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The Equal Chests for All movement see this as a stepping stone towards greater body freedom , Source: Freepik

A first for Germany - this summer, Göttingen allows topless swimmers in public pools

A first for Germany - this summer, Göttingen allows topless swimmers in public pools

The decision came after the controversy last year, surrounding two cases of people being kicked out of public pools for having bare chests

Last Tuesday, the Göttingen Sports and Leisure Society announced that from 1 May women will be allowed to go to their swimming pools topless. The move would make Göttingen the first German city to allow partial female nudity on swimming pools, making it a curtail decision for the Gleiche Brust für Alle (Equal Chest for All) movement.

The movement was spawned from a controversy last summer, when last August, a trans man tried to attend the Badeparadies Eiswiese swimming pool in Göttingen topless but was asked to leave by the staff, who perceived him to be a woman.

Around the same time, a woman in Berlin was also asked to leave a pool in Treptow-Köpenick, leading to the police getting involved and to a discrimination lawsuit that has yet to be resolved. Thus, Gleiche Brust für Alle came along as a group advocating for what they dub ‘bare chest equality’.

Topless weekends in Göttingen

The new regulation will apply as a pilot project from the start of May to the end of August and according to the Göttingen Sports and Leisure Society, it will apply to all the pools they run. Furthermore, it will only apply on weekends.

According to the society’s Managing Director Andrew Gruber, from a report by the WDR (West German Radio Cologne), the decision was prompted by the fact that during weekdays, many pools host school groups teaching children to swim or pro-swimming classes that have a bathing suit requirement anyway.

Thus Gleiche Brust für Alle has deemed the weekend regulation as a partial win and a stepping stone towards more body equality.

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