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When Jamie Alexander’s daughter Ruby socially transitioned at nine years old, he says the biggest challenge for himself and her mother was finding clothing for swimming, gymnastics and dance.

“We were worried about her safety more than anything, so we were forcing her to wear board shorts for swimming and sweatpants for dance and gymnastics,” he says. “She reluctantly went along with it but was always wondering why she couldn’t wear the same things as everyone else.”

It was moments like these that inspired Alexander to launch Rubies, a Canadian brand specializing in form-fitting clothing for trans girls.

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After a trip to Panama, where Alexander asked his daughter to go back to wearing board shorts instead of the bikini she’d enjoyed wearing on camping trips in Ontario, he looked into swimwear options specifically for trans girls and found the options were limited.

“If you take a bikini bottom and stick a big pad in front of it, sure, that can work but it doesn’t feel like a bikini,” he explains.

Instead, Rubies uses soft compression, spandex and mesh technology in its designs for support and comfort. “I really set out to create a garment that looks and feels like a regular bikini, so they can legit feel like they fit in. A big part of adolescence and growing up is fitting in, especially for trans girls and non-binary kids.”

To help make beach days and pool parties accessible to all girls, Rubies launched its Every Girl Deserves to Shine campaign, which raises funds through proceeds from T-shirt sales, donations to the campaign’s GoFundMe page and corporate speaking events to provide free swimwear to those in need.

The AJ Shaping Underwear, $32.

SHIH-I LIU/Handout

The Sky Shaping One-Piece Swimsuit, $64.

SHIH-I LIU/Handout

The Ruby Shaping Bikini Bottom, $55.

SHIH-I LIU/Handout

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