DUNEDIN, Fla. (WFLA) – Skin is in at Honeymoon Island State Park.
A group called Tampa Area Naturists organized an event called Top-Free Equality Day, where women can go to a certain beach at the park topless.
“Women are looking for an achievement in equality. They don’t want to be discriminated against. They want to have the same right to enjoy the beach without a top. The same as a man can,” said John Palm, the president and co-founder of Tampa Area Naturists or TAN.
Palm, who identifies as a naturist – or nudist – tells 8 On Your Side the topless event scheduled for Aug. 25 coincides with Women’s Equality Day.
The event has been approved by the Florida Division of Recreation and Parks but the Tampa Area Naturists believe the cost behind the event will leave them with a bare wallet instead of bare skin.
“The permit fee itself, they want $500 for. Off-duty rangers for the day, they would like $560. There is also a requirement for an insurance policy for the day which would run about $400. We are required to purchase screening materials, which would cost another $300. We are hoping they will waive the fees, if not, we may do some kind of fundraiser to cover it because there is a tremendous amount of interest in this event,” said Palm.
TAN has held a Top-Free Equality Day at Honeymoon Island State Park in the past.
“The event went very smoothly, without a hitch. No problems at all. We were there for the full day and handed out literature and we displayed signs and collected signatures on a petition, and it went so well that rangers said we should do it more often,” said Palm.
Currently, the Top-Free Equality Day Facebook event set for next month already has over one thousand RSVPs. TAN’s Change.org petition, to establish a clothing-optional section of beach in the Tampa Bay area has almost 15,000 signatures.
“Florida law allows for women to be topfree. The park code is not allowing for women to be top-free and we are looking for a change in the park code,” said Palm.