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A camp where transgender kids can be themselves

A camp where transgender kids can be themselves

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.

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Peter in Buenos Aires

This is truly remarkable news and one hopes such camps and similar offerings can continue to be organized.

And I, at least, hope that eventually society would grow to the point of not needing such resources, but for sure at the present time they must be invaluable to those taking part in them.

I look for the day when all God’s chillin’s will be able to go to the same camp and enjoy both the camp and each other’s company.

I know it’s a long shot, but it has to be the target, I think.

Thanks go to all those who have originated these camps and who are working on behalf of transgendered children!

Peter in Buenos Aires – please sign your name when you comment — thanks. ~ed.

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