After watching his 12-year-old daughter Ruby struggle to find bikini bottoms that made her feel both comfortable and confident as a transgender girl, Toronto dad Jamie Alexander took action himself. He created a new clothing brand, Rubies, which produces form-fitting clothing for transgender children.
In an interview with “Today,” Alexander said he saw a clear gap in the market.
“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,” Alexander explained. “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.”
The Rubies Facebook page posted a sweet photo of Ruby and her dad along with the hashtag #everygirldeservestoshine:
At the outset, Alexander interviewed almost 60 families of transgender girls online, to see what their needs were. He then turned to Ryerson University’s tech start-up incubator The DMZ, and the first product, the Ruby Shaping Bikini Bottom, was born.
“Above all, we are here to ensure that every trans girl has the freedom to be who she is, wherever she is — and to shine,” Alexander said.
The spandex bikini bottom is available in kids’ sizes 4-24 and is made with soft compression material that “provides worry-free comfort and helps keep everything in place,” according to the Rubies website. When Alexander saw that families were buying the garment as underwear for their kids, he was inspired to include a pair of functional cotton underwear in the collection.
The brand posted a photo of the bikini bottoms on its Facebook page:
As well as providing products that will give transgender children the same comfort and confidence as their non-transgender friends, Rubies hopes to grow the conversations around the transgender experience and make the lives of trans kids better — but also more unremarkable.
“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.”
T-shirts in adult and kids’ sizes are also available on the website, with proceeds going to the Every Girl Deserves to Shine campaign, which supports trans girls in North America. Families in need can request free swimwear by filling out an application on the site and will receive the products on a first come, first served basis.