I wear gender-affirming clothing, can I have it on board?
Gender affirming clothing such as binders and tuck tapes/gaffs are not practical while sailing. We ask that you do not wear a binder while we are working on deck because the strenuous pulling, lifting and moving around that we do could pose a safety hazard. This said, if you would like to bring it with you to wear in evenings or on shore-leave, that is perfectly fine. If you’d like to be sure that it is a good time to have it on, ask your watch leader if you are finished on deck for the day, or ask how long you have before sailing. If you find yourself in a situation where you are wearing it and feel you should not be, tell your watch leader that you need to change, it is more important that you are not putting yourself at risk than that you are on deck when they tell you.
Can I introduce myself with my pronouns and my name?
At the start of any voyage, we sit around the table and introduce ourselves. You are more than welcome to give the name and pronouns you want to be referred to as at this point. If you do not feel comfortable saying it in front of everyone, please feel free to talk to any member of sea staff at any point in the voyage. A member of sea staff might ask you about your name and pronouns; this might be because at the end of a voyage everyone receives a certificate and they want to know what you would like to put on it, or they need to know whether to update your booking form. We have no reason to tell your school or guardians about you using a different name or pronouns while on board. If this is a significant issue then please talk to us.
Is any area of the boat separated into boys and girls?
As we don’t have separate sleeping rooms onboard, we don’t separate by gender or sex. Each person has a bunk with a curtain, which is also where we get dressed. The toilets on board are also for everyone to use. They have bins and some sanitary supplies for people who have periods. Everyone takes part in all activities, from hauling the sails up to cutting vegetables for dinner.
It is very important to us that you feel respected and listened to while you are on board, if there are any problems, talk to someone and we can do our best to change whatever it may be.
LGBTQ+ Sea Staff Bios
Hi, my name is Unity, I’m 21 and am a volunteer third mate. I am also nonbinary and use they/them pronouns. I have sailed with the charity since 2021, and originally learnt to sail from my dad. I started using different pronouns after I’d started with the charity and changed them fully in 2023. I like to tell people my pronouns at the start of the week when we all introduce ourselves and talk about our expectations and goals for the week. I wear a binder semi-regularly in my home life, but I choose not to bring it on board because I want to be able to help at any notice and not have to go and change in order to be on deck. However I do like to bring loose hoodies to feel comfortable while onboard. I find the boat to be great because there are no expectations for who or what you are, or what you can do, as long as you’re involved you’re an important part of the crew.