The Ann Arbor YMCA’s summer camp will now offer gender-neutral housing at Camp Al-Gon-Quian, located on Burt Lake in Northern Michigan. Campers can already self-choose a cabin that matches their gender identity. But now, campers who don’t identify specifically with either gender have a place in which they don’t have to choose.
“At the Ann Arbor YMCA, we strive to be a welcoming and inclusive nonprofit organization for the LGBTQ Community and to give youth a voice in the types of programs and services we offer,” Tony Kayumi, the Ann Arbor YMCA’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “We want individuals to know they can be their authentic selves at Camp AGQ and all of our sites.”
Roz Keith, founder and executive director of Stand with Trans, said the decision was a good move.
“It’s a big step toward inclusivity,” Keith said. “For non-binary youth, it is a solution where they will feel most comfortable. Having to choose male or female bathrooms or housing puts anyone who is gender non-conforming in a situation that doesn’t fit who they are. If they don’t identify with a binary gender, they need the opportunity to access space that accommodates their identity.”
Registration is already available for camp sessions for this coming summer for YMCA members, returning campers and alumni. General registration opens Tuesday, Jan 11. Camp is designed for campers ages 8-16. For more information or to register, visit their website.