Summer camp should be the time when kids can find out more about themselves and feel comfortable around their peers. One unique summer camp is providing transgender children with that same experience in a whole new way.
Located in the Midwest, Camp You Are You is a safe haven for transgender kids between the ages of five and 12 who may not be out at school or even to their friends. The camp provides them with a safe, judge-free environment where they can truly be themselves among others just like them.
The week-long camp is run by Sabrina, a mother of four who attended a similar event with her trans daughter, Ryan. Activities include ice breakers, workshops for parents, pool parties, and even a fashion show.
“They don’t have to explain themselves, they don’t have to protect themselves, they don’t have to make excuses. There are no questions— just have fun!,” said Sabrina.
Buzzfeed reports that parents are just as involved as their children in the camp. Parents of these transgender children use the camp to connect with other parents to get advice and feedback on things like hormone treatments and caring for a transgender child.
TLC was recently granted access to film at the camp for a documentary called “Transgender Kids Camp,” which aired on June 8.
Considering that children in today’s society spend seven and a half hours or more in front of some form of technology each day, camp allows them to interact with others just like them in real life, rather than through screens.
Director Nick Sweeney made it his goal for each family featured in the documentary to tell their story in their own words.
Sabrina hopes that the documentary will help people to be more accepting of transgender kids who use the camp as a way to express themselves in a comfortable environment.
“These kids are just kids,” she said. “They’re OK and there is nothing wrong.”