UBC advertises summer drag classes for youth on remote island

The campers will be shown how to bring 'their drag creatures to life and become part of my drag-chosen family,' writes Daniel Gallardo, who helps run the group.

UBC advertises summer drag classes for youth on remote island
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The University of British Columbia is offering a summer camp for "queer, trans, Two-Spirit, questioning, and allied (2S/LGBTQ+) youth from across B.C. and Yukon" to help "young people" explore their identities. The camp will take place on a remote island.

In a post to UBC's website, the ad for "CampOUT!'s drag workshops" calls on youth aged 14 to 21 to sign up. It is run by a doctoral student, Daniel Gallardo, who apparently uses they/them pronouns.

"At CampOUT!’s drag workshops, I adapt my academic work to teach young people how to explore identity and what it means to be human. We start with ‘quick drag’, an exercise to help gain self-confidence," the ad begins.

It continues, "Here, they have five minutes to grab items from the dress-up area and apply some makeup like eyeshadows and glitter. Then, we experiment with different types of movement: walking the runway, pretending to be an animal outside or an alien from outer space."

"And then we work on a drag name. Sometimes campers know immediately what their name is, while others take time. Some of my drag children are TBAs, and that’s OK."

The ad then explains that teens will be shown how to properly use make-up, which will then become "like a makeup studio with a queer community painting each other and having fun."

The campers will then bring "their drag creatures to life and become part of my drag-chosen family."

CampOUT! has been running since 2009 and is a collective of 2S/LGBTQ+ people to "learn about decolonizing, anti-racist and disability justice approaches to education," the statement reads.

"We’ll pack a boat with boxes of materials and head off to the island to help 65 young people build leadership skills and self-esteem, foster hope and resilience, and connect them with community to support their well-being. This year we celebrate our 15th year and welcome our 1,000th camper," the statement reads.

"When I came back from camp last year, I cried for hours because, as volunteers," Gallardo writes, "we also dreamed about a place like this when we were young. I witnessed campers gain networks of support and heal from wounds they never should have suffered. I left camp with my heart, body, mind, and soul completely full of the most fabulous memories. Words aren’t enough to explain the TRANSformative intergenerational love felt at CampOUT!"

The group is funded by donations.

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