Rewatching SLEEPAWAY CAMP As the Parent of a Transgender Child

SLEEPAWAY CAMP: Rewatching the Cult Classic 80s Slasher Movie with Felissa Rose Now - As the Proud Parent of a Transgender Child.

Sleepaway Camp 1983 750x422 - Rewatching SLEEPAWAY CAMP As the Parent of a Transgender Child

It’s been a while since I’ve seen Sleepaway Camp. Actually, it’s been years since watching it with my girlfriend. In high school. On VHS. And since then, I’ve become a dad. And not just any dad. I’m the (fucking proud) father of a transgender child.

Cut to yesterday. Desiree Gould died a few days ago and the movie has been on my mind. So I decided to rewatch the summer camp slasher again last night. What did I think after all this time? Let’s find out.

Also Read: Going Back To SLEEPAWAY CAMP: Revisiting The Problematic Classic

The first thing I want to point out is that in June 2019, BJ Colangelo revisited the movie for Dread Central. So maybe this will make a nice companion piece. I guess that’s really up to you.

Anyhow, last night I pulled up Shudder and pressed play. I remember digging the movie back when I first saw it, but never really revisited it again. Not sure why. Maybe because it felt like a one-trick pony. You know, once you know the twist, the fun’s gone, right?


I love a good 80s slasher. Hell, I love more than a few bad/terrible 80s slashers. So I guess it makes more than a little bit of sense that Sleepaway Camp put an ear-to-ear smile across my face for 85 minutes.

How does the “problematic” ending sit with me now?

Truthfully I could give a shit. Hold on. I don’t mean to be insensitive here. What I mean is, it didn’t offend me one bit. This is a slasher. And a silly one at that. For it to bust out this kind of ending out of the (relative) blue is still brilliant in my eyes.

Hell, once my daughter is older (much, much, much older) I’ll sit her down and watch the movie with her.

“Don’t be like Angela, baby,” I’ll say. “See what happens when you feel like you have to hide the person you really are inside? Murders. Murders are what happens. At least in the movies. But to be safe, how about you just keep living out loud and proud, my love.”

People might try to make fun of her by calling her “Angela.” But I say, ‘Wear it with honor, baby.’ How many people out there have a badass, 100% not-to-be-f*cked-with slasher villain like this. I mean, you’re as badass as Jason Voorhees. Or Freddy Krueger. Own it.

Too bad this movie is WAY too inappropriate for her to see at her age. I bet you she’d love seeing herself represented. Killer or not. That’s empowerment. No one messes with Angie.

Here Comes the Kicker

I don’t want to get up on my soapbox too high here today. But I’m gonna all the same. Strap in. This brings up an important point to me. At the end of Sleepaway Camp, it’s revealed Aunt Martha is the bad guy. And she should be!

But why?

Because she takes a little boy and FORCES him to dress and act like a little girl. What a psychotic evil person!

But hold up…

One day my son tells me he’s a girl. He feels like a girl inside and out. I accepted and loved her for it. But let’s say I went the other way. What if I still say, ‘Well, I want a boy.’ And force her to wear boy’s clothes and act like a little boy. Aren’t I just as “evil” and “bad” as Aunt Martha; picking my kid’s gender for them?

Just something to think about.

sleepaway camp - Rewatching SLEEPAWAY CAMP As the Parent of a Transgender Child

Do you still dig Sleepaway Camp?

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