We are headed up by camp directors Robin Roemer and Marni Kellison, and we’ve got a gaggle of amazing weirdos who make this the best adult queer camp experience on the planet.
Kristin is the co-host & producer of the patriarchy-smashing podcast, Buffering the Vampire Slayer, the host of Autostraddle's Getting In Bed with Kristin, the founder of LGBTQ organizations Everyone Is Gay & My Kid Is Gay, and author of This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids. She was once fired for being an absentee camp counselor at age 17 (absence related to falling in love with a girl for the first time) and is now back with a vengeance.
“People alway say you should be yourself, like yourself is this definite thing, like a toaster or something. Like you can know what it is, even." - Angela Chase
Marni has been building out the weird world of A-Camp since its inception, co-directing since our humble beginnings in April 2012. Originally from Ottawa, she now calls Oakland home and works by day as a professional Canadian. She is a feminist by training, a carpenter by trade. and proud member of the A-Camp Family Band. Started in the comments now she's here.
"And she's trying to sing just enough so that the air around her moves" - Ani DiFranco (actual senior quote 2002)
Riese is the aspiring power lesbian who invented A-Camp and is the Co-Founder, CEO & Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com. She is a GLAAD-award-nominated journalist as well as an other-award-winning blogger, fictionist, video-maker and copy-writer. Her work has appeared in magazines including Marie Claire and Curve and online including Nylon, Jezebel and Emily Books.
Sarah is a biracial femme designer living in Portland. For years she toiled away as a corporate ad drone before being whisked into the dreamy, glittery world of Autostraddle. When she’s not designing new merch, ordering the business womens special, or finding cool sponsors for camp, she’s taking extraordinarily long baths and dancing her brains out. She once recieved the award for “Friendliest Camper” at age 8.
"Some of the most wonderful people don't fit into boxes" — Tori Amos
Reneice is a black, queer, plus size femme living in Los Angeles. This gives her lots of content for her position as a Staff Writer at Autostraddle, and her work as a life coach for creatives in LA. She worked really hard and spent way too much money on her Masters in Social Work from New York University, and is an active and vocal advocate for racial equality and justice, LGBTQ rights, feminism, and body positivity. She has a serious obsession with robes and cookbooks, and loves yoga, brunch, and succulents like any good millenial angeleno should.
Robin previously served as A-Camp co-director for seven sessions and is excited to be working as a Creative Producer this year. She grew up going to and working at sleep-away camps where she developed s'more making skills and crushes on her cabin mates. Robin is a photographer, producer and co-founder of LA-based production company Scheme Machine Studios.
“Life is demanding without understanding” - Ace of Base
This is Lauren's fifth A-Camp! She is a new resident of Portland by way of NYC. She is a musician, woodworker, and driver of a super sweet moped named RBG! A lot of people call her Karen!
"live, laugh, love" – author unknown
UCLA social psychology PhD / professional data nerd. Volunteer crisis counselor experienced in emergency mental health services. Amateur mindfulness practitioner trained at the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center. After ten years of academic research, she's applying her expertise in the psychology of human behavior to help organizations optimize their services using a research-based approach. Also known as Liz From Accounting, because she probably won't approve your budget request.
"Love don't cost a thing." - J.LO
Our Senior Staff Consultants
A-Camp is at its best when the entire community commits to making A-Camp a comfortable and accepting space for all campers. We expect campers to be both respectful of differences and patient with well-intentioned mistakes, while being aware that bullying, racism and transphobia have no place here. In order to ensure the best camp possible, A-Camp has four Senior Staff members dedicated to specific communities, serving as consultants to camp leadership and go-to supports for campers onsite. What follows is their own descriptions of their roles at A-Camp.
Abeni is a multiracial trans lesbian artist, graphic designer, writer, and educator based in San Francisco, CA. This will be her third A-Camp and second year as the camp C.U.T.I.E.! She enjoys reading, rock climbing, cycling, and nerdy stuff like video games. She was so blessed to be CUTIE last year at A-Camp, and is excited to make this year’s camp even more trans-inclusive and affirming!
Mac is a glitter loving pusher of buttons, a queer woman of color, teaching artist, feminist, poet and general rabble rouser. She got her start in feminism from a book of feminist nursery rhymes when she was 6, and her start in pop culture analysis from 9 years of homeschooling (translation: 9 years of TV and movie watching). A firm believer in queering the collective consciousness, she strives to inspire people to redesign their idea of normal and step out of their comfort zone. She takes inspiration from Gertrude Stein, Angela Davis, Faith Lehane, Audre Lorde and bell hooks. Her words to live by are: "Have no filter, give no fucks." Someone once described her as "The love child of Angela Davis and Ru-Paul." She thinks that just about sums it up.
“Shred like Lita, swag like Joan.”
Alyssa is a tiny thirty-something hanky-in-the-pocket cartoonist weirdo constantly working to evolve their art processes and communicate new ideas. They spent the majority of their young life sketching in hospitals, and experienced their first heartbreak at age 8 during game 6 of the '96 NBA championships.
Alexis (sometimes Lex) is hyped as hell to return to A-Camp for their second year and first time as Access Coordinator. From the East Coast, they've worked with Autostraddle for a little under two years. They spend most of their time trying to help pets and their parents and almost all of their time in fictional worlds. They wanna do and be several things at once and will accomplish this feat cause ya bitch contains multitudes.
"I am someone who did not die when they should've died. / When you have a problem you come home, you don't go off and make problems worse on your own. / When grief takes a hold of you, you monster through it. /ART WILL NOT DESTROY YOU, IT WILL SAVE YOU. / We will fail each other. What matters is what we do next. / No, my dear, no reason to forget we belong to one another." ~Anne Carson/Lin Manuel-Miranda/Rachel McKibbens/Chuck Wendig/Claudia Rankine/my best friend, K
Carmen Phillips is Autostraddle’s Associate Editor. She has a PhD in American Studies from New York University. As a writer, Carmen focuses on pop culture, feminism, and racial justice. As a QTPOC Speakeasy Co-Director, she hopes to create a fun and welcoming space or people of color at A-Camp. She’s a proud black Puerto Rican femme who can’t wait for her very first A-Camp! Oh and she’ll drop everything – literally everything – to talk about Beyoncé. Don’t believe her? Just try it and see.
"I love myself when I am laughing." – Zora Neale Hurston
On their roles as QTPOC Speakeasy Leaders: The QTPOC Speakeasy Leaders are representatives for the Black, Indigenous, Mixed/Biracial, Latinx, API and people of color at A-Camp and strive to make camp a more inclusive and enjoyable space for their QTPOC family. In addition to leading the Speakeasy session, The QTPOC Speakeasy Leaders work with senior camp staff to ensure A-Camp is inclusive and welcoming to people of color in its programming, talent selection and creation of camp policies.
OUR FABULOUS A-CAMP COUNSELORS
Alaina is a newly knighted Master of performance studies and current PhD student. They are obsessed with monograms, navy, and tan leather. They only love their cats, their bed, and their mama. A-Camp X will be their sixth camp, and they're thrilled to maybe learn how to do a cartwheel this year. Chat with them about gender and bodies, rituals, performance, play, and BDSM (duh).
Alexis Smithers is a queer black creator based on the East Coast. Featured in wusgood.black, Glass: Poetry, Up the Staircase Quarterly, and Freezeray Poetry among others, they’ve interned and worked for Winter Tangerine, interned at Aplastic Anemia & MDS Foundation, volunteered for Self Care After Rape, worked for Voicemail Poems and volunteered for the 2016 Tandem Reader Awards as their Social Media and Technology Intern. They’ve written for 365daysoflesbians, Monstering Mag, and Winter Tangerine among others. They are a 2015 Pink Door Fellow, 2016 LAMBDA Literary Young Adult Fiction Fellow, and 2018 #GrowWithGoogle Udacity Scholarship Student. A web development student at Bloc.io, they work in food production and are staff writer for Autostraddle.
A.E. Osworth is Part-Time Faculty at The New School, where they teach digital storytelling, and they are also the Managing Editor of Scholar and Feminist Online at Barnard Center for Research on Women (Barnard College). They have spent the last half a decade as the Geekery Editor at Autostraddle, where they are now a Staff Writer, and have just finished a novel inspired by the events of Gamergate.
Alyssa is a tiny thirty-something hanky-in-the-pocket cartoonist weirdo constantly working to evolve her art processes and communicate new ideas. They spent the majority of their young life sketching in hospitals, and experienced their first heartbreak at age 8 during game 6 of the '96 NBA championships.
Archie is a professional non-nerdy cartoonist, half of The Fist You Podcast, zine-maker, sexual health educator, and overall an overcommitted busy person. Their new book, A Quick And Easy Guide To They/Them Pronouns, comes out this June. They will always eat the entire bag of Doritos in one sitting.
Audrey lives, writes, and eats their vegetables in Dallas, TX. They're ready to talk about bisexuality, faith, and feelings at A-Camp X and also extremely ready for that water slide.
Lover of animals, spreadsheets and warm socks, not necessarily in that order. Main goals in life are learning and laughing, both things she expects to do A LOT at A-Camp. She got engaged at A-Camp. She got married at A-Camp. She has a cat and a dog that miss her when she's at A-Camp.
Brittney Williams draws cartoons, superheroes, and queer comics for kids. Twice GLAAD award nominee. Aspiring weightlifter.
Cameron is a professional midwesterner and a monthly cartoonist for Autostraddle. She loves bourbon and Cranium and brooding and casual astrology and the fact that Stef has not broken her ankle again (yet). She is now uncomfortable with how many times she used "she" to refer to herself. Also excited to learn what vitamin D is in California.
Carolyn is a hard femme writer and editor with a focus on the intersection of sexuality with cultural issues and public life. She’s written about sex, kink, queerness, polyamory, culture, feminism, bodies, ideas, and her personal life for places like Autostraddle, Nylon, Bitch, Refinery29, The Toast and more. She’s Canadian and currently lives in Los Angeles.
Cee is the Tech Director of Autostraddle - they do all the technical things for the website which include coding, maintaining the servers, keeping everything working, and helping the writers and editors automate things so they can spend their time writing and making great content for you! They also run a small WordPress based website development company. When they're not in front of a computer, they like gardening, making things, tinkering with their house, reading, cooking and baking, traveling, hiking/camping, community building, being outside enjoying nature, and listening to music. They're poly, and are lucky to have really amazing partners. They live in Portland, OR with their two kittens, Tucker and Finley. This will be their 9th A-Camp.
UCLA social psychology PhD / professional data nerd. Volunteer crisis counselor with eight years of experience in emergency mental health services. Amateur mindfulness practitioner trained at the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center. Crafty DIYke with a chemical dependence on green tea. After ten years of academic research, she's applying her expertise in the psychology of human behavior to help organizations optimize their services using a research-based approach. As A-camp’s chief R&D consultant, she wants to pester you with a million annoying questions to help A-camp be even more sparkly and queer!
Gia (or Gigs!) is a jag of all trades from Pittsburgh, PA, working primarily in video, dance, and performance art. When they're not "touring" (finding excuses to visit a-camp family) they can be found running with the Steel City Kitty variety show and the queens of the prestigious Blue Moon, and is frequently spotted clumsily canoeing near the 40th street bridge.
Grace lives in Portland, Oregon and drinks a lot of coffee as a result. She's the Senior Managing Editor of My Kid Is Gay, a site that provides advice and support to parents of LGBTQIA young people, which is pretty neat! Talk to her about podcasts, your life goals, or just let her show you pictures of cute babies. She went to summer camp for 3 days as a kid and cried the whole time, but she promises this time will be different.
Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their zoo of rescued pets. She is a member of the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, the Television Critics Association, and Hufflepuff house.
Isabel is a Mexico City native and current Brooklyn dweller. She's a documentary filmmaker by day and expert quesadilla architect by night. She runs a small production company with her brother and has spent the last three years working on her first feature film. She's a mediocre bowler.
Isabella Rotman is a cartoonist and illustrator from Maine living and drawing in Chicago. Her art is usually about the ocean, mermaids, crushing loneliness, people in the woods, or sex. She is author of the sexual health comic You're so Sexy When You Aren't Transmitting STIs, Not On My Watch; The Bystanders' Handbook for the Prevention of Sexual Violence, and Artist in Residence at Scarleteen.com.
Jennifer is currently in a doctorate program in clinical psychology and wants to listen to you talk about your feelings. Her friends frequently tell her that she reminds them of a puppy and frankly she’s okay with that. She can relate to anyone who loves german shepherds, dances weird, or eats at all food trucks indiscriminately. Jennifer is also a supervisor at the Trevor Project and loves mental health crisis services. Her clinical interests include researching how diversity can influence the health of an organization and she wants to be able to use that knowledge to make the world a more inclusive, safer place.
Katie is a sewing and craft educator based in Brooklyn, NY. She loves how sewing helps us present the way we want and is currently developing a gender non-specific sewing pattern line. She also has some hobbies such as eating avocados, dancing on roller skates, being enthusiastic about pressure cooking, and talking about feelings.
Kaylah is a snarky southern belle and selfie queen, with a closet full of crop tops, and an eternal love of dance. If you miss one of her amazing dance classes, you can find this melanated goddess busting it wide open on the Klub Deer dance floor.
She'll wait for you there ;)
Kip Reinsmith is A-Camp's resident Barber, style icon, and elf mascot. When he's not busy making your hair look cute, he works as a podcast and video producer, most recently producing a series on the unknown history of comedy for Stitcher Radio. A Pennsylvania Dutch boy at heart, he's now living among the trees and squirrels of the Pacific Northwest. As a Taurus, Kip can also be found near wildflowers, growing veggies, and healing others through Reiki. Loves to talk about gender. Winner of the Softest Hair Award.
Director of the Edible Schoolyard Project in Berkeley, a national program that promotes school gardening and cooking as part of the academic experience. 16 years working in food education, policy, and school food reform. Thinks mostly about food and how it is connected to everything. Obsessed with studying how people learn. Raises two kids, makes a lot of pancakes. Loves to dance. Best brunch in town.
Natalie Miller is a queer, trans, falconer who loves puns, playing hockey, and her German Shorthair Pointer, Gus! Natalie runs her own financial planning business out of Madison, WI, is one of the only people who gets excited when it snows, and loves talking over a warm cup of tea! She volunteers her time serving several boards and committees of LGBTQ public health and engagement organizations. When no volunteering, Natalie is usually on her motorcycle, hiking, kayaking, cross-country skiing, fly fishing, or watching Netflix. She is a complete bird nerd and founder of Klub Chickadee! Seriously, she knows A LOT about birds! Her newest passions include building an orchid collection, learning how to swing dance with her roommate, and mentoring friends who want to learn how to hunt and gather their own food. Natalie has been dreaming of joining the A-Camp staff since her first camp in October of 2013, and can't wait to welcome you all to Ojai!