US: Equality Michigan petitions to end Michfest’s “womyn born womyn” intention
Equality Michigan has started an online petition asking the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival to end their “womyn born womyn” intention that excludes transgender women from the event.
In May, festival founder Lisa Vogel wrote an open letter on the issue, stating: “We have said that this space, for this week, is intended to be for womyn who were born female, raised as girls and who continue to identify as womyn.
“This is an intention for the spirit of our gathering, rather than the focus of the festival. It is not a policy, or a ban on anyone … We do not and will not question anyone’s gender.”
“Rather, we trust the greater queer community to respect this intention, leaving the onus on each individual to choose whether or how to respect it.”
The Equality Michigan’s petition states: “[W]e reject the premise that transgender women are lesser than, we reject that this belief is a tenet of feminism, and we will no longer respect the ‘intention’ or that ‘leaving the onus on each individual to choose whether or how to respect it’ equates to inclusion.”
The petition goes on to say: “[T]he reality is that the lesbian, gay, and bisexual community cannot stand by any longer and pretend that any form of transgender discrimination can be painted over as a feminist or progressive issue.”
The petition demands ending the “womyn-born-womyn” intention, asks Vogel to meet with leaders of the transgender community, and asks artists participating this year speak against the policy while on stage.
The petition also asks for a boycott of the festival until the intention ends, and states any future artists or vendors participating in the event will be complicit in anti-trans discrimination.
The festival will be from August 5 to 10.