Rainbow Day Camp in El Cerrito, California, is a day camp that caters to transgender children ranging in age from 4 to 12 years old.
Reported by the Associated Press, Rainbow Day Camp boasts the freedom to allow attending children to choose their own pronoun: “he,” “she,” or even “they.”
According to the AP, some of the children “change their name or pronouns daily, to see what feels right.”
Opening its doors to transgender and “gender fluid” children, the San Francisco Bay Area day camp boasts that it’s one of a kind the world over.
Opened three summers ago, the camp has seen astronomical success, tripling enrollment over the last three years. It is reported that the success of the camp is so broad that other satellite locations are being considered in Louisiana, Georgia, Colorado, and Washington state.
The AP interviewed a 6-year-old girl’s mother, and she told them her daughter’s story of budding awareness. The 6-year-old was biologically born a boy, but the child’s mother claimed that she didn’t remember a time when her child identified as anything but a female.
“Once she could talk, I don’t remember a time when she didn’t say, ‘I’m a girl,'” the mother revealed. “Then it grew in intensity: ‘I’m a sister. I’m a daughter. I’m a princess.’ We would argue with her. She was confused. We were confused.”
The girl’s mother claimed that prior to sending her daughter to Rainbow Day Camp, she and her family sought fellow supporters within the LGBTQ community, and “sought specialists” to determine the best course of treatment for her daughter.
The young girl — at 4 years old — was allowed to grow out her hair, dress as a little girl, and change her name.
Camp founder Sandra Collins — who was candid with the AP and told them that her own daughter realized her gender identity at the age of 2 — claimed that the normalization of LGBTQ children will eventually render the camp not as innovative as it is now.
“A decade ago, this camp wouldn’t have existed. Eventually, I do believe, it won’t be so innovative,” Collins said. “I didn’t know you could be transgender at a very young age. But my daughter knew for sure at 2.”
“A lot of these kids have been bullied and had trauma at school,” Collins added. “This is a world where none of that exists and they’re in the majority. That’s a new experience for kids who are used to hiding and feeling small.”
Camp director Andrew Kramer told the AP that his aim is to “show these kids what a confident, happy, successful trans person looks like.”
“We teach them they are normal, deserving of love, and not alone,” he said.