US: Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival defends “womyn born womyn” intention

Katie Dupere August 21, 2014
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The Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival has released a list of demands in response to criticism that the event is transphobic due to its “womyn born womyn” policy.

The statement comes in response to Equality Michigan’s online petition asking the festival to end their “womyn born womyn” intention that excludes transgender women from the event.

The list of demands was posted on Facebook by Michfest orgnaiser and founder Lisa Vogel.

The statement tells critics of the event to “get your facts straight,” acknowledge the importance of the space Michfest creates, and to “turn your energy towards the real enemies of female and LGBTQ liberation.”

The statement says: “Michfest recognizes trans womyn as womyn – and they are our sisters. We do not fear their presence among us, a false claim repeatedly made.

“What we resist – and what we will never stop fighting – is the continued erasure and disrespect for the specific experience of being born and living as female in a patriarchal, misogynist world.”

The statement goes on to say: “While the abuse and disenfranchisement of womyn and girls escalates around the world and LGBTQ people experience life-threatening harms, LGBTQ organizations have turned inwards on a curious target – a weeklong music festival that does not ban or exclude anyone, that simply seeks to devote its focus to an experience that is denigrated in the larger world: the experience of being born and living as female.

Vogel goes on to write: “We turn to our LGBTQ community and say: we hear your truths; we ask you to acknowledge that you hear ours.

“Listen to the voices of the tens of thousands of women who call Michfest home.

“We ask you to work with us, not against us.”

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.

“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 recent statement was released after Michfest 2014 ended on it’s August 5 to 10 run.

Related topics: Americas, Discrimination, equality michigan, intention, list of demands, Michfest, Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, statment, Trans, Transgender, US, womyn born womyn

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