1. nico says

    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.

  2. bructer says

    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.

  3. Brian in Texas says

    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.

  4. acorlando says

    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.

  5. andrew says

    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.

  6. Eric Gonzalez says

    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.

  7. Bigg says

    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.

  8. Bob says


    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

  9. kit says

    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.

  10. Jay says

    @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.

  11. Francis #1 says

    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.

  12. will says

    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.

  13. emjayay says

    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.

  14. Mitch says

    What will One Million (rounded way up) Moms boycott over this? S’mores?

    I wish all the best for the kids, the parents, and the camp. Ah, that we all had such a safe place to find and/or understand our identities at a young age!

  15. antiracistprofam says

    Well… at least the parents are informed, unlike with too many so-called supportive services for kids and young teens these days. This stuff and the comments approving of it remind me of the sexual sophisticate “Mrs Robinson” [pseudonym] at middle school- a very experienced senior teacher who allowed me to describe all my (straight, but kinky) sexual fantasies to her in explicit detail and offered “non-directive support” with my emotional development through puberty- the sort of “affective education” that produces elitist white liberal San Francisco values proponents- WITHOUT informing my parents. Her reasoning? She believed I and other children should be able to “self-define their experiences in a confidential context” and to heck with parental rights.

    I’m not sure what makes me more sick, this or the 35 LGBT groups composed of a vast majority of white liberals signing up to the Trayvon cause, further deepening an unholy alliance despite extensive resistance from the Black community to this appropriation. I’m all for justice for Trayvon, but not for the hijacking of the Civil Rights Movement by the Michael Moore wing of the Dems, white liberal outside agitators who may love the same sex but hate pro-family African-Americans like Herman Cain, Clarence Thomas, Allen West and Star Parker.

  16. Carter says

    That camp experience sounds amazing and joyful for all who attend. My soul goes out to the organizers because it allows for a child to be a child, and so carefree for a week. Adults don’t let kids know how to do that any more. Peace

  17. Rascal says

    The unsettling part of this for me, at least from the photographs, has nothing to do with gender appropriateness but with AGE appropriateness. This does not appear to be an exercise in boys dressing as little girls but as adult women. Nobody expects little girls to be able to indulge in 4 days of make-up, cocktail dresses, and high-heels. It would be considered a superficial waste of time, not to mention suspect in the values it conveys. How is this different?

  18. Marc says

    Great initiative, whether these boys are just dressing up or questioning their gender! All the negative comments – even here, which is sad – only show the long road ahead before transpeople are fully accepted in our society. We humans are a very complex bunch.

  19. Robert says

    When I was a little kid, I did a fair amount of crossdressing. It started when I was…6? And ended when I was 8. Never had the urge since. I don’t think I needed a camp for this, cuz I did it in front of my parents. If you have supportive parents, I don’t see why you need the camp, but it would have been interesting to talk to other kids about it.

  20. Caliban says

    This would be one of the more difficult things for me to handle as a parent. Not because I’m some sort of gender-Nazi (I’m not), but to find the fine line between supporting a child’s interests and perhaps overly encouraging them, making what might be a temporary interest into a central part of the child’s self-perception and identity. The “Raising My Rainbow” posts on Queerty have really made me question where the line is between accepting gender-nonconforming traits and pushing them, perhaps to feed some needs of your own like, “See how great a mom I am!”

    Because lets face it, being gender variant or transgender is a pretty tough row to hoe. I’d want to support but not create, cast something in stone via overly involved parenting.

    And I’d be every bit as resistant to a daughter who was only interested in the (IMO) more…. frivolous aspects of femininity, decorative but ultimately useless. Fine, you like Barbies and pretty dresses, but you’re STILL going to learn how to change a tire, throw a ball, kill a spider, etc etc.

    It’s interesting to me how much the “Disney Princesses” seem to play a part in the interests of boys who are gender non-conforming. It’s the “girly-girl” feigned helplessness of the “princess” business that really bugs me, no matter the actual gender of the child.

  21. DavidR says

    @ EMJAYJAY: thanks for the lesson, because comparing a child wanting chocolate ice cream to his wanting to explore his gender identity is incredibly helpful.

  22. John says

    If they are transgender, then fine, they should do as they please.

    But I think it is abuse to tell a gay boy that he should dress like a girl. That is homophobia. The presence of this story on Towleroad is implicitly homophobic. Gay boys are boys. They are not girls. If you lie about gay boys and denigrate their masculinity, you are objectively anti-gay.

  23. Kia says

    The sad thing about this is that they spend all their camp time trying to look pretty. Even if their “gender identity” is that of a girl, is that really how a girl should spend her summer? How about learning how to do things other than displaying yourself?

    The other sad thing is that they have no one to look pretty for. There are no boys at that camp. And if there were boys at that camp, they certainly wouldn’t be interested in looking at a bunch of boys in dresses. Are they trying to look pretty for each other? I doubt it. When have you ever heard of a transwoman dating another transwoman? The same aversion applies to transgirls.

    This is the triple tragedy of trans: they spend their lives trying to pursue stereotypical characteristics of the opposite sex, almost always fail at that task, and even when they succeed, find that they have very few candidates for a mate.

  24. says

    Nothing is saying this is for transwomen/transgirls, merely for boys who want to explore their feminine side. And if they do end up identifying as trans? So what? It’s more healthy for them to be able to explore their identity regardless of the outcome.

    Also, Nico, it’s not “getting chopped off.” And if they are trans, there’s a good chance they’ll never like their anatomy. Get over yourself and learn something about trans issues before commenting so ignorantly.

  25. DB says

    The article’s statement “Although it is unknown if the kids at the camp will eventually identify as gay…” is extremely homophobic. We have known since at least the 1970’s that gay boys and men are not somehow less masculine or gender-conforming than heterosexual boys and men. We have fought against this false homophobic stereotype for 50 years; I am disturbed that Towleroad would voice such an idea. I would expect this from the Family Research Council, but not from Towleroad.

  26. says

    DB, what have you got your panties in a twist over?

    stop being upset that their are parents out there who are enlightened enough to allow their children to find out who they are in a non-dogmatic way.

  27. Ofdensen says

    @Kia. Being trans doesn’t mean you are so black and white that if you identify as a trans-woman, that you should only be attracted to a man. In fact I DO know a trans woman who is dating another trans woman. Being transgender is a sexual dysphoria. Meaning they identify themselves as the wrong GENDER. GENDER is what you identify yourself as; it being a male, female, third gender, or all two or three. SEXUALITY is what you are, as a person, finding yourself ATTRACTED to. Trans woman and men can very much be attracted to the OPPOSITE or SAME gender.

  28. one_who_reads says

    How I wish I had this opportunity at age eight. Like Mr Gonzalez, above, I femmed up in my mother’s boudoir and had to hide the fact. Like Emjayay, also above, I never had to deal with the notion of being ostracized and/or beaten or killed for liking, let alone eating, chocolate desserts.

    The best thing about this “camp” camp (ha!) is that whatever a boy’s level of interest, he has a safe space to try it on (also, ha!). He may leave with a newfound passion, or the knowledge that he can do without, now he’s tried. Either way, it’s up to him, and that’s what matters.

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