LGBTQ issues have, and will, continue to be incredibly important to me as a queer person and Black Heart Creatives. At times it feels like I have supplied the entire London Queer scene with jewellery at some point or another(!) and I have been so grateful to have the support from such a large community to grow my business in return. So when Gendered Intelligence contacted me about their Crowd Fund project to send 70 transgender and gender variant young people on a camping trip next month I was more than happy to get
In 2010, Gendered Intelligence took a chance on arranging a short summer camping residential for a handful of young trans people. It was so successful that they have done it every year since. This year, GI is taking 70 young people camping over two weekends – the biggest number yet and a massive undertaking for the organisation. The camping trip attempts to solve some of the problems that young trans people face if they want to go away on conventional camping or activity holidays. As the majority of summer residentials are segregated by gender, they can prove anxiety-provoking for young trans people, especially those who identify as non-binary.
Research Indicates That: 91% of trans boys and 66% of trans girls experience harassment or bullying at school (EHRC) 72% young trans people self-harm (Youth Chances, 2013) 31% of trans people attempt suicide and 73% experience harassment (Engendered Penalties, 2007) 81% say they avoid some situations in public spaces due to fear (Trans Mental Health Study 2012)
So you can see that attending the camping trip can make a massive difference to a young person's life. It's also a chance to learn new skills such as kayaking and raft-building, to go swimming – an activity which is generally unavailable to young trans people – and make new friends. The camping trip gives young people respite from the challenges that they face in their everyday lives. It can be a huge relief to be able to have fun in a safe environment. Many young trans people feel isolated and vulnerable, typically suffering inequality and discrimination across society.
The response to this year’s camping trip call out was phenomenal – GI received 134 applications, almost double to the number of places available. But to make this years trip happen, Gendered Intelligence require £12000, they have reached just over £7200 of their target.To help them get there, we have donated a one off exclusive giant glitter gold lip necklace. We won't be making one of these again and the only way you can get your hands on it, is to pledge on the crowd funding site here! The necklace is a statement piece measuring up at approximately 13x9cm and comes with its own presentation and storage box.
Here are some comments from previous camping trips from attendees, to me they really show the impact of how important they are to young trans people.
"The best thing about GI camping trips is that everyone gets to relax and be themselves. We create our own community, respect and look after each other without having to worry about what the rest of the world thinks" – Jake, camp worker
“A few years ago one of our young members described the camping trip as 'a little bit of paradise'. This has always stayed me - partly because it's wonderful to know that Gendered Intelligence is providing such valuable experiences, but also because it motivates me and the team who are working hard to make society more trans inclusive. Because at the end of the day, going camping should be fun no doubt, but 'paradise'? It points out to me that everyday life for young trans people is generally difficult. So in the meantime - until we make the world more intelligent about gender - let's go camping” – Jay Stewart, director of Gendered Intelligence
"Perhaps the highlight of the year was the Camping Trip. My son did things that he, and I, did not expect him to do, including swimming - something he used to love but had not felt able to do for some time. He spent quality time with his GI friends and made new friends and it was heart-warming to see them return, the bond between them was touching. My son came home tired, dirty, a little smelly, but most importantly, he came home very happy. “– Parent of a 15 year old trans boy
Gendered Intelligence are a a CIC, founded in 2008 who work with the trans community and all those who impact on trans lives; specialise in supporting young trans people 8-25. Their vision is of a world where people are no longer constrained by narrow perceptions and expectations of gender, and where diverse gender expressions are visible and valued. They run regular group sessions in London, Bristol and Leeds for young trans people up to the age of 25, residentials, peer support for parents and carers and special projects. They also Work on one to one mentoring with young trans people from across England in their educational settings, workshops and assemblies for students across all educational sectors, staff training, consultation and policy development
Gendered Intelligence also offer Professional Services such as Trans Awareness and Inclusion training, consultancy work, policy development and a membership scheme, presentations, conferences, panel discussions, lectures and workshops.