Autostraddle’s A-Camp is coming up this May and we’ve got an anonymous donor who wants to see lots of trans women there! If you ask a lot of trans women who’ve attended A-Camp, it can truly be the most affirming queer space they’ve ever encountered. Of course it’s not perfect — no space containing white and/or cis people is, really — but we are working our asses off to make it the best most trans-inclusive environment it can be, and it’s definitely at the very least a nice break from the hellscape of our current world.
Before we get into details, here’s some words from the anonymous donor who wants to send you to A-Camp:
I think that we can all agree that the world we live in is pretty problematic when it comes to tra… well, everything. Relevant to this campership, though, the world isn’t always the the most enjoyable place to be a trans woman in. What I found at A-Camp 6.0 (my first camp), was a group of queers that was strikingly less problematic than I’d encountered anywhere else. I can’t say that it was perfect, but I felt more accepted and free at camp than I did at home; that was nice. By the end, I had made some amazing friends, and went home wishing I could stay.
Yes, problematic things still happened at camp, but I saw an A-Camp staff that cared. I saw A-Camp staff take immediate action to fix problems and issue apologies. I heard conversations about how to be better, to make camp more inclusive, and to make camp a safe space. The active engagement of leadership makes me feel good about future A-Camps, and my continued participation in them.
Here are some quotes from trans women who’ve attended past camps and filled out feedback surveys:
“I loved the intentional efforts I observed by Staffers to create an atmosphere that is truly supportive of trans women like myself. I love the ability to be in a space where we can talk openly about transgender issues, about racism, about ableism. So valuable.”
“I’ve never felt a lower amount of shame about my body than I have felt with my cabin mates. I was able to just be myself and not worry about someone attacking me (verbally or otherwise) for being trans. Just being able to change clothes in the presence of other people without feeling terrified was incredible. For the first time I honestly felt like I was accepted and included.”
“I was concerned about being trans at camp. Sure, the website said camp was trans inclusive, but I’ve been burned by events that claim trans inclusivity before. It’s hard for me to relax while being myself, and feel accepted. I felt more accepted and able to relax while at A-Camp, than I have in trans exclusive/normative spaces. The atmosphere of acceptance, and the feeling I got that being trans wasn’t even a thing I had to care about was amazing. It was made more powerful because it wasn’t a trans normative or exclusive space.”
“Coming from the South it can feel very isolating being queer, especially as a trans woman, and A-Camp made me feel like I belong somewhere for the first time.”
This A-Camp will be from May 18th – May 23rd in Mukwonago, Wisconsin. There’s going to be all sorts of awesome panels, workshops and activities, as well as special guests Gaby Dunn, Mara Wilson, Be Steadwell, Brittani Nichols and Kim Milan. It’s pretty cool: you get to sleep in cabins, enjoy the outdoors, go to dances and spend some absolutely wonderful days with a camp full of other queers.
Here’s a breakdown of the camperships we have available. These are open to trans women and AMAB trans femmes and other nb AMAB people. All camperships include price of admission, and linens and shuttle fee if you need them:
- One campership for a trans woman of color with full travel included
- One campership for a trans woman without travel
- Four camperships for trans women of color with a $100 travel stipend
If you’re interested in entering, please send the following to mey (at) autostraddle (dot) com:
- Your name and a bit about you
- Which campership you’re applying for
- Your favorite thing about Autostraddle
- Why you want to come to camp.
This contest is open for one week, and will end at 11:59 pm Western Time next Monday, February 27th.
If you have already applied for a campership through traditional avenues but haven’t heard back yet, you should definitely still apply for this one! (I know they’ve still got a few more to give out, but you should still apply for this one just in case.)
Before you go! It takes funding to keep this publication by and for queer women and trans people of all genders running every day. And A+ members keep the majority of our site free for everyone. Still, 99.9% of our readers are not members. A+ membership starts at just $4/month. If you’re able to, will you join A+ and keep Autostraddle here and working for everyone?