As every camp enthusiast knows, a “camp wrist” is necessary for the summer.
When I was at camp this past summer, I brought bracelet-making beads for me and my bunk to enjoy in our down time.
One day, my friend and I were deciding on what colors to make our matching bracelets, and they suggested we do a rainbow pattern. The two of us were the first kids in our bunk to come out as queer a few years ago, which deeply bonded us, and now we are very close.
We enjoyed our rainbow bracelets and continued on. Another bunkmate saw the bracelets and asked if she could have one as well.
Soon, I was making pride bracelets left and right for various people at camp, such as my brother, campers from ages 10 to 17, and counselors! By the end of the summer, around 20 people had matching rainbow bracelets.
These bracelets served as a reminder of the other queer people at camp and created a loving and supportive community. In years past, the queer community at my camp was not very outspoken and was looked down upon by various campers and staff. While it was still very hard to be queer at my camp, the bracelets helped me remember as a reminder of the people who had my back and were going through the same struggles as me.
I became friends with people who I never would have talked to otherwise, many of whom I am now close friends with. I still wear my bracelet and smile when I remember the people who have the same one.
I am so grateful for how being queer brought us together and so proud of the connections we’ve made.