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Templeton Park Pool and Hillcrest Community Centre.

When Kai Scott goes to a local community centre for a swim or a gym session, he usually has to make a no-win choice about where to change.

He was, as he says, assigned female when he was born. But he identifies as male and has had surgery to make himself look more so. But it is still an awkward decision: Which door to go through, man or woman? And, whichever one he picks, will people be staring at him?

This Sunday, for the first time, when he goes for a swim at Templeton Park Pool on Vancouver's east side, he won't have to worry about that.

All the washroom doors will be marked with "Trans People Welcome" signs. And the noon to 2 p.m. session Sunday, from now until March, will be designated as a "trans-inclusive public swim."

"I'm calling it a game-changer," said Mr. Scott, a 34-year-old social-engagement specialist who has co-chaired the park board's committee focused on making facilities more welcoming for trans and gender-variant residents. "For gender-fluid people, it's difficult to navigate spaces that are highly gendered. And there are always concerns about uncomfortable or unsafe conditions. This will be a safe space."

He said that even though he's less stressed about the experience of using public washrooms than others in the trans community, it has still been difficult.

"I use the male washroom, but I have [surgical] scars on my chest and that draws attention. I try to block that. It takes a lot of effort. I have a lot of anxiety but I work to overcome that."

The new swim sessions, along with the new signs at both Templeton pool and Hillcrest Community Centre, are all part of a 77-point plan devised last spring by the committee. The plan recommended changes in signage, staff training, forms (so not just male and female are listed), building design, financial support and programming.

The park-board committee got responses from 211 people when it was developing its plan.

Swim sessions were the popular first choice for programming to be targeted for the trans community. (The sessions will be open to the general public as well.)

"Before this, people from the trans community would rent the pool and pay separately," said park-board general manager Malcolm Bromley. "This is going to be particularly welcoming for them."

Mr. Scott said the board has been making steady progress on the report recommendations, which he hopes will eventually be incorporated into all 24 community centres, as well as park facilities. The committee was created three years ago, after Mr. Bromley brought the issue to his senior management group as something it should address.

Mr. Scott said it's hard to estimate the trans and gender-variant population of Vancouver, since some people are comfortable identifying themselves publicly that way but many others aren't.