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New ‘Gay Men Only’ Campground Faces Backlash After Banning Trans Men

Male Camper Sits by Cooking Fire

The owner now promises no penis checks, but some gay men are already cancelling their memberships in solidarity with trans men.

The owner of a private campground in Michigan catering exclusively to gay men caused controversy when he declared the property will ban transgender men when they officially open later this year. Brian Quinn posted to Facebook that the membership-only Camp Boomerang RV Park and Campground in Orleans about 50 miles northwest of Lansing will only admit entry to men presenting as male and bearing a penis along with a state-issued identification listing their gender as male, although he later confirmed that no penis checks will be conducted prior to entry.

“Camp Boomerang is a private, membership-only RV park / campground that allows only guys,” Quinn posted to the now private Camp Boomerang Facebook page. “A guy in terms of this discussion is defined as a person with a penis, presents himself as male, and has a state-issued ID that says male.”

Brian Quinn Facebook commentsQuinn went on to note the policy “may not make everyone happy” while expressing the hope that “everyone who visits Camp Boomerang enjoys a comfortable, safe, non-confrontation environment going forward,” noting that their status as a private, members only campground allows the park to “build a like-minded atmosphere” by exclusing trans men.

Brian Quinn Facebook comments

The new policy was met with quick criticism and derision. One commenter inquired whether penis checks would be conducted before gaining entry to Camp Boomerang. Quinn promised no penis checks but then went on to say “if we let women that act like men in, and they go naked at the pool, THAT’S when it’s obvious that there’s not a penis.” He apologized for speaking “bluntly, but if you don’t like the rules, quietly leave.”

Some campers are doing just that. Michael Champagne told Pride Source he and his boyfriend just bought an RV and had been planning on purchasing a seasonal membership at Camp Boomerang, but are now having second thoughts and and describing Quinn’s “women who act like men” comment as the “nail in the coffin” for the pair’s decision.

“They are blatantly uneducated and arrogant and assuming of what it means to be a trans person,” Champagne said. “It is hate speech period. It is discrimination period. It’s all of those things that I don’t want to associate with.”

Santiago Moreno, a trans man, told Pride Source he thought the policy was “garbage” and noted it only helped reinforce the feeling amongst the trans community that they are not always welcome in the broader LGBTQ+ community.

“It goes back to the toxic gay culture ways, of them thinking their sexuality is solely based off of a penis,” Moreno explained. He added he’s dealt with this type “shame and toxicity” for the “entire eight years” of his transition. “It was a huge culture shock to me coming from the lesbian culture side of things. They are trying to regulate their space based off of genitals. That’s crazy.”

The Camp Boomerang Facebook page is no longer available for viewing, and it remains unclear whether the campground will open in the spring as planned.

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Donald Padgett

Managing Editor at OutTraveler. Also write for Out, The Advocate, and Plus magazines.

Managing Editor at OutTraveler. Also write for Out, The Advocate, and Plus magazines.