Town of Three Hills in Alberta hosts private 'gender neutral swim' event

The gender-neutral event has been turned into an LGBTQ+ event and it will occur at the Three Hills Aquatic Centre on April 23. 'The Town of Three Hills is not sponsoring or promoting this event,' says a Three Hills administrator.

Town of Three Hills in Alberta hosts private 'gender neutral swim' event
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A swimming event in rural, small-town Alberta has changed its promotional poster from a "Gender Neutral Swim" to an "LGBTQ+ Swim."

The original poster advertised the "change rooms [would] be gender neutral" and asked all attendees to donate $3 as they would not charge an entrance fee.

The organizers invited people to "come for a safe, judgement-free space to swim and have fun!"

At the bottom of the original poster, it referenced the Three Hills LGBTQ+ and the KneeHill Queer & Allies Society as the hosts.

The gender-neutral now LGBTQ+ event will occur at the Three Hills Aquatic Centre on April 23.

Three Hills Chief Administrative Officer Ryan Leuzinger told the Western Standard the event is a private booking by a private group. 

"The Town of Three Hills is not sponsoring or promoting this event," he said.

The new LGBTQ+ Swim poster deviates from the gender-neutral advertisement by eliminating the "change rooms will be gender neutral."

However, on the Three Hills LGBTQ+ and Area Facebook Page, it says, "also, please know that this event will have gender-neutral change rooms."

Despite the apparent addressing of the event, the organizers intend to keep the gender-neutral change rooms to accommodate attendees.

Leuzinger has yet to comment on how the city would provide gender-neutral change rooms at the time of writing.

PPC's Lieutenant Kelly Lorencz said, "this appears to be organized by a private group, and as such, that is their right to do so."

"If the group wants to promote the event and identify gender-neutral change rooms, then again, as a private group, that is up to them and the city or town council to approve it. In this case, it is advertised, and it is a choice to attend and support such an event or not," said Lorencz.

The new "LGBTQ+ Swim" poster states, "the Town of Three Hills or the aquatic centre is not putting on this event. This is a privately funded event."

The event advertisement confirmed, "this is a privately sponsored event open to the public by RSVP only."

"I can speak to my position on this, and I, as a parent, would not attend, promote, or endorse this event with my children or grandchildren," said Lorencz.

"It is every parent's responsibility to make this decision, and if this is not being forced onto the children, then it comes down to individual freedom of choice and personal responsibility."

On social media, hundreds of people voiced their opposition to the gender-neutral swim event.

TraumaNurse tweeted, "And so predators know where to go ... Of course they never thought of that."

Unacceptable Fringe tweeted, "I don't get how allowing grown men to change in front of girls naked is "safe" for them."

Recently, an allegation of a trans woman changing in a girls' change room at Canyon Meadows Pool earned the ire of parents, ultimately falling on deaf ears from city officials.

A 15-year-old girl supposedly glimpsed another patron's penis while changing in the Canyon Meadows Pool locker room in early February. She expressed incredible discomfort with the ordeal and quickly left the area.

"I was just changing when a man came in with an arrogant look. He promptly undressed," said the girl.

"He walked around in the room naked for some time. I got out of there as fast as I could. I felt shaken up and horrified that this [happened]."

On February 1, a biological male entered the women's changing room as most of the girls finished their swimming lessons, as first reported by the Western Standard.

"Calgary Recreation is committed to providing recreation opportunities for all Calgarians," reads a City of Calgary statement.

"To meet the needs of all Calgarians and to be compliant with provincial Human Rights legislation, customers will have the use of the washroom and change room facilities congruent with their gender identity."

The lifeguard on duty at the time of the alleged incident asked a concerned parent if the trans woman stared at their daughter while she changed.

"What the f*ck difference does that make?" responded the parent. "He was walking around 12-year-old girls with his penis hanging out."

In early March, Calgary Police released a statement stating the allegations concerning the incident were untrue.

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