Alex from Camp Aranu'tiq (Camp Aranu'tiq)

Watch these amazing kids perform a rap about transgender acceptance

Alex's rhyme says it all: "Please treat everyone the way you expect. We all deserve freedom love and respect"


Sarah Gray
November 6, 2014 4:53PM (UTC)

This week a video cropped up on the Internet from the non-profit organization Camp Aranu'tiq, which serves transgender and variant gender youth. And it is wonderful.

The video is of Alex rapping about the moment he told his mother that he was transgender, and it is a beautiful message of acceptance. It is not solely the message that is important -- and don't get me wrong Alex's rhyme is beyond measure -- but also where it came from: Camp Aranu'tiq, which according to its motto provides a safe space for transgender youth.

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Transgender and gender variant youth still face enormously high rates of bullying, sexual harassment, violence, job discrimination and homelessness. Somewhere between one third and one half on transgender youth will attempt suicide, according to stats from Drag It Out and Youth Suicide Prevention Program.

"We have young kids who are experiencing suicides at a ridiculous rate compared to their peers," said Erin Drinkwater, Executive Director of the Brooklyn Community Pride Center, in an interview last year. "We have transgender individuals across the age spectrum who are being told they can’t be educated an their school. They’re being kicked out of their school for wanting to use their gender-presenting bathroom."

We need more understanding, acceptance and support for the transgender community. We need more resources and safe spaces for these kids. We must do better. But don't take my word for it, let Alex's incredible performance inspire you. In his words: "Please treat everyone the way you expect. We all deserve freedom love and respect."

Watch the video below, provided with permission from Camp Aranu'tiq:


Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email sgray@salon.com.

MORE FROM Sarah Gray

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Camp Aranu’tiq Children Kids Lgbtq Righgts Rap Rights Trans Transgender Video

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