Christian leaders say a camp encouraging boys to act and dress like girls is "unnatural," "horrifying," and restrictive to young boys, taking away their freedom of expression at a young age.
For the last three years, a boy's camp has featured makeup classes, flower hair decorations, and a beauty pageant. Camp "You Are You," an annual weekend family camp, caters to "gender non-conforming and transgender biological boys," according to photographer Lindsay Morris, who published shots of these activities on her website.
She praises the camp as "a temporary safe haven where gender-variant boys can freely express their interpretations of femininity alongside their parents and siblings."
But Christian leaders disagree, saying the camp might even be forcing these children down an unnatural path.
"There is a risk of locking children into a life course, which, if they had been left to develop naturally, they would have outgrown," warned Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council in Washington D.C., in an interview with the Christian Post Tuesday.
Sprigg argued that teaching kids they have to identify with their "sexual orientation" or "sexual identity" could "lock" them in a phase. "You'll have children who are going through natural periods of confusion and experimentation with their sexuality and all of a sudden you have adults telling them, this means you're gay, you were born gay, you will never change," he said.
"This project documents the experience of gender non-conforming and transgender biological boys at an annual weekend family camp. 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. Here they can be true to their inner nature without feeling the need to look over their shoulders. "