An LGBTQ Pride summer camp for children was promoted and celebrated as a much-needed “inclusive” space during an NBC segment on Wednesday.
Correspondent Steven Romo appeared on “NBC News Daily” to spotlight the New Country Pride Camp in New York which, according to its website, hosts LGBTQ children between the ages of 5 and 13.
“Summer camp is a time for kids to make lifelong memories and that is exactly what New York’s New Country Pride camp says that it does all while aiming to also be inclusive,” co-anchor Kate Snow said to introduce the segment.
“Parents and organizers agree that it is much-needed, a place where these kids can not just be tolerated but celebrated,” Romo explained.
The segment then showed clips of LGBTQ kids and counselors at the camp taking part in various activities including what appears to be drag makeup lessons.
“They help show the kids the joy and connection of being in the queer community,” Romo said in a voiceover.
Director Lonnie Ginsberg and Assistant Director Rachel Feldman also spoke with Romo about the importance of the camp, particularly for trans kids.
“I have these trans kids come up to me and say, ‘Are kids going to use my pronouns in middle school?’…It’s tough to see them recognize that school is not going to be the same as Pride Camp,” Feldman said.
Ginsberg commented, “If this camp existed when I was younger, I would be a very different person. I think my internalized homophobia would be much less.”
“When kids are here in pride camp, they are accepted, and they are part of the group and the hope is they’ll be able to take that sense of belonging outside of these campgrounds,” Romo summarized.
After the news piece, Snow remarked, “I just love that whole idea. They look so happy.”
Romo agreed, noting, “These kids maybe have a better shot at figuring out who they are in the world. So many of us were trying to hide, being gay at the time, so we’re more focused on that, our energies went there, instead of just being a kid and exploring. Really hope that these kids get a better shot at that.”
On the 14th Street Y website, which sponsors the camp, the pride camp is described as “A specialty program of New Country Day Camp (NCDC), New Country Pride Camp (NCPC) is a welcoming, open-tent community of LGBTQ+ young people and staff that celebrates and sustains joyful, outdoor summer experiences where all can thrive.”
The description continued, “We also plan a special daily activity just for Pride campers, which includes discussions, preparation for our special Pride Shabbat, and activities led by guest teachers—community leaders, activists, artists, parents, and others from NYC’s LGBTQ+ community. Bringing successful and passionate LGBTQ+ folks into the camper experience will broaden their view of the incredible diversity of the community and the many ways in which an LGBTQ+ identity can be expressed in society, work, and family.”
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