CAMP OUT: A Camp For LGBTQI Teens To Rock Out In Solidarity
Imagine if you’d had access to such a rad initiative when you were a baby lez!
Via Camp Out
As we’re sure most of our readers know, growing up an LGBTI identifying or questioning kid can be incredibly difficult. Alongside all the usual teen angst, you’ve got to deal with the fact that a normative hetero lifestyle just isn’t what you’re into – what you’re into is a little more, how should we say it… QUEER AF?
This will inevitably be emotionally confusing, and psychologically it does take its toll. Even if you’re lucky enough to avoid the taunts and cruelty of outright homophobic bullying, our society simply does not do enough to support queer kids. Heterosexuality is the presumed standard, and any deviation from that is at best noticed and commented on, and at worst harnessed as justification for subjugation.
However, a cool thing about being queer is that you are literally never alone. You join a big, global family of queer sisters and brothers who will understand you, support you, mentor you and look out for you. We’ve got your back.
Case in point is CAMP OUT.
CAMP OUT is a camp for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, sex and/or gender diverse teens aged 13 to 17, and boy are we jealous that it wasn’t around when we were teenagers.
Taking place in Newcastle (but open to all), and formed by a collective of dedicated queer folks in a range of different professions—from queer activists to youth workers to teachers to artists—CAMP OUT offers the chance to attend an away-from-home camp with people who share similar experiences, offering a supportive and safe space to learn and express yourself, an opportunity for capacity building and a fun environment in which to do so.
“Most of all,” say the team, “it's the chance to hang out in a place where you're not judged for who you are, or who you like.”
Inspired by a DIY ethos, there's heaps of art, music, sports, games and other fun stuff happening during camp. But as well as your more typical camp activities, there are open workshops and informal discussions on things like identity & what it means to be LGBTIQ-identified or questioning your gender or sexual orientation, dealing with homophobia & transphobia, coming out in high school, coming out to parents or friends, and how to be an awesome LGBTIQ ally.
More than just the workshops, the chance to spend time and bond with fellow LGBTI teens is unquantifiably beneficial, as is being able to get to know older LGBTI people (the Camp Counselors) who have been through it all, and made it out the other side proud of who they are and who they love.
The Camp runs on donations, as attendees pay however much they are able to afford. If you have some spare cash, we seriously recommend helping these fabulous folks a contribution. And if you want to get involved as a Camp counselor, there is way more information on the website for you!
What a totally rad, empowering, humanity-affirming concept. We love it!