We are headed up by camp directors Kristin Russo 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.
C.U.T.I.E. (Consultant/Coordinator Undertaking Trans Inclusion & Experiences
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!
On her role as C.U.T.I.E. (Consultant/Coordinator Undertaking Trans Inclusion & Experiences): I’m so excited to make A-Camp even more inclusive, comfortable, and life-changing for trans women this year! I'll be advising the camp directors on programming, etc. for camp, supporting trans women with camperships, be a resource and support person for trans women during camp, and basically do everything I can to make sure trans women’s safety/comfort/fun is centered at A-Camp X.
Trans women: reach out to me with any questions, comments, or concerns about A-Camp! firstname.lastname@example.org
QTPOC Speakeasy Leaders
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.”
Carmen Phillips, Autostraddle's associate editor, is coming to you hot from Detroit, MI. She's a proud black Puerto Rican femme who can't wait for her very first A-Camp! 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'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.
Questions? Email email@example.com.
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
On their roles as Accessibility Co-Coordinators: Hey all, consider us your handy (and good-looking) team proactively working to make A-Camp inclusive for campers all along the ability spectrum. We are here to address transportation, communication, site navigation, meal and event considerations, and any other access needs that may come up in your time at camp. We are dedicated to ensuring that accessibility at A-Camp remains a central priority of the camp experience. You matter! And we want to ensure that you feel that way.
Questions? Email Alyssa at firstname.lastname@example.org.