A controversial family camp for boys who wish to identify as girls is generating discussion as it was recently discovered documented in an online photo album.
Photographer Lindsay Morris, whose website covers a variety of photo shoots and subject matter, has caught the attention of a number of outlets in recent days in regard to a collection of photos entitled “You Are You.”
“This project documents the experience of gender non-conforming and transgender biological boys at an annual weekend family camp,” she outlines on the site. “Camp You Are You (whose name has been changed to protect the privacy of the participants) offers a temporary safe haven where gender-variant boys can freely express their interpretations of femininity alongside their parents and siblings.”
“These images represent the spirit of the children as they shine in an atmosphere of support,” the description continues. “Here they can be true to their inner nature without feeling the need to look over their shoulder.”
The photos show young boys, from elementary school age to high schoolers, engaging in a variety of female activities, such as picking flowers, playing with Barbie dolls, or putting on make-up. Many of the boys are also donned in skirts or dresses, and a number of them sport long, feminine hair and high heels.
One photo also captures a snapshot of a fashion show, where a young blonde-haired boy walks the candle-lined runway wearing a flowing pink and mint green dress, and a large pink hair accessory. The room is filled with onlookers–including the parents of the children–who clap and smile as the boy struts in front of the audience, all the while carrying a hot pink purse.
“Some practice for the talent show all year, and others create their own gowns with their mothers or friends of the family,” Morris told Slate, who noted that the photographer has been following the camp for three years. “The focus and enthusiasm is really pretty incredible. Also, it can be very emotional for the parents, especially the families who are new to camp and are experiencing this kind of group acceptance for the very first time.”
Reaction to the camp since Morris’ photo album has come to light has been mixed.
“I think this camp is incredible and these parents are fantastic for being so supportive,” one reader wrote. “The clothes you wear or the gender-stereotyped activities you like to do don’t affect your sexual orientation or your gender identity. If that were the case, all boys who like having long hair and enjoy baking would be women, and all girls who prefer jeans and love sports would be men — and that’s obviously absurd.”
“I would never send my child to a place like this,” another stated. “The Bible says we are to raise up a child in the way he/she should go and they will not depart from it. Children should not be exposed to sin or told that this is ok in any fashion.”
The name and location of the camp has not been revealed.
Photo: Lindsay Morris