By Parke, Operations Manager at Greenscape Design & Decor
I recently volunteered at OUTdoors camp in Phoenix, Arizona, a camp that is dedicated to helping Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) youth develop leadership skills, work in collaborative ways, and develop a strong sense of self and community!
At this camp, I volunteered to teach workshops on becoming a Drag King and covered topics on the history of drag kings, performance tips & style, character development, costuming, picking a name, song choice and other topics including applying a beard, binding and other tools of gender illusion. I was also part of the Entertainment Troupe, which meant many many MANY costume changes throughout the weekend!
The camp offered an array of workshops and activities that were lead by an incredible and talented group of volunteers ranging in professions. I was not only impressed by the kindness and dedication of the volunteers, but also the strength and gratefulness of the youth that attended this camp.
Although I found my experience at camp emotionally overwhelming, I also came out of this experience feeling extremely lucky to be apart of such an amazing experience, as well as being extremely inspired by the LGBTQ youth that will become our future leaders.
Overall, I am truly thankful that I live in a city and work for a company like Greenscape where I can be myself and am supported and not persecuted for who I love and how I identify.