Foster mom says 9-year-old transgender son turned away from Arizona summer camp, despite receiving scholarship

Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Foster mom says 9YO transgender son turned away from AZ summer camp
Amber Checky says she's heartbroken after her 9-year-old transgender son was told he could not attend a summer camp in Payson despite receiving a scholarship to go.

PHOENIX -- One foster mom says she was told her 9-year-old transgender son was not allowed to attend a summer camp in Arizona despite receiving a scholarship to attend.

Amber Checky tells KNXV, she's heartbroken after her son was told he could not attend Tonto Creek Camp summer camp in Payson, Ariz.

"I think summer camp is really a place where foster kids can go to simply be kids," said Checky. "My child was looking forward to doing archery and kayaking and hanging out with other kids."

Checky says with the help of Arizona Friends of Foster Care and the families Court Appointed Special Advocate, her son received a $400 dollar scholarship to pay for the camp that is set to begin on July 14th.

However last month, Checky says she was informed her son would not be allowed to attend.

"We get an email from the chief executive officer saying sorry he's not able to attend anymore and that the camp staff they had, that has a degree in this, is no longer able to attend so they would be refunding us," said Checky.

Checky says the only request they made was that her son would be able to stay in the boy's tents and use a private bathroom or bathroom with a curtain.

"He was born female identified but feels in his brain and his heart that he is a boy," said Checky. "He's just a kid that wants to be a kid and at this point I can't even tell him why he's not allowed to go."

Checky says the camp promotes itself as inclusive with a focus on anti-bullying. A message she says they're clearly not living up to.

"How do you tell a 9-year-old who's accepted in every other aspect of their life, in their house and in their school that they can't go to summer camp," said Checky.

After speaking to KNXV, Checky says she received an email from the camp's CEO hoping to resolve the matter.

"To me the motivation seems like they just want to stay out of the light, out of the press," said Checky.