57
Weekly           27.13%        51
A fairly even split between the people answering this question however the organisation and cost of more frequent events than once a month would have to be assessed. Certainly once a month appears to work at present.
Question 5
Reasons to swim
Socialise                            29.47%        57
Exercise                            17.89%        34
Love of swimming              34.74%       66
Safety                                                     12
All listed elements                               103
Question 6
General consensus from participants that a swimming event would be well received across many locations in the UK, especially in city and larger centres.
Question 7
Answers give a wide range of places across UK, certainly if suitable central locations can be found and supported. There is clearly a demand for swimming but ease of travel and cost of events would be of paramount importance.
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TAGS Swimming Survey Results

TAGS Swimming
TAGS Support CIC, has recently carried out a Survey Monkey, to look at the difficulty faced by trans and non-binary swimmers to access spaces in England  and Wales.
Our reach out to the community is very much restricted by resources but we have managed to get 190 respondees to our survey. The survey answers came from the South West, South East North and North East of England and  also from Wales.
The stats very much reflect the need for safe trans swimming spaces.
For example:
70% of our respondents don’t swim because of fear of transphobia;
67% of our swimmers would like the opportunity to swim at least once a month.;
63% feel there is nowhere safe to change.
I am posting the results as I feel it is important that we keep pushing because the problem of the lack of trans inclusive leisure spaces in the UK is a human rights issue.
Roberta Francis TAGS Support CIC
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TAGS Survey for Swimming

TAGS Swimming

TAGS have put together a small survey to look at swimming provision for our community. The survey was released earlier this month and Roberta, co-founder of TAGS said

“In a couple of days we have had over 65 responses from across the UK!This is without proper resources and with just the use of Social Media.

Already the stats show that over 69% of trans and non-binary people do not want to access swimming because of fear of transphobia.”
Please complete the survey and share it with friends, colleagues and with appropriate networks it would be a great help in developing future swimming spaces.
Roberta Francis TAGS
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New website for TAGSwim!


This info is from the About page on the new website which you can find at

TAGS are a provider of body positive spaces for transgender and non-binary identified people for those aged 16 and above unless accompanied by an adult.

As a marginlised community it is extremely difficult for us to access public sports facilities. As a community we have been on the brunt of much negativity and sensationalised press coverage, feeding on negative stereotypes. It is difficult for many trans people to access something as simple as a public swimming space. This can be because of the fear of getting to the pool. The fear of being misgendered, ridiculed and even being physically attacked.

Since our first session in October 2014 in Lewisham we have averaged 10-15 swimmers  every week and we are hoping to increase that number with further marketing and expansion.

Our vision for the future is two things –

A TAGS swimming sign in every pool in the UK.

A fully funded space where the transgender community can get support, meet up safely, and work to break down the barriers of negativity that still exist.

We also are developing by hosting new events. Early in 2015 we added a weekly yoga session on a Wednesday evening in Greenwich. We were recently in Birmingham on 11th October which attracted swimmers from all over the Midlands. We are hoping to expand to other parts of the UK.

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Transgender Rights Have Transformed Thanks To Amazing Brits Like These

Sarah-Ann Harris at The Huffington Post has written a great article about nine trans people and the work they are doing which means that transgender rights have transformed in recent years. Have a look here for the complete article:

The article includes pieces on people who work for two of our member organisations: Jay Stewart of Gendered Intelligence and Roberta Francis of TAGS.

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Birmingham TAGS swims for the first time!

First Birmingham TAGS SwimIn October 2014 TAGS (London trans* and gender non-conforming swimming) group had its first ever session in Lewisham. It was quite evident, from the attendance that the swimming was a success. It has given the South East trans* community a safe place to swim every week for the last year. As project manager, I have always felt that TAGS should have more spaces. TAGS Leicester was started, so I thought why not TAGS Birmingham.
On Sunday 11th October Birmingham had its first trans* only swimming group in Birmingham. Myself and other TAGS colleagues managed to find the Moseley space after clumbing bags and banners back from 4 bus stops too far. No ones fault, just one of those things.
Sighing with relief, we managed to find the space. Hesitant and nervous I walked quickly, wondering how many swimmers we had. How surprised was I when I opened the pool doors to see a packed space. The hard work had paid off.
The pool was an aray of colour and excited voices as swimmers from Birmingham West Midlands , Leicester, Nottingham and London enjoyed a splash. There was Aquatic Yoga on hand and quickly people got involved. The hour went quickly and it was great to all head back to the Birmingham LGBT centre for food tea and communinty cohesion.
Feedback was good
” Thanks to the organisers for bringing TAGS to Birmingham. I had a lovely time, hopefully it will continue”
For more pictures, look at the photo album.
For more information about TAGS look at their members page on this website.
Written by Roberta from TAGS
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The first TAGS Self Defence class was great!

First TAGS Self Defence class

The first TAGS self defence class took place on 10th September and went really well!

Here is some feedback from Roberta:

It was so lovely to quickly, gain skills that could be used to protect myself if I ever need them. As a community we all have felt vunerable at times especially travelling at night. Our self defence teacher Jai Chan, is very experienced and gave lots of really great tips to our fledging class. I want to feel free as a trans* person travelling around London, especially at night. The evenings are drawing in quickly.  I know,now after a couple of classes, I will gain confidence and feel so much safer now.

There are still spaces available in the class – contact Roberta at or


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