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A Camp For Boys Who Want To Dress Like Girls: PHOTOS


At a four-day camp for gender nonconforming boys and their parents, young boys get the chance to express themselves free of the gendered restraints that are often imposed upon young children. Photographer Libby Morris has unveiled a new series of photographs that documents life at the camp, entitled, "You Are You." The camp celebrates the boys and provides them and their parents a freedom they might not be able to find elsewhere. Slate reports:

“'[The kids] don’t have to look over their shoulders, and they can let down their guard. Those are four days when none of that matters, and they are surrounded by family members who support them,' Morris said.

Although it is unknown if the kids at the camp will eventually identify as gay or transgender—or even if the way gender and sexuality are defined throughout society will evolve—the camp allows the kids to look at themselves in a completely different way.

'They get enough questioning in their daily lives, so it’s a great place for them to express themselves as they feel. … I feel we hear so many of the sad stories and how LGBT kids are disproportionately affected by bullying, depression, and suicide, and it hangs a heavy cloud over them and kind of dooms them from the beginning. I’m saying this is a new story. This is not a tragedy.'”

Morris hopes to develop her series into a book and exhibition and ultimately create a foundation that would make the camp accessible to children who otherwise might not be able to afford it. She has also expressed interest in following the kids she photographs as they mature:

“I want to witness the evolution, knowing from where they started and see how life is going to play out for them—hopefully happily—and I think they’re going to have a better transition into adulthood than the generation proceeding them.”

Check out a few more images of Morris’ photography AFTER THE JUMP...

(photos: Libby Morris via Slate)




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  1. seems liberating, but let's just be clear: this does NOT mean that these boys should have their puberties stopped and their penises chopped off in six years.

    Posted by: nico | Jul 15, 2013 8:01:08 PM

  2. because they'll probably like their junk at age 25, just saying. They can even still paint their nails.

    Posted by: nico | Jul 15, 2013 8:01:39 PM

  3. I hope there are licensed physiologists to help the parents and kids, this can be really difficult especially the fact that they have to return to the real world. And that can be really hard.

    Posted by: bructer | Jul 15, 2013 8:08:10 PM

  4. You don't want to leave this in the hands of a novice.

    Posted by: bructer | Jul 15, 2013 8:08:51 PM

  5. Wow. If this helps these kids feel happy and wanted then I'm all for it. We are really living in some enlightened times aren't we despite some things in our society that may suggest otherwise.

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Jul 15, 2013 8:20:48 PM

  6. While as a kid (or adult) I have never had that urge, I am elated that kids who do can express it without fear of rejection or ridicule. Kudos to the camp and the parents who love their kids enough to send them.

    Posted by: acorlando | Jul 15, 2013 8:35:39 PM

  7. You go boys!

    Posted by: fanboi | Jul 15, 2013 8:36:52 PM

  8. Sounds like a terrible and confusing idea.

    Posted by: Jerry | Jul 15, 2013 8:41:39 PM

  9. I would not allow my son to attend that Camp. I would have many long father/son talks about gender, sexual orientation and all the issues that face a young boy with gender ID questions. My son would know that I love him and would be with him on his journey to adulthood, but he would not be going to any dress-up camp overseen by counselors who have no vested interest in his long term development.

    Posted by: andrew | Jul 15, 2013 8:52:10 PM

  10. Then, ANDREW (and JERRY), let's hope that you don't have any children since you seem to willing to ignore their needs.

    Posted by: DavidR | Jul 15, 2013 8:54:48 PM

  11. I think it's awesome. Enjoy, kids!!!

    Posted by: fedorajoe | Jul 15, 2013 8:57:40 PM

  12. I did this in the comfort of my mothers walk in closet and bedroom when I was young. I wish I didn't have to have done it in hiding. I'm not a drag queen or consider myself transgendered today.
    I think this is a great idea.

    Posted by: Eric Gonzalez | Jul 15, 2013 9:02:24 PM

  13. I predict that this camp is going to go up in flames to everyone's benefit.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Jul 15, 2013 9:03:28 PM

  14. I read about this on the Slate site & was so disgusted by the transphobic & homophobic comments that I had to close the page. How sad to find the same kind of poison here where at least we should all understand.

    Posted by: Bigg | Jul 15, 2013 9:04:42 PM


    I see the good idea, but I am not crazy about the camp for a few reasons:
    1-- some parents will want to be crusaders like "Amelia", and encourage the kid like pageant moms. After awhile, the kid has no choices, is just trying to please the mom.
    2-- some parents, from Marin County and such, may send boys who have minor or no interest in cross dressing, "for the experience", but those boys may mess it up for the intended group.
    3-- if it REALLY only gets the kids who truly are 100% into dressing cross, OK, but a kid who is 60% or 71%, etc, may feel he has to conform

    Posted by: Bob | Jul 15, 2013 9:17:31 PM

  16. It's just clothes. What the f**k is wrong with Americans? Get over it.

    Posted by: sundayboys | Jul 15, 2013 9:19:33 PM

  17. What's with all the hate? As the gender non-conforming son of some friends said to me, "It's very hard to be a boy who dresses like a girl." We (the LGBT community) don't need to make it harder on these kids by joining in with the heteronormitivists with the judgementalism.

    Posted by: kit | Jul 15, 2013 9:46:06 PM


    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jul 15, 2013 9:58:29 PM

  19. It is hard to think these courageous, innocent children will have a tough road ahead. I wish them all the best.

    Posted by: Jay | Jul 15, 2013 10:12:08 PM

  20. @JERRY While I see where you're coming from. I would think these kids and their parents arrive at that camp after they shown themselves to be non-conformant to their gender identity.

    Posted by: Jay | Jul 15, 2013 10:26:18 PM

  21. Surprise....lots of transphobic comments here!

    This is seems very enlightened and a good, beneficial thing to do.

    Posted by: zeddy | Jul 15, 2013 10:29:03 PM

  22. These boys are happy. These boys can be themselves around others of their age who are like them. They are surrounded by adults, their parents, who love and support them. I love it. At the very least, these boys have something to look forward to every year. So it's definitely a good thing and something that should be fully supported.

    Also: Ignore the few negative comments, most of the comments are positive. Focus on the positive and ignore the rest, who aren't deserving, quite frankly, of a response.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Jul 15, 2013 11:38:06 PM

  23. My little nephews loves leather and chiffon and I try to provide him with outfits incorporating these materials and to give him as much support as possible. I don't want him to gtow up with ANY restraints or restrictions.

    Posted by: will | Jul 16, 2013 12:21:20 AM

  24. Those kids better werk!!!!

    Posted by: kodiak | Jul 16, 2013 12:31:23 AM

  25. DavidR: To some degree, parenting is about being willing to ignore their needs. Well, rather, wants.

    Love, vitamins, minerals, protein, and a roof over your head with heat in the winter are needs. Playing princess or in my case as a child eating nothing but chocolate ice cream and chocolate cake with lots of chocolate frosting (eaten after the cake part by itself with more chocolate ice cream) was a want. Wisely, my parents ignored that want.

    Speaking of camp (the usual kind), I wanted more than anything to leave immediately the first day. That was a want, although of course to me it was clearly a need. It was ignored. As it turned out I was wrong.

    Posted by: emjayay | Jul 16, 2013 12:47:44 AM

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