Summer Camp for free Kids

milkboys Articles 7 Comments

Every summer, Lindsay Morris goes to camp. She sits around a fire roasting marshmallows, she kayaks, she swims. On the last night of a relaxing week, she eagerly awaits what she believes is the camp’s highlight: a spectacular fashion show, where younger attendees strut down the runway sporting a look of their choosing. Kids of both genders zip up silky dresses and rock rainbow-hued gowns.

summer-camp

The camp is for families that teach their children about gender fluidity, allowing them to choose clothes and pastimes based on genuine interest rather than societal expectations.

Morris, a photographer, has acted as the camp’s documentarian for years, hoping to log the friendships formed among campers and moments their parents want to relish. Her images were published byThe New York Times, but she vowed to keep the name of the camp and campers anonymous. “It was through this experience and several others that the parents came to the consensus that only through visibility was the conversation going to move forward,” she said.

Parents play an important role at camp. Here a father helps his son into a dress for the talent show.

A father helps his son into a dress for the talent show.

And move forward it has; the images have been compiled into a book, and will be featured in the artist’s first solo show this month in New York City.

Morris believes introducing children to gender fluidity is essential to raising kids who are open to difference. “Children are affected by anti-gay prejudice and adults have a responsibility to address it,” she says. “They have this innate ability and eagerness to have honest conversations, and when these discussions are presented in a non-judgemental fashion, the children benefit.”

The camp is organized and run by parents who support their children’s exploration of gender fluidity. It provides a haven devoid of the unexpected prejudices that can arise at school and in everyday life outside of the house. And Morris’ images make the laid back air of the camp palpable. In one of her most striking images, a young, blonde boy poses confidently in a halter dress; his stance can’t be described as masculine or feminine, but merely at ease. He gazes at the camera, smirking proudly.

Left: A child shows off his favorite nightgown. Right: Throughout the weekend make-up is applied, removed and reapplied and wardrobe change is constant.

Throughout the weekend make-up is applied, removed and reapplied by the kids and wardrobe change is constant.

“I hope that my images convey a narrative of what support looks like,” Morris says. “How beautiful and freeing and basic it is to be allowed to be one’s self.”

Comments 7

  1. ☞Slightly off topic:
    “Of course, had Alex been a girl who sometimes dressed or played in boyish ways, no e-mail to parents would have been necessary; no one would raise an eyebrow at a girl who likes throwing a football or wearing a Spider-Man T-shirt.”
    (New York Times)

    ❦The disparity is evident such as having girls playing in Boy’s Little League or on a boy’s football team,(a guaranteed right by law) yet heaven forbid any boy asked to play in Girl’s Little League or be in any other girl’s’ groups he would be shunned and bullied by other boys and probably by the girls too. Boys have been forced to have girls on their teams and in their organizations for years now which can change the entire dynamic of their interactions with other boys to say nothing about the special allowances that must be made for the girls,(bathrooms & such). It’s already been seen that boys taught without girls in their class learn better and test higher especially in math.
    Father Flanagan’s Home for Boys created for poor street boys was renamed Boys Town then Girls & Boys Town then finally went back to Boys Town!
    Boy’s Club of America is now called Boy’s & Girl’s Club of America and so on & so on.

    I don’t expect any of this to change but it’s been a bone in my craw for years and I just wanted to throw in my 2¢ so please forgive.

    1. “Father Flanagan’s Home for Boys created for poor street boys was renamed Boys Town then Girls & Boys Town then finally went back to Boys Town! Boy’s Club of America is now called Boy’s & Girl’s Club of America and so on & so on.”

      There’s a [private] school & living Boys Ranch in Texas that had at one time between 350-400 boys (only – only the ‘staff’ had girls in it). Then it reduced the number of boys from 6 room, 6 boys each dormitories down to 2 boys per room and only 4 rooms. Then it became boys & girls (but not co-ed dorms).

      Things changed from the 70s through now because of lawsuits and of course, “political correctness”. (I’m sure the catholic church is a major factor for changes.)

  2. “Her images were published byThe New York Times, but she vowed to keep the name of the camp and campers anonymous.”

    Probably a very good thing. Otherwise there would be protesters the likes of what westboro baptist church does to funerals of military men.

  3. Just mildly curious as to what ages of kids would go to this Summer Camp? Would older teens ( >14 ) need to go to a camp?

      1. “What do you mean by “need” to go to camp?”

        Whatever you want it to mean. That’s why it was presented as a QUESTION … to be answered?

        1. I suppose my point is that I don’t understand the premise of your question. Most kids don’t “need” to go to camp – they want to.

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