Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents (PghLesbian) has joined the growing number of organizations and media outlets supporting a petition for the inclusion of transgender women in the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival (MichFest)
The petition organized by Equality Michigan has garnered the support of multiple national LGBT organizations. PghLesbian joins The Bilerico Project, BiCast, and The TransAdvocate among other media outlets lending their support to this effort.
We have reflected on all that has been said and done, and we 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. To us, this sounds like the arguments we heard around “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” – and like that policy – this one just doesn’t work for us.
Finally, the 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. We must stand up, even if it is to our own, and make it clear that transgender women deserve to be treated as women in all settings. The comparison that a women’s only festival is similar to a transgender only or people of color only event is offensive and unacceptable. The time has come, we are drawing a line in the sand, this “intention” can no longer stand.
Equality Michigan is committing to bringing this issue up with our communities, festival organizers, festival vendors, and artists until this policy is modernized. We recognize that may require a multi-year commitment as the organizers have become accustomed to waiting out the storms. This is not a storm going away anytime soon. We ask that you sign this petition and commit to joining us in this effort.
Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents has worked diligently to be a strong ally to the trans community. We reject the divisive message that a women’s music festival is only open to some women. We are absolutely committed to the belief that trans women are women. We are proud to have two trans women as contributors to our blog and to use our platform to amplify the messages of the trans community whenever possible.
It is our hope that this action will generate similar united fronts lifting up trans voices and tackling other critical issues including the disproportionate impact of crime, violence and poverty on trans women of color, the lack of visibility of trans voices at multiple tables and the need for inclusive policy changes on all levels.
We urge you to sign the petition and stand up with the trans community. The time has come to put this issue to rest and stand firm against those who sow discord and division in our community.