Providing a haven from gender assumptions
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ+) kids and teens find a safe environment at camps listed below. Gay or trans kids and teens may feel alienated or even excluded in other camps, but these camps provide space for kids to make new friends and develop skills through typical summer camp programming. They’re free to be themselves and meet and learn from others who are in the same boat.
Also formatted LGBT or GLBT, this acronym defines a group of kids and teens who are often marginalized, or worse, bullied by other kids. LGBTQ-friendly camps create space where kids are free to express who they are. Here, cabin placements and bathrooms are not gendered. Camps specializing in this may have activities or curriculum specifically dealing with gender, sexuality, health, community activism, creating safe spaces and more.
For teens struggling with sexuality and gender identity, typical stresses of this age (body image, self-esteem, etc.) are compounded in many settings. Other camps may perpetuate normative assumptions (even policies, unfortunately) that can be spiritually and emotionally damaging for them. They may feel like outsiders because of the way they dress, makeup they wear or even the way they act. LGBT-friendly or -inclusive camps offer a haven from this alienation in a community which honours individual choice and creative expression. And you'll have a lot of fun, too, of course!
Especially for younger teens, this type of camp will also expose them to role models. Camp counselors and counselors-in-training will also have dealt with gender and sexual identity issues. Others here will be able to share experiences of adjusting to their identity and being in situations where they are not equally accepted. In some cases, they will have dealt with attitudes from many years ago and offer a living example that it really does get better.
LGBTQ+ campers looking to be respected as they are will find this at these camps.