Children come from all over the world to attend Rainbow Day Camp in El Cerrito, California.
They come to this San Francisco Bay-area day camp from Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and even Africa. Parents are drawn to it because it's a place where their children can be themselves. In particular, their children can be whatever gender they think they are.
Rainbow Day Camp is designed specifically for transgender and "gender fluid" children ages 4 to 12, making it one of the only camps of its kind open to preschoolers.
Since the camp opened three summers ago, enrollment has tripled to about 60. The skyrocketing interest has organizers planning to open a branch in Colorado next summer, and parents and organizations in Seattle, Atlanta, Louisiana and elsewhere have contacted the camp about setting up similar programs.
Each morning at check-in, campers make a nametag with their pronoun of choice, where it's "he," "she," "he/she," "they," something else or no pronoun at all. Some children change their name or pronouns each day as if changing shirts to find the one that feels most comfortable.
The Associated Press quoted Molly Maxwell, mother of a 6-year-old boy now participating in camp as Gracie.
"Once she could talk, I don't remember a time when she didn't say, ‘I'm a girl.' Then it grew in intensity: ‘I'm a sister. I'm a daughter. I'm a princess,' We would argue with her. She was confused. We were confused," Maxwell said.
So the Maxwells acquiesced to their child at the age of 4, finding a transgender play group and letting Gracie grow her hair, dress as a girl and change her name.
"I see her now, compared to before. I watch her strut around and dance and sing and the way she talks about herself. If she was forced to be someone else," Molly Maxwell said, trailing off, "I don't even want to think about that."
Specialists say the camp is merely a reflection of a nationwide trend: More and more children are coming out as transgender at a young age. One of the reasons is more parents are paying attention when their children express confusion about their gender.
The AP quoted camp founder Sandra Collins: "I didn't know you could be transgender at a very young age. But my daughter knew for sure at two."
Award-winning journalist and columnist David Kupelian, who serves as WND's vice president and managing editor, said children who believe they are the opposite gender are usually just going through a phase.
"It's indisputable – and multiple peer-reviewed studies prove this – that the vast majority of children who experience gender confusion in their early years will totally outgrow it by late adolescence and develop just fine in accord with their immutable biology and genetics," asserted Kupelian, author of "The Snapping of the American Mind." "In other words, boys will grow up to become men, and girls will grow up to become women, even if they went through a phase of strongly identifying with the opposite sex.
Kupelian noted the former top psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Paul R. McHugh, M.D., confirms this, saying, "When children who reported transgender feelings were tracked without medical or surgical treatment at both Vanderbilt University and London's Portman Clinic, 70 to 80 percent of them spontaneously lost those feelings."
Studies show transgender adults suffer from higher rates of suicide and depression than the general population. This leads Kupelian to ask why so many parents, along with the LGBT movement and seemingly the entire Democratic Party, push children toward a gender transition when the feelings they are experiencing now will likely go away in time.
"Little children are wonderful, innocent and even brilliant in many ways, but they don't know a whole lot and have a tenuous relationship with reality at so tender a young age," Kupelian said.
"The line between reality and imagination is not yet solid, and they need parents to lovingly establish those boundaries between reality and fantasy," he said. "A little boy's idea that he is a girl, or can become a girl, is a fantasy, not reality. Instead of encouraging our children toward a lifetime of conflict, confusion and misery, we would do much better just to be calm, stable parents and patiently wait for our kids to naturally outgrow what is almost always a temporary phase, so they can mature into the beautiful people they were created to be."
Michael Brown, president of FIRE School of Ministry, said he doesn't think it's good for society when more and more children are concerned about their gender identity.
"I read an article in which specialists in the field were speculating as to why there was a threefold spike in kids going to clinics to help with gender issues," Brown told WND.
"The specialists suggested that part of this was due to transgender messaging in the schools, which adds to the children's confusion. How many girls who are tomboys will become convinced that they're really boys, leading them down a dangerous path? And why make gender distinctions into some kind of antiquated concept, an enemy to be resisted? As I argued in my book ‘Outlasting the Gay Revolution,' we play with these things at our own societal risk."
Brown, a WND columnist, said his hope for outlasting the "gay revolution" ultimately rests in God, not people, and he is looking to God for a gospel-based moral and cultural revolution no matter how far society falls.
"I do have compassion on kids who struggle with their gender identity," Brown said. "But I honestly believe that LGBT activists will overplay their hand, and that's what we see happening now, as the same society that so easily embraced homosexual activism is having a pause (and even pushback) when it comes to transgender activism."
Today, many experts at gender clinics take a "gender affirmative" approach with their child patients, focusing on helping transgender children to live as the gender they identify with until they're old enough to decide whether they want to pursue medical options such as puberty blockers or hormone treatments.
Scarlett Reinhold, the 9-year-old transgender child of camp director Sandra Collins, was quoted as saying, "I feel comfortable for being who I am and who I want to be."
Scarlett was born a boy but now believes he is a girl.
International journalist and educator Alex Newman believes the gender confusion among children is a natural outgrowth of an American education system that has gone off the rails.
"This is an extraordinarily sad development," Newman told WND. "But as [Samuel Blumenfeld and I] show in ‘Crimes of the Educators,' after so many generations of having government schools dumb down and indoctrinate children, it was to be expected. In fact, this is the obvious and inevitable fruit of brainwashing public school kids into the religion of secular humanism.
"This self-evidently false faith denies even the very existence of the Creator, thereby denying the existence of objective truth, either in morals, biology, or anything else," he said. "And yet, in a seeming contradiction, this false religion is taught as truth in every government school in America under the guise of secularism and even ‘science,' while merely mentioning God is enough to bring down the wrath of the lawless federal courts. That is why we have explosive growth in gender confusion among children."