Video: My Transgender Summer Camp

This is a documentary about an American summer camp for trans kids organized by a group of their parents. Three families that go to camp are interviewed, and some of the camp activities are shown. The kids are all boys who want to be girls. What I found very notable was the constant sex stereotypes on display. “Girls” are apparently anybody who likes pink and sparkly things.

In this post I will use whatever name is used most often for the child in the film and the pronouns that correspond to their biological sex.

The first parents who are interviewed are Sabrina and Chris. They have a son named Ryan who wants to be a girl. Sabrina, says:

“Around 2 years old, we started noticing that Ryan liked pink and sparkles, and we thought that was sort of strange.” Husband Chris is then quoted saying “After a few months, realizing this isn’t some phase, my wife started researching it online and discovered this whole community of parents with children that identified as transgender even at an early age.”

The film’s narrator says “At the age of 3, Ryan’s parents finally accepted that their child is transgender.”

Ryan says: “My family didn’t understand me, because one time my grandma got me a Spiderman and Batman shirt, and I’m like, I don’t want it, and she’s like “you like them,” I’m like “no I don’t.”

After this interview, I was shocked at the fact that these parents openly admitted to finding it strange that a boy would like pink and sparkles, and that they had decided to believe their male child was a “girl” when he was only 3. What an outrageous decision to make for a toddler! A child who has a vocabulary of 200 words cannot possibly “identify as transgender.” Such a young person cannot even understand the concept.

The scene changes to the family getting ready for camp. The film’s narrator says, “Unlike many boys their age, the transgender children attending camp like dressing up as princesses and getting makeovers.”

The family is shown in a store buying supplies for camp: glitter paint, princess tiaras, and feather boas.

Sabrina says, “We have half the families coming who are new, and half who are veteran. And they walk in and they see this table full of things that they feel comfortable with, that speaks to them.”

Sabrina is shown in the store again, buying “beads and fairy dust.”

Apparently, the things that “speak to” transgender MtF children are glitter, tiaras, boas, and beads. Those particular dollar store consumer products are what make them feel comfortable as human beings. I used to go to camp when I was a little girl, and strangely, I didn’t require any of these items.

When the next family is interviewed, an 11-year-old child with long hair is displaying his makeup collection. He says: “So this is my dressing table. This is all my makeup which I use on a daily basis. Just mascara, a small amount of eyeliner and a little bit of blush sometimes.”

He is then shown in a mirror brushing his hair. The narrator explains that he “began living as a girl at the age of 2.” This boy, named “Maxi,” apparently had a visible “alternative gender identity” according to his mom, right from a young age. Mom says that Maxi was distressed when he went to school because everything was separated by “gender” and he went to sleep at night praying to become a girl.

The family is shown eating breakfast, and the other kids in the family discuss how they deal with having a brother who is pretending to be a girl. His younger sister tells lies about him having a twin, and his older brother worries about bullying and rumours.

Maxi is interviewed in his bedroom, surrounded by stereotypical girls’ toys and wearing a dress with see-through black mesh in the middle. Between the revealing dress and the makeup at age 11 I’m shocked at the over-sexualization. It’s not appropriate for an 11-year-old girl to dress like that, so I’m not sure why a boy needs to either.

And what on Earth does it mean to be “living as a girl” at age 2? Does this mean his parents wrapped him in a pink blanket? A two-year-old can’t possibly “live as” anything other than a 2-year-old child. The only thing to change about a two-year-old’s life to make him a “girl” is to buy pink consumer products for him instead of blue ones. Apparently a child’s sex is determined by which marketing campaign most appeals to him.

The documentary moves to camp, and talks about how these young boys can “finally feel free.” The narrator says “At camp, the transgender children and their families can play as they wish. But it often seems to revolve around one thing—lipstick….” Cut to pictures of little boys putting on lipstick. The narrator continues, “The camp’s activities include swimming, dressing up, and arts and crafts, all building up to the big event at the end of the week, the fashion show.”

Another child is interviewed, 8-year-old “Lindsay,” who has made his own dress. Lindsay says “It might represent Katy Perry pretending to be Pocahontas because it’s unique.” Lindsay talks about loving to sing and perform. Video footage is shown of Lindsay as a toddler, announcing that he’s a girl. He obviously has feminine mannerisms as a part of his personality. The way he moves is what I would call “flamboyant.” I completely support the idea that human beings are born with a personality that includes a certain degree of masculinity or femininity, but this does not somehow erase or cancel out a person’s sex, and there is no such thing as your degree of femininity being wrong for your body. Anyone can have any personality.

The parents have an opportunity to talk among themselves while their kids are doing camp activities. They are shown sitting in a circle and discussing their fears about their kids. The health effects of medical transition, future sterility, and their kids’ suicidal thoughts are on their minds. They seem to want what’s best for their kids.

Maxi is on puberty blockers already. His family is paying $1000 per shot for them. His mom is shown injecting him and she seems upset about it, but she doesn’t feel like she has any choice. She says “At the end of the day I have a happy child.” Right after injecting him, Maxi says: “I have this dream of my husband like taking care of me and he’s like kissing me every second.”

Then his mother talks about his femininity “It’s not always about being fabulous and beautiful and sparkly and terrific for you, it’s about being nurturing and having that kind of receptive feminine energy.”

Maxi says “Yeah, if I only cared about being extremely girly and being sparkly and outfits and everything, then I would be a gay man. But there’s this feeling inside you that you can really tell for sure, saying like “girl, girl, girl, girl, this is you who are” you know?”

This is another interview that leaves me absolutely shocked. It’s clear that both Maxi and his mother know that he is gay. He openly admits that a boy who likes being girly will grow up to be a gay man. He has fantasies about his future husband. His very flimsy excuse for why he is not gay is because he has a “feeling inside” that he is a “girl.” He has internalized homophobia around being a feminine gay boy. His mother seems so well-intentioned but she is failing to help her son get over his internalized homophobia and instead is injecting him with extremely expensive puberty blockers so that he will grow up to be a feminized, sterilized gay man with underdeveloped genitals, rather than a regular, normally-developed man. She is doing this because her child insists upon it. Apparently, a preteen with internalized homophobia is more qualified to make major medical decisions that will have an effect on his whole life than a responsible adult who has done research about the likely outcomes. I used to make flimsy excuses for why I wasn’t gay, too. Don’t we all do that when we’re scared kids?

Maxi’s dad makes the incredibly ironic comment that it’s easier to come out as gay than to come out as trans. It’s obviously not easy to come out as gay, LOOK AT WHAT IS HAPPENING TO YOUR GAY KID.

The most popular event of camp is the fashion show. They do their makeup and nails, put on fancy dresses, perform flamboyant poses on stage, and blow kisses to the crowd, while upbeat pop music plays. They are an adorable group of baby drag queens.

Even though the parents discuss their concerns about their kids’ future, and question whether they are doing the right thing, at no point is it ever mentioned that most kids with childhood gender dysphoria will desist and will turn out to be gay. There is a big, gay elephant in the room that is being erased from this picture. The parents seem concerned about their kids’ future fertility and their safety, (which they should be), but they never mention any concern about whether their kids might be happier as adults being regular gay men rather than surgically modified “women.” Is this because they are just not concerned about such a possibility or are they completely unaware of it because no gender specialist nor information package about transgenderism has ever told them? Either possibility is horrifying. There is a complete lack of concern about the possibility of children who will likely grow up to be happy gay adults being mistakenly puberty-blocked, sterilized, and permanently medically altered while they are still minors, just because it is popular these days to label a girly boy a “trans girl” and it’s forbidden to doubt this diagnosis.

I remember hearing an acquaintance remark that she knew her child was gay at age 3, and this seemed funny to me because how could a three-year-old possibly have any sexual attraction? But I think I know what she meant. Kids already have observable, unique personalities right from a young age, and their mannerisms are apparent even as toddlers. You can observe a boy’s feminine mannerisms at age 3 and guess that they indicate he will grow up to be gay. You won’t necessarily be correct, because it’s possible for someone straight or bisexual to have feminine mannerisms too. But my point is that parents used to look at their little girly boys and realize they were probably gay, and now they observe the same thing about their sons but instead label them “trans girls.” I have a suspicion that a lot of these parents actually know their sons are gay.

What I learned from watching this documentary is that the definition of a “girl” is “any child who likes pink and sparkly things, wears dresses, likes to put on lipstick, and wants to sing like Katy Perry while dancing with a feather boa.” Oh, and they have “receptive feminine energy.” (Could that comment possibly have been any more creepy coming from a mom?)

By this definition of “girl,” of course, a lot of actual females aren’t “girls.”

I also learned that today’s parents are so ridiculously, ludicrously, nauseatingly sexist that they think if their little boy likes pink and sparkly things, they need to drastically alter the course of his life because they cannot fathom that these are things that boys can like. For these sexist parents, it’s so unthinkable that their boy could put on a dress and sing a song as a boy, that they have to drive across the country to attend a special camp where everyone will pretend he’s a girl, to make it okay for him to wear a dress and sing a song.

I have a much better idea than all this. And my idea is so bloody simple that I can’t fathom why these parents can’t come up with it, too. My idea is: accept your son as he is. You have a little girly-boy baby drag queen, who will probably grow up to be gay, and that’s okay. When he likes pink and sparkly things, it’s no big deal. It’s fine. Let him dance and sing to Katy Perry. Let him dream about his future husband. Tell him it’s okay to be gay. When he says he’s a girl, tell him no, boys aren’t girls, but you can be any kind of boy you want to be. You can be a boy who likes princess tiaras and sewing your own dresses. We love you no matter what. Taking him to a camp to meet other girly boys is a fabulous idea, but don’t tell the kids they are really girls. Tell them it’s okay to be a boy like that, and that they’re not alone. Let them make friends with other boys who are like them. Help them grow into happy gay adults. Right in the goddamn DSM that’s what it says is the most likely outcome for these kids. (As long as they survive childhood without being sterilized, of course.)

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23 thoughts on “Video: My Transgender Summer Camp

  1. 😮😮😮😮😮😮

    Nothing could be any clearer than this! The child drag queen camp phenomenon, but also your telling of this. If only we could get a dozen reporters to calmly ingest this. Not read it like they’re trying to refute it because these ideas, that it’s known most seemingly-trans kids will grow up to be gay and that doing all this to gay kids is horrible, has been labelled The Impure Knowledge, Heresy.

    20 years ago somebody involved in this must’ve predicted this would happen. That when it comes to diagnosing children people would go hogwild and who would be hurt by that would be gay kids. Especially girly boys. Good gravy. 🙇🏻‍♀️

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Well, that’s the fucking skeeviest thing I’ve read in a while.

    I wanna smack some sense into these people.

    Is this (in part) an outcome of a ”me first, anything I want, now, and I found it on social media so it must be true, and anyway I don’t have to think too deeply about it, I have a solution, good, next’ attitude/generation with kids?

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Despite all this focus on transing boys into “girls”, the majority of kids being medically transed are girls, transing to “boys”. As most of these kids are actually gay/lesbian, what this proves is that there are actually more lesbians than gay men.

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    • Only in the last few years has the number of young girls been higher. Lots of girls who identify as trans are lesbians, but some of them are also bi or straight. I don’t think the number of girls transitioning proves there are more lesbians, there are just more girls in general transitioning.

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      • I expected someone to say that. There are also some trans identifying boys who are straight or bi. The greater number of transing girls does not prove more lesbians, but it certainly suggests it. It would be very interesting to do a study on that and see just how many transing kids of each sex are really lesbian/gay and how many are straight/bi.

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        • Well, there is a study of girls diagnosed with gender dysphoria in childhood showing that those who persist into adulthood are betwen 97% and 100% same-sex attracted. The thing is though, it’s hard to get stats on sexual orientation of young people. They are often confused about what they want and because of queer theory they identify as things like “pansexual” which doesn’t allow name who they’re attracted to. The research would have unreliable results.

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        • Yes, the information would have to be gotten after the young people become adults and are more clear in their preferences. There would have to be long term studies from trans childhood into adulthood. Would still be interesting and informative. I actually think there are more lesbians than gay men. One reason is because to become heterosexual, a girl has to change the sex of who she loves from the universal love object of all children, the mother, to males, whereas lesbians just have to continue loving females. Boys, on the other hand, don’t have to change the sex of who they love to be heterosexual, just to be gay, which some of them do. So female heterosexual development is harder and, I think, more fraught with ambivalence, than male heterosexual development.

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        • Hmm…I don’t think I can prove you wrong with any data, but I’m not subscribing to this Freud-like theory of homosexual development. I don’t believe a baby’s love for its mother is related to adult sexual attraction.

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        • I didn’t expect you to agree with me. But the earliest experience of love humans have most certainly do have a role in influencing adult love and sexual attraction. It is not the only factor, but it is one.

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        • If it was possible to demonstrate that more lesbians transition than gay men and boys, that could just as easily be related to differences in social pressure on the two sexes. Or differences in acceptance of transitioning between gay and lesbian communities.

          If your purpose is to count lesbians and gay men and compare numbers, I would just do that and stop trying to pull numbers out of transitioning to demonstrate anything, as it introduces other factors that cloud your data.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I am pretty sure the higher number of FtT is because in a patriarchy, being a woman is hard and dangerous and not that much fun. Honestly, if I thought I could get male privilege by just declaring myself male, I would do it.

          And if, during puberty, I had been offered a guaranteed side-effect free treatment to get rid of my periods, I would have taken it.

          For girls, becoming women is much more of a change than becoming men is for boys.
          And patriarchy and all that shit on top of that – really, I am pretty sure there’s a hell of a lot more FtT than MtT. And one has to take into consideration that some MtT transition because of autogynephilia, which I don’t think has a female equivalent.

          There might be more lesbians and gays, but I really don’t think that counting transitioners is the way to find out.

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  4. That was such a depressing, frustrating video. I noticed the YouTube uploader cowardly disabled comments, as if afraid of any critical commentary.

    So many stereotypes were out on full display! I’ve never seen a “trans kid” who acted like a regular kid instead of a stereotype of a boy or girl. Even very girly girls typically aren’t bathed in pink, sparkles, makeup, dresses, and short shorts around the clock. I could also immediately tell these kids are boys, based on the facial structure. If only their parents had let them alone, instead of encouraging the fantasy of them really being girls. Social transition is a one-way ticket to puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, since these kids are so caught up in these fantasies encouraged by everyone around them.

    I would’ve been so disinterested in fashion shows, glitter, tiaras, and all that other stuff Ryan’s mom Sabrina bought. Several hundred dollars just for camp supplies? Once again, proof this is a trend of the bourgeoisie and wealthy instead of the poor and working-class! My parents couldn’t afford to buy me the talking doll Cricket (one of the few dolls I wanted), any rocking horse, or a beautiful redheaded baby doll I named Apricot. Forget about dropping a few hundred dollars on glitter, paint, beads, feather boas, and fake tattoos! As an adult, I see a very powerful lesson in how my dad spent over $2,000 on our first computer (the 152K Mac), in spite of my mother’s horror at him spending so much money. That was an investment that lasted for nine years, in comparison to a toy or bunch of crafting supplies.

    I really think a lot of these parents of “trans kids” are from the generation trying to be friends instead of parents. They’re used to immediately doing whatever a kid demands, instead of acting like parents. Parents don’t have to be strict authoritarians, but there’s a happy medium between that and acting like best friends!

    Liked by 2 people

    • People disable comments for various reasons. I know some very respectable authors who do so with their work. It can work to increase exposure, as in order to discuss something, it must be republished. Commenting isn’t a right, onlookers do not have the right to use another’s platform to express their views.

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      • Yes. I would say both narcissistic and homophobic.

        It’s a form of eugenics. When a society targets a minority population(in this case, gender nonconforming and potentially homosexual future-adults) and then sterilizes them, that is eugenics. It reminds me of Nazi eugenics where the goal is to purify and create homogeneity within the culture. But in this case, the rhetoric is cloaked in progressivism instead of hard-right fascism. We cannot have impurities. We cannot have girls running around with short hair developing playground crushes on other girls. Heaven forbid. They might just grow up to be adult women with short hair that develop full-blown attractions to other women.

        The medical community and faux-progressive adults are building an infrastructure for the systematic sterilization and conversion of homosexual and gender-nonconforming children before the kids even understand what is happening. It is also building an infrastructure where the money of this minority group is funneled into the pockets of billionaire pharmaceutical companies. This is no small detail when you consider the historical and ongoing poverty rates of homosexuals and gender nonconforming people. Then consider how the children did not choose that for themselves. Monthly installments of X-thousand dollars was decided for them before they were developmentally capable of consenting to such a decision.

        Some populations of children are sterilized for reasons unrelated to social targeting. The grandchild of my boss has a rare form of aggressive pediatric cancer and has been enduring chemotherapy for a year, and he is now sterile, among other types of organ damage he has faced, but without the chemotherapy he would have been dead already. They are simply prolonging his life for another year or two. It’s an unavoidable tragedy. If they decided not to treat him, he would already be dead. If they decide to treat him, which they are, he will live a bit longer but experience severe organ and reproductive damage.

        To think that some of these gender nonconforming children are going to experience the types of side-effects he has related to their reproductive health, but not because they have an aggressive cancer in their bodies but because their parents and physicians think their personality requires such aggressive medical treatment, is really tragic and cruel beyond imagination.

        You already knew all of this but I’m just getting it off my chest. This entire scenario is just so unjust.

        Liked by 4 people

  5. I have to say, as a gay male, that I think my community bears some responsibility for this. For so long, the gay male community has pushed “feminine” gay men out of the picture. Camp men constantly hear comments like “If I wanted a woman, I’d be straight.” They’re told they’re not desirable as sexual partners. They’re told they don’t belong. We gay men constantly push ourselves to be “masculine” and “straight-acting” in order to fit in, and this is reflected in the larger culture.

    The average gay character on a television show is either a ludicrous camp caricature, meant to be mocked, or a “straight-acting,” sympathetic gay man. “He’s a star athlete! He’s a country music star! You’d never be able to tell!” That’s how it goes. And don’t even get me started on gay pornography, which pushes a hyper-masculine ideal, an ideal that adolescent gay men are exposed to during their most sensitive, formative years. Indeed, many gay male porn stars aren’t gay themselves, but merely “gay for pay.” This further sets up an unattainable but attractive ideal.

    And then there’s the political aspect of the gay rights movement, which has pushed clean, “normal,” white gay men to the forefront in an attempt to gain the sympathy of straight people, pushing out lesbians and camp gay men alike.

    So it’s no wonder why “feminine” or camp gay men and boys start to say they “feel like women.” We’ve done this to ourselves. I noticed that several alumni of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” — fabulous, creative gay men — now identify as transgender. If Quentin Crisp were alive today, would he be considered trans? Some silly, made-up “nonbinary” gender?

    We’re erasing a generation of beautiful, creative gay men, and I think we largely have ourselves to blame. Amazing article. Well-written. Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. “They are shown sitting in a circle and discussing their fears about their kids. The health effects of medical transition, future sterility”

    The parents already set the path for their sons: They WILL become sterile, Gnrh agonists (aka “puberty blockers”) WILL fuck their health and bodies up. No puberty means no sexual maturation – this means underdeveloped genitals (which means not enough flesh for srs) and no libido in adulthood. It’s a cruel but effective gay reperation therapy.

    These boys don’t know what awaits them. They think they become actual women. And no one tells them the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

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