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Op-Ed

Let’s go swimming

Lola Cam, one of the few Pinays who is married to the same wife and she has three grown sons and two grandchildren, recalls that first time she went swimming in public after transitioning. “Getting out of the water to use the bathroom (CR), I suddenly realized that now my female body was something to appreciate. A short Filipina or a Caucasian woman wearing a dark colored bikini is one thing; but a statuesque 6’1” Filipina in a bright horizontally striped, orange, green, yellow and blue bikini can’t be missed,” she said.

By Lola Cam

Lola Cam is a 60 year old transgendered Pinay who lives in the US. She was born on the Monterey Peninsula and transitioned during the early 1970s. She is a complete woman after having surgery in Thailand in March of 2008. Lola Cam is one of the few Pinays who is married to the same wife and she has three grown sons and two grandchildren. Beware: Lola is stubborn and will speak out about many things and just like all Filipina lolas that we all come to love, she may have that one small pearl of wisdom you’re looking for.

Tonight was the second time I have gone swimming since transitioning in March of 2008. The first time was during my fourth post-op week after Dr. Kamol gave me the go ahead to go and use the hotel pool.

That small period of time felt great. The water lapping around my body as it was healing and the ability to swim as a new woman made my day. Except, the only one who saw me at 7:00 AM on the third floor outdoor swimming pool was the pool maintenance man. But just being out in the hot Bangkok sun and just taking in the fact I was swimming felt great.

Tonight was different, because there was another place within the pool complex that I would have to enter to get to the pool and that was the female locker room. Prior to my transition any thought of going swimming in a public pool was out of the question. Even though I was on hormones and had breast augmentation, the one part of my anatomy which still said male had not been changed, so tonight was my debut to the female population that I was female.

After arriving at the pool I paid for my ticket, I entered the female locker room. Since our Sports Center is fairly new (10-15 years), the locker room was well taken care of, bathrooms, lockers area and shower facilities all had the look of a very fancy spa.

Putting my duffle bag down on the bench I chose an area near the front where there was some foot traffic. As I changed to my bikini I could hear the sounds of women talking and who were having a good time. There were small children belonging to the mothers; but all in all, no one bothered me as I dressed for my debut.

Exiting the locker room, I made my way to the pool deck where I found the shower heads, then rinsed off my body and prepared to enter the pool. As I was showering I observed there were around 20-40 people in or out of the water. Some were doing laps and a few were just talking among themselves. It doesn’t hurt to be wearing a multi-colored horizontal stripped blue, yellow, red and green bikini either.

Entering the water I soon was transported to a comfortable place, where I felt secure. Being Piscean I guess the water was a kind of cocoon, and soon I was paddling and doing a few different strokes.

As I swam backwards, I watched the water swirling around my breasts and body. I enjoyed watching the kids and other adults playing or swimming in the pool. There were times I would stand at the edge of the pool and wonder about my body and how it had changed throughout the years, I also became aware that the body I was seeing was now complete and thought of the two days prior to my complete transition in March what I looked like then and what I looked like now.

Getting out of the water to use the bathroom (CR), I suddenly realized that now my female body was something to appreciate. A short Filipina or a Caucasian woman wearing a dark colored bikini is one thing; but a statuesque 6’1” Filipina in a bright horizontally striped, orange, green, yellow and blue bikini can’t be missed. It was as though I was walking on the proverbial red carpet in Hollywood during the Academy, Emmy’s or the Grammy’s. You just can’t miss seeing an Asian woman who isn’t afraid to show off her body.

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After swimming for an hour it was time for me to leave to start Plan “B”. As I made my way to the locker room, I got my towel, shampoo and conditioner and found an empty shower stall for one person. Taking off my bikini bottom and top, I soon lathered up and as I was showering I could hear the sounds of mother talking to their children and I could see the small feet of children running in and out of their mothers shower stalls. Finally, I got out and soon Plan “C” began. After drying off a bit, I left my shower stall sans my bikini bottom and top; and with a slow sensual walk I made my way past a small group of women in various stages of undress. As I walked past the women, I just smiled and I could hear in my head the comments that many of the women were now wondering and I left no doubt in their minds, that this tall Filipina wasn’t truly female.

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