Bella English of The Boston Globe has written a lovely story about a camp for transgender children.
In August 2010, [Camp Aranu’tiq] opened its doors to 41 children, ages 8 to 15, most of them from New England. This year, in July, Teich opened a branch in California; 36 kids enrolled. At both camps, he sees joy in the campers’ faces and hears relief in their parents’ refrain: “I never thought my kid would be able to go to camp.”
Society has long stigmatized transgenderism; it is included in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — though many physicians and psychologists disagree with that designation.
“People demonize these kids,” said Teich. “But this is who they are. The other choice for many of them is going to be suicide.”
Most of the campers are on medication for anxiety and depression, he said, and “100 percent are bullied back home.” According to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, nearly half of transgender youth have seriously contemplated suicide, and one quarter report having made an attempt.