The owner of a private campground for gay men in Michigan is drawing the ire of some in the transgender community for barring people without male genitalia from his establishment.
Bryan Quinn, who is co-owner of Camp Boomerang RV Park and Campground in Orleans, Michigan, has not yet opened his campground, but he already stoked backlash over the weekend for posting on the camp’s now-deleted Facebook that his camp is not interested in welcoming biological women, regardless of how they identify.
“Camp Boomerang is a private, membership-only rv park/campground that allows only ‘guys,’” wrote Quinn. “A ‘guy,’ in terms of this discussion, is defined as a person with a penis, [who] presents himself as male and has a state-issued ID that says ‘male.'”
“We understand this statement, unfortunately, may not make everyone happy, but feel it needs to be clarified,” Quinn continued, defending the campground’s decision, as it exists as a “private membership-only entity.”
“It is our hope that everyone who visits Camp Boomerang enjoys a comfortable, safe, non-confrontational environment going forward,” he said. “Being a ‘private membership only’ entity allows us the ability to build a like-minded atmosphere. We don’t mean for this to come off as a ‘like it or leave it’ attitude, but we feel it’s necessary for everyone to know exactly what our vision is for Camp Boomerang.”
When a Facebook user inquired regarding whether the camp would be enforcing their rule with mandatory “penis checks,” Quinn replied that anyone without male genitals would put a damper on times when the campers wanted to be naked together.
“Listen guys, we NEVER said anything about ‘penis checks,’ but let’s be real here,” Quinn responded. “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 no penis. Sorry to put it bluntly. But if you don’t like the rules, quietly leave.”
Quinn, who was arguably using the same logic as private establishments that refused to bake cakes for same-sex weddings, ignited fury from those claiming he was dehumanizing trans people.
“I find it pretty cowardly that you put up your campgrounds stance on not allowing trans people without having a penis even if their driver’s license has the male designation and decided to disallow comments,” one user said. “If you believe so strongly in your stance then have the backbone to hear the other side of the conversation.”
Brayden Misiolek, who is co-founder and executive director of Transcend The Binary, said about the story: “Any type of policy that would require someone to prove their gender identity is counterproductive to advancing LGBTQ rights and divides our community.”
“As someone who lives with dysphoria, this news is very dehumanizing,” he continued. “Any kind of discriminatory policies like this erase us as a community. It invalidates our lived experiences and perpetuates narratives of illegitimacy, which can and does lead to harm for trans and non-binary people.”
Camp Boomerang has since deleted Quinn’s posts as well as their entire Facebook page.