A few months ago I posted an events notice for a MichFest Women’s Festival event in NYC. I screwed up big time in that original post by not including any text noting the trans-exclusionary policy of MichFest, which has excluded trans women as festival participants for many years.
I apologise unreservedly for neglecting to highlight this as part of my original post. We did discuss the issue in comments, and I did amend the post after some prodding, but I should have challenged the trans-exclusion from the start, or better yet not promoted the event at all.
Here’s the promise: I will not give any trans-exclusionary feminist event any promotion here in the future. If I do unknowingly post a link to some event that is trans-exclusionary, I will delete it as soon as I am made aware.
I am aware that this decision is likely to affront some trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs), but it must be said: marginalising trans women at actual risk from regularly documented abuse /violence in favour of protecting hypothetical cis women from purely hypothetical abuse/violence from trans women in women-only safe-spaces strikes me as horribly unethical as well as repellently callous.
I wish that I had fully realised the callousness much earlier instead of initially regarding the TERF position as simply a regrettably prejudiced yet rationally divergent opinion. I’ve also come to view the arguments put forward to bolster the TERF position as logically inconsistent.(I go into much more detail about this conclusion over on my primary blog, Hoyden About Town, please comment on that thread if you wish to discuss TERF arguments.)
I would prefer that this thread be trans*centred rather than cis*centred, so please leave links to your favourite trans*activist and trans*accepting blogs in comments below. Which blogs are safe spaces for trans* women and allies to discuss the trans* experience of violence and marginalisation? Let’s discuss the violence that is levelled at trans* women and how it intersects with misogyny, race and sex-work to cause people to murder them simply for being trans*, rather than discussing the politics of gender transition here (you may discuss the politics of transition on my other trans* post over at Hoyden if you wish).
If you are a cis woman with questions about the trans* experience either personal or political, you’ll probably find more and better answers by lurking at some trans* blogs rather than through asking trans*commentors to do Trans101 for you right here and now. If you don’t know the names Angie Zapata, Kellie Telesford, Rosa Pazos, Ebony Whitaker and Sanesha Stewart at this moment, I suggest refraining from discussion on trans* issues until you know about how they died and have read some posts mourning them as people, not just news reports that treat them as freaks.
Here’s a few links to start with:
An open letter to cis-feminists: a post about cis feminists overlooking violence against trans women in favour of arguing about gender theories
Radical Feminism and Cis Privilege: dehumanising trans* women is not a feminist act
Questioning Transphobia: a blog devoted to discussing hostility towards gender transition