While I can respect Lisa’s stand and beliefs on this, the Michigan Festival, by excluding transwomen, is saying to the world “transwomen are not women” – how can that be inclusive? The festival isn’t suddenly going to be bombarded with transwomen turning up en masse (ok, maybe the first year to see what the fuss was all about), and if any pre-op transwoman walks around naked, they can be asked to cover up, but chances are, they already will be. I’m post-op, I have all the relevant parts in all the right places, I still wouldn’t walk round naked, and I’m not saying it’s wrong for someone else to, that’s their choice, but I know I’d feel uncomfortable and wouldn’t know where to look, but I wouldn’t make them feel uncomfortable in the process.
Protesting or boycotting the festival is free speech, but I would urge the organisers, to sit down with the protestors / boy-cotters etc, and talk about the future, and try to resolve the obvious conflict
Transwomen are women, or however you want to spell it. We’re not the scary monsters that some people would have you believe.
April 11, 2013
Letter to the Community
On March 28, an activist named Red Durkin posted a petition on Change.org asking artists and attendees to boycott the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival until organizers fully and openly welcome all self-identified women. This petition has intensified a long-running debate about and within the Festival, a debate that has often included intense misrepresentations about the political heart of this gathering. There is no doubt that complex political debate is healthy and necessary within our communities; however, a boycott, within this context, fails to advance resolution and only seeks to exact damage. As the Festival’s producer for her full 38 years, I write today to clarify the festival’s herstory, intention and my desire for understanding within our communities, as well as to clarify where I stand on these issues.
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