Music Booked For Trans Action Camp Benefit

Betty and the Boy
Betty and the Boy

Betty and the Boy and four other folk, pop and punk bands will play at a benefit show to raise money for the annual Trans and/or Women’s Action Camp. TWAC was initially born from the idea of creating a safe space for trans and/or women in the social and environmental justice movement, according to Ariel Howland, organizer of and participant in the benefit show and camp. Eventually, that idea came into its own: a weeklong camp that focuses on community building and political activism.

“Environmental destruction, oppression of humans and oppression of animals is interconnected,” Howland says, “[the camp is] a reaction to patriarchy, and homophobia and transphobia.”

Josh Harvey, the “boy” of the five-piece folk group Betty and the Boy (winner of EW’s 2011 Next Big Thing), says the band gets an overload of requests to play at benefit shows throughout the year, but this one specifically piqued his interest because of the unique educational experience that TWAC seeks to provide. He says he is interested in becoming more familiar with the trans community. “I just think what they’re doing is cool, that they’re trying to educate other folks,” Harvey says. “[The trans] community is very stereotyped and so learning more about their culture is going to be cool.”

The benefit show will also feature Jessie Williams, Cat Hands, Up to No Good and Litto Fox. It will be open to transgender, cisgender (those whose experience of gender matches the gender assigned at birth) and allies alike, and Howland stresses that the show will have the same “safer space” policy as TWAC, meaning zero tolerance for any form of harassment, bullying, homophobia, etc. TWAC materials and band merchandise will be for sale or by donation, and some food will be provided including vegan and gluten-free options.

The benefit show for TWAC is at the Campbell Club Co-op 8 pm Friday, Aug. 15. The event has a $3-$10 sliding scale suggested donation. For more information: TWAC is Sept. 1-8, location TBA. For updates and registration info: