“It kind of just gives me faith that I’m going to be fine.”
Welcome to Queer Radical Days Of Summer, also known as QORDS – a music camp in North Carolina that caters to LGBT youth between the ages of 11 and 17 years old.
The camp provides a safe space for queer and trans kids in a state that’s become known for its anti-trans legislation.
BuzzFeed News spent a week at the camp to find out why spaces like this are so important for LGBT youth.
As soon as they arrived, the kids were given name tags, which allowed them to change their name or pronoun depending on the day.
By day two, the kids formed bands and got to work on their songs, which they would present at the end of the week showcase.
Many of the kids wrote songs about their queer identities and personal experiences with gender and sexuality.
One group, who named their band Transcend, wrote a song about a nonbinary person — something they’d never seen represented in music before.
Another band, Canned Champagne, wrote about their personal experiences with gender and the things people say to trans people.
A third band, Homosexual Agenda, wrote a love song celebrating platonic relationships between queer people.
Many felt like it was refreshing being a part of the majority, and having their experiences and opinions taken seriously.
At the end of the week, the camp came together for a big showcase, where each band had the chance to perform their songs for friends and family.
As camp drew to a close, many of the kids felt like they had made lifelong friends.
One of the kids, Charlie, told BuzzFeed News that they'd keep in touch with each other via a Snapchat group, because, youths.
Many felt like these camps are important for queer kids because they provide a safe space for LGBT youth to express themselves free of judgement.
You can listen to the kids’ songs here.