Jamie Alexander is a normal Toronto, Ontario dad who loves and supports his children. That’s why when he saw his 12-year-old trans daughter struggling to find bikini bottoms for swimming, he knew he had to do something.
That something was inventing a new line of swimwear designed exclusively for trans children. Rubies, named after Alexander’s daughter, Ruby, is a new line of form-fitting bikini bottoms that help trans girls to confidently tuck in public. The first item, The Ruby Shaping Bikini Bottom is a perfect swimsuit bottom for trans girls from size 4 to 24 and comes in black or pink.
According to the website, Rubies was first conceived when Alexander was taking his daughter on her first trip to Central America and he started thinking about what she could wear on the beach. “The question practically answered itself: form-fitting clothing for trans girls,” the site reads. “Each pair of RUBIES bikini bottoms and underwear features a soft compression that provides worry-free comfort and helps keep everything in place. It’s designed for the beach, the gym, the pool, or the dance lessons – without the slightest compromise in style.”
Talking with Today, Alexander said that he looked around, and while he found some swimwear marketed towards trans girls and women, none of it looked quite right.
“Everything I saw was heavily branded just to trans people and had a quilted pad in the front. They didn't look like normal bikinis," he said. "I wanted to create a garment that looks and feels like a regular bikini and a brand that resonates with kids, not just trans kids."
After interviewing families with trans daughters to find out what they were looking for in swimwear, he tested out his product by sending samples to 25 families across North America and Australia. Now he’s expanding his line to include a one-piece and regular underwear made of cotton.
Both Alexander’s Instagram and the company’s webstore show just how successful he was. The proud dad’s social media is full of pictures of not only his daughter happily jumping and running around in the swimsuits, but it also features other happy trans and testimonials from even more.
“I was worried they wouldn’t fit, but they’re perfect. Absolutely one of the best purchases I made in a long time. Certainly made this 22 year old girl smile!” reads one. “I haven’t gone swimming in several years, cause I have nothing to wear, but I just recently went out in these and at first I was kind of skeptical, after about an hour in the water, I was convinced these were exactly what I needed,” reads another. A third says, “I have never looked forward to wearing swimsuits and these change that entirely.”
“I want to focus on the positive stories about these kids and normalize them,” Alexander said, “they’re just kids. That’s how people need to see them.”
There’s not a lot of positive role models or representation for trans kids and their parents, so every story like this one, or Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union supporting their daughter Zaya, is an important one. You can currently order Ruby swim bottoms and shirts that say “Every Girl Deserves To Shine,’ from the Rubies online store or pre-order the AJ Shaping Underwear and The Sky Shaping One-Piece.