You Are You documents an annual weekend summer camp for gender- nonconforming children and their families. This camp offers a temporary safe haven where children can freely express their interpretations of gender alongside their parents and siblings without feeling the need to look over their shoulders.
In 2007 I started attending camp with a family member. It was with a great deal of courage in 2012, that the camp parents and children agreed to have selected images published as the cover story of the New York Times Magazine. This started what we all agreed was a very important and timely dialogue in a public forum. Since then this story has been published in France, Italy, Germany, Israel, Australia and Eastern Europe, demonstrating a common global interest in the predicament of gender independent youth.
By sharing this unique story, I intend to reach beyond the confines of the camp to contribute to a dialogue about the crucial role that support plays in the lives of gender-nonconforming children. A lack of understanding of gender identity and the ways in which these children express themselves often leads to discrimination. Through these images the viewer will experience something different; a groundbreaking, heart-opening place that serves as the backdrop for this important moment in history. Where the first gender creative childhood is being freely expressed.
The children pictured are participating in the annual conference, Gender Conference East in support and celebration of their gender nonconformity. Parents select from an expansive list of workshops to attend while the children recreate and revisit old friends and form new bonds. Several of the children in attendance partake in Camp You Are You