Yearly residential programme run by Gendered Intelligence seeks crowdfunding to address need.
As summer approaches and the weather heats up in Britain, summer residentials are kicking off. Usually these programs for children are segregated by sex, putting transgender youth in awkward positions and limited options for social interaction during the season.
Gendered Intelligence, a community interest company that supports trans youth, attempts to combat this every summer with a trans youth residential. The programme includes everything from kayaking to raft building as well as informal games and social interacting that help trans youth gain important personal and outdoor skills. The residential provides a safe space for all gender identities expressed by youth.
But, as with most activities, running residentials is costly and homelessness and poverty remains a frequent issue for LGBT communities, especially transgender people. According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey in the US, trans people were twice as likely to be unemployed and one in five reported being homeless at some point in their lives. Providing resources and safe spaces for trans people that are affordable is critical, especially for youth.
For this reason, Gendered Intelligence seeks donations to support this August’s camping residential. Previous residentials have seen 15-20 trans youth attending and with a cost at £300 a head. This year they have 20 signed up and 10 on the waiting list. To support and cover all of the youth, GI needs £5,000 in donations.
“Our summer residential really gives our young trans members a safe space to be themselves and a chance to have a positive experience with other trans youth, to make new friends and to strengthen old ones. Come rain or shine the most fun will be had cooking over an open fire, having heart to hearts, laughing and bonding. It just may be that this quite simple opportunity for our young people could actually be life changing,” said Jay Stewart, co-founder of Gendered Intelligence.
Though many of the youth can’t share their names, many of them report positive experiences: “I really enjoyed being part of this physical project. I most enjoyed the swimming session. I can’t swim but the instructor gave me a lot of attention and said that I had potential, which was really encouraging.”