He said I would be crazy too and could get arrested. Is this true?
It is okay (although uncommon) for men. Not acceptable for women.
What about beaches and local swimming pools?
Not acceptable for women.
when I was on the sports team there we had to change our pants into shorts for tennis outside--next to the girls--and the guys just changed on the courts next to the girls. So, they could look at our boxers if they wanted to. I don't get that.
I encountered this situation as well. It is not a desired situation, but if there is no easy alternative, it can't be helped. Younger generations (below 40) are likely to be more open towards this issue.