A dedicated father named Jamie Alexander teamed with his 13-year-old daughter, Ruby to create much-needed garments for non-binary youth. The pair saw a demand for swimwear and other formfitting clothing for kids that make them feel comfortable and protected. These types of garments are readily available for adults. But, after shopping for her own, Ruby and her father realized that there was a great need for them in much smaller sizes.
With attitudes swiftly shifting about trans, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming youth, the fashion industry has struggled to keep up. Thankfully, Jamie and Ruby created a solution for her needs and now share it with other kids in similar situations.
Rubies, the name of Jamie Alexander and Ruby’s clothing line, connects kids with comfortable garments that are designed for trans girls and non-binary youth.
The father-daughter duo launched Rubies, a line of swimwear and underwear specifically made to fit trans girls and non-binary bodies.
While these sorts of garments have been around for adults since the sixties, there still is a long way to go for clothing makers to catch up with the needs of customers.
In the above video, you will find the very smart Ruby describing how these garments are slightly different than those of the past.
“The outside is made of a shaping spandex, and in the inside, there are two layers of mesh that keep everything in place. No need for tucking or large padding in the front,” Ruby explains.
Ruby’s special journey is to thank for these innovative garments.
“Ruby’s relationship with girls’ clothing and shoes as she navigated her gender identity may have started as early as 3 years old,” Jamie told BuzzFeed, who he spoke to with Ruby’s permission.
He also shared with the outlet that Ruby used to dance around in her mom’s heels as a toddler.
In those early years Jamie said that he did not think a thing about the behavior. He admits that it was not until Ruby turned four that certain activities began to check some boxes for him.
“We went to the beach often, and while some kids chose to swim in the lake or build sandcastles, Ruby would spend hours fashioning her towel into a skirt,” Jamie said. “Once she got it just right, she would sashay along the beach as though she was in a photoshoot.”
By the time Ruby turned five, she had become obsessed with Disney princesses.
“Ruby always wanted to act out the movie Tangled — with me as the prince and her as Rapunzel,” Jamie told BuzzFeed. “Her head was always wrapped up in multiple bedsheets, knotted together, and dangling down a flight of stairs to aid her rescue. That performance ran every day for a solid year.”
“Ruby also held disdain shirts that covered her shoulders and only wanted to wear tank tops,” he continued. I traveled a lot for work at that time and it took me a while to realize that the souvenir T-shirts I would bring home would lay dormant in her drawers. One time, I opened her room and she was hacking away at the sleeves of one of my latest gifts with a pair of scissors.”
At the end of third grade, Ruby would wear sports bras, leggings, and other clothes she borrowed from her friends. Ruby made it clear, at that point, that she was ready to transition, BuzzFeed reports.
Jamie explained that the arts school Ruby was set to attend accepted 30 boys and 30 girls before Ruby’s transition. So, he was worried about what it might mean for Ruby and how the school would react to the news.
“I had to call the principal and explain that they may have a gender imbalance at the school because one of their male students was going to start school as a girl. As if it was destiny that year, in a bureaucratic error, they had accepted 31 boys and 29 girls. The principal was overjoyed that this bungle could be reversed,” he said, adding that Ruby’s principal has been one of the most supportive figures in her school life.
Ruby was very involved in after-school activities including gymnastics, dance, and swimming which all require participants to wear formfitting clothing for freer movement. Going shopping for various items like leotards and swimwear made Ruby anxious according to her father. This is not uncommon at all in the trans community.
“Ruby just wants to wear the same clothes as most of her girlfriends. In some cases, it seemed she wouldn’t be able to do so safely until I started exploring options for trans girls. I discovered there are a few places where you can buy bikinis and underwear geared toward trans people. Ruby has tried a few with varying levels of success.”
Thus, Rubies was born! We are so proud of this family and how they are helping other kids feel safe and authentic when they participate in almost any activity. It can be a traumatic experience for youth to do something as basic as shopping for a bathing suite we are glad these two are working to change that!
Jamie’s greatest wish:
“I would like to imagine a world where kids can wear whatever they want, irrespective of their anatomy. I am certain in another generation this will be the case, at least in the progressive cities of North America. In the meantime, we can find ways to help our kids express themselves safely.”
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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