Hello Dear Readers,
We have recently been looking at/reading/hearing a lot on the MichfestTrans Women (TW) vs Womyn Born Womyn (WBW) issue and wonder what our readership has to say on the matter. It’s a tough issue in our eyes, and though we do have our opinions, we see both sides of the coin – it’s a coin we wish we (we, as a whole, and/or separate communities under the LGBTQ roof) did not have to flip. . . but it seems we are being forced to do that – flip the coin and see which side lands up. Is there a way for both sides to have what they want? We are aware that by posting any opinion on the subject, we are opening up a big can of sometheing-or-other. But here are our thoughts for the moment. . .
After all we have read and heard on the topic, it seems to us it has been established that there are two camps, and we think it has also been established that neither side is going to see the others as the right path; each side has grown in a different LGBTQ/socio-political environment and time, and thus each side’s needs are DIFFERENT.
CAMP CHANGE: mostly under 40-ish folks who think Michfest should change, get up with the times and be for anyone who identifies as woman/womyn.
CAMP HONOR: mostly over 40-ish folks who think Michfest should respect the past and continue to be for womyn-born-womyn as it always has been.
(Of course that last paragraph is a bit of a blanket statement, the camp names and definitions here are short hand – and there are many shades of gray between the two. We are fairly sure someone from each camp and those not on either of these sides will weigh in – and we apologize in advance for any pain or up-heave we may cause by choice of terms. We honor both camps, and any one in between, even if we have not expressed that very well.)
So here is our question – Why do we have to CHOOSE between Camp CHANGE and Camp HONOR?:
Why can’t people who want an INCLUSIVE event CREATE an inclusive event? And people who want a TRANS WOMEN event create a trans women event? And people who want a WOMYN-BORN-WOMYN event create a wbw event? Then ALL groups could have the events they want?
Honestly, it seems we have more interest in debate and being ‘right’ than we do in actually creating and participating in the kind of events we want to attend.
Here is an idea: WHAT IF WE DO IT – GET UP AND CREATE THE EVENTS WE WANT AND LET OTHERS CREATE AND ATTEND THE EVENTS THEY WANT!
(Maybe this doesn’t happen because the platform for opinion is so HUGE now that we are an internet culture – everyone has a voice, whether it is connected to action or not – maybe this is good, maybe it is not – for sure there are folks who align with both ideas. . . but what would happen IF. . . what if YOU decided to create an event, a Festival, a gathering in support of your needs and desires, based on your time and place, your issues and hopes. . . and what if people came? And loved it. And kept coming back. . . and it grew and grew. And you could attend this event every year. And maybe then let others have their events and not worry so much about them.
Of course there are arguments for and against this, too.
What is your vote? We will share some more thoughts on this, but first, here are a few articles (thanks to Keo for some of the links) on the subject – some older ones, some newer – to get your blood running. Have a read and let us know what you think!
With Love Always,
The BFL Team
Beth Sherouse, HRC Senior Content Manager:
Cindy Zelman Huff Post:
Dana Beyer Huff Post:
Lisa Vogel, founder of Michfest, Responds:
Michfest Letter to the Community