Thursday, November 9th, 2023

Queergruru’s Jose Mayorga reviews Summer Qamp a camp in rural Alberta, queer, non-binary, trans teens get to just be kids in a supportive space.


Directed by Jen Markowitz with the support of Canada Media Fund, the documentary is a celebration of queerness in film that takes place on territories in South Alberta, where mother nature reigns.  For the participants, the Summer activity is a memory for the rest of their lives.

The campus welcomes guests for a few days during which they find a gathering of affinities, most of the participants have two identities and use two names in their daily activities, hiding their true selves.  At the place they have complete freedom to come as they are, a camp director and an artist in residence are in charge. There are workshops, outdoor activities (sports and horse petting), indoor activities, and even a bonfire (Campfire Fly fire).  The young sharers integrate into a community, in a  space they feel like home, sharing experiences, and stories that allow them to relate to each other since there is a common ground.

By testimonies we learn most of the cool kids on campus hide what they really are, various used to have a bad mental state, and problems with self-hatred, a few wanted to harm themselves, felt isolated, and participated in activities they knew could cause them pain. However, scars on their bodies are a reminder of healing.

For a few days, they are in a place where there are no gender issues or labels and where it is easy to be oneself. There are no judgements due lack of understanding either.  A reunion with the Rainbow Elders Calgary confronts generations of queerness and for the new generation provide advice based on Aristotle:  If you stay honest about the things you want, your life will feel much better”-

Some of the participants will come out to their parents back home.  Qamp gives them the opportunity to be supportive and to provide support, and most importantly, to make friends and endure relationships among equals.


Review by José Mayorga , Guatemala, Central America lawyer and notary public, visual artist, and editor of El Azar Cultural, lives and works in Guatemala City. Cinema lover, curious about the possibilities life brings and eager to live the experience.

Posted by queerguru  at  09:40

Genres:  documentary, genderqueer, trans

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