March 31st marks International Transgender Day of Visibility and we want to celebrate our trans* and gender non-conforming campers, staff, and alumni! At Camp Kintail, we know that each one of us is beloved by God, and we want every child to know and trust that truth. We care deeply about all of our campers, and we want all of them to have the safety, space, and support to be fully themselves.
Over the last number of years, The Presbyterian Church in Canada has been engaged in multiple processes to understand, reflect, and listen to the stories of 2SLGBTQIA+ folks in the church. The Rainbow Communion will be presenting a final report at this year’s General Assembly. As one of the parts of this process, the Rev. Peter Bush, Moderator of the 2017 General Assembly wrote a letter of repentance to 2SLGBTQIA+ people who have been hurt by hypocrisy, homophobia, and transphobia. In part, the letter states: “Families have felt and still feel the church’s expectations to condemn and reject children, siblings, and parents who do not look, act or speak in ways congruent with the restrictive gender definitions of the church and society. Friends feel pressure to break off connections. For the ways our congregations judge and exclude others based on restrictive gender definitions, we are sorry, and we repent.” To learn more about the church’s process, please visit: https://presbyterian.ca/sexuality/
At Camp Kintail, we are learning and growing. As Maya Angelou said, ” Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” Two years ago, the Camp Board created and approved a policy called Welcoming Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Campers, Guests, and Staff.
This policy will continue to evolve through consultation with families, campers, guests, staff, and alumni to create a welcoming environment at Camp Kintail. Please reach out to me with any questions or concerns.
We love crowded tables full of laughter and stories, truth-telling and questions at Camp Kintail. By sitting at table together, by breaking bread together, by gathering and sharing life together, God’s love and grace become more visible. To our trans* friends: your visibility matters, the Kintail table would not be complete without your presence.
Rev. Theresa McDonald-Lee