It starts off slow, unsuspecting, a lullaby made of dreams and innocence. The change is abrupt, a gash in the psyche of a child. A traumatized mind becomes engaged in a nightmare of secrets, confusion, sexuality, the cruelty of growing up. Survival is discovered by splitting, self protection, a coping mind, a vengeful hand. Blood is shed as two selves reunite causing a powerful and unstoppable explosion. Identity and self preservation triumph over repression and captivity. Freedom is achieved.

The soul of Sleepaway Camp is captured beautifully and brilliantly by composer Edward Bilous. Oddly enough, this piece of music is edited and obscured in the actual movie. Close your eyes and listen for the first time to Angela’s plight. Listening to this was like watching Sleepaway Camp for the first time.


“Angela, in all his masculine sensuality”


Ok, this morning I saw Sleepaway camp. Better late than never. The film is negligible, but it has the best ending scene in history of cinema. More or less. I could not help but pay homage to it with this quick drawing.
Here’s Angela, in all his masculine sensuality.


Trans love, Sleepaway Camp style

It’s unfortunate that trans people are usually portrayed in unfavorable situations in film, especially in the horror genre.

A Reflection of Fear, Private Parts, Unhinged, Sleepaway Camp, and even 2000’s Cherry Falls. All deal with a trans person with psychological trauma which manifests as violent and deviant behavior.

trans film

However, it is important to realize that these character’s are not deviants and psychotic because they are trans. In fact, they were already traumatized prior to their transition. In fact, they weren’t trans by choice, at least not in the traditional sense, therefore they can’t really be considered accurate representations of trans people.

Often in psychological horror the alternate self requires the transition between genders and is actually used to pacify the traumatized individual. The act of transitioning is needed to retain a sense of sanity and safety. In essence, the transition between genders is life saving, therefore making it a positive thing.

The idea of using the gender transition is not to portray trans people as psycho killers or demented deviants. Upon closer inspection, the usage of gender transition is imperative to the self preservation of each character who uses gender transition as a coping mechanism.

In fact, at the climax of each of these films, it is only when the transition is revealed, when the “mask” is pulled off, when the two selves meet, that all hell breaks loose and the character’s mental state is in absolute jeopardy.