Indigo Girls tell Womyn’s Festival to include trans women or else!

indigo-girlsTHE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — After giving the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival what appears to be ample time for the inclusion of trans women, the Indigo Girls have drawn a line in the sand and made it clear that this would be their last performance at the festival until they change their policy of excluding trans women.

From the Indigo Girls website:

“. . . Our hope for all the past years has been that the Festival would move towards an intention of Trans-Inclusion. We have continued to search our selves and look at both sides of this issue and truly respect the different points of view, but have always come back to our core belief that Trans Womyn should be included in the Festival, and their womynhood should be honored by the intentions of MWMF. The current intention for the Festival to be for “Womyn born Womyn” only grew out of an important necessity to honor the idea that womyn have a variety of self-expression and appearance and they need a safe space where their womynhood is not in question as they stand in many different places on the spectrum from femininity to masculinity. This intention has a very important historic basis and has kept the space safe for many womyn over the years. But we strongly feel that the time is long overdue for a change of intention, to one that states very plainly the inclusion of Trans Womyn. To us, this change of intention is the only path to a truly “safe space” for womyn.

We are in a time of struggle and rapid changes in our movement and we would be remiss to not recognize that many of the strides that have been made are a result of Trans Activism and the strength and perspective they have brought to the queer and feminist revolutions. We feel that if someone identifies as a womyn, they are a womyn and should be welcomed into our community with open arms. We will only be stronger for it.

We will be playing the Festival this year in the spirit of change. We encourage the Founders and the community of MWMF to find the bravery and compassion that we are all endowed with to create a space that is Trans Inclusive. . . .”

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Thumbs up to the Indigo Girls for taking a strong and very public stand on behalf of trans people!

Full text: IndigoGirls.com: Messages from Amy and Emily.

indigo-girls

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Categories: Discrimination, Equality, Civil Rights, Transgender, Transsexual, Trans

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76 replies

  1. This comment is a bit lenghty but it is a first hand experience.
    I will start by saying that the news about MWMF are both shocking paradoxically not at all.
    Not surprising indeed as I recall many years back in the mid 90′s some of my lesbian friends wanting make a trip together to the festival. We were at that time a band. I was the only transgender woman (womyn). It was a costly trip but they felt like it was worth leaving Los Angeles for it. After all we were also a ” lesbian” band and the singer worshiped Melissa Etheridge and Any Difranco.
    That was when I got to know (not from my friends) from some trans activists that I knew ( very few at that time!) that I would spend my money for nothing more than being forbidden to enter the festival. The most I could do would be to camp outside and join the few Trans-women who would be protesting this discrimination.
    I was of course shocked then and appalled because of my personal experiences with lesbians around me who were more inclusive than not. I only thought that the “rejecting” ones where in fact a few frustrated lesbians unable to comprehend what it is to be a feminine and feminist trans while not born biologically female.( which is something I was not , for I am intersexed )
    Still, to imagine that this reactive negative attitude would be part of the policy of a music festival, I had to sit when I heard this! Being a musician, to imagine such a bigotry with people who knows well what it is to be different and considered “bad” by a part of mainstream society, I told the members of the group about it. They were surprised but I felt like somehow they could understand the position. Remember, this was in the mid 90′s. There was no LGBT community at that time.Only 2 years later if my memory is correct!
    It was easy to understand that as a trans-woman I was not a trans-womyn and I was confirmed so at a party by a lesbian who said that trans people were a 3rd sex, no matter what gender they said they were. And that’s the way it was!
    Wow! I will not digress but, I realized that WE (trans-women) were a long way from getting recognition from even the homosexual community.
    I felt indeed caught between a rock and a hard place.
    The lack of supportive reaction from the band members left me a sour and bitter aftertaste and I started to slide back to a place I was so desperately fighting. This hole in the shadow were I lived hidden before telling the world that I was a woman. For us trans-people, at that time, many of us did not come out of a closet. For that you needed a home! No, we came out of limbo, a hole somewhere in a dark place. That was that for me and many others. And it was easy to feel unwanted and to momentarily slide back to where we came from. So many times I have come back out of that hole to claim my place in this world and being thrown back in. However, slowly but surely, I have learned not to slip back and managed to stand up while the wind of adversity blew.
    Yes, this was what happened for me in the 90′s in relation to the MWMF.
    So, those are the reason why I am not surprised of the discriminatory policy of the festival.
    For the shocking part!
    Yes, I am shocked that after close to two decades after what I related here to you, the MWMF is still entrenched with the same policy. Blast from the past!
    This reminds me of those “Good ol’ ” England men’s clubs that you could still find in a post World War II when women where already wearing pants for decades, working and even taking they sexual lives in they own hands with the pill.
    So, yes, it is sad to see womyn agreeing with this and enjoying they good ol’ times with other womyn while a trans-woman must silently accept to stick with the “man” part of that name. I will always be shocked of this. After all, I would take a shower naked in front of them and they wouldn’t even know that my genitals weren’t born as perfectly as theirs. But so what! Where is the spirit of “Womyn” located?
    Between the legs?
    I thought womyn were everything but behaving like some old macho jerk who refer to his prick to reject and discriminate those who don’t have “what it take to be” a man.

    It is time for lesbians who wish to participate to the festival to take also a stand in solidarity to all the trans-women who knows that the spirit of womynhood is just where it is.
    In the spirit!
    Thank you, Indigo Girls!
    I still love you!

  2. You do realize that they are saying THIS year will be the last year. What a marketing Scam. They get to fool the trans-people into thinking they support trans-inclusion. Meanwhile they created a buzz that draws in more womyn who think this is the last show.

    If they had any integrity they would say they are refusing to play THIS YEAR.

    • If they made a commitment they may be bound to performing even if their conscious about it is saying on them. There are a lot of people inside the festival that want to see trans inclusion and a lot of cis women who won’t go because of the exclusion.

      It’s a policy that is hurting the festival and the organizers know it.

    • Hi there. I agree that they should immediately refuse to do the show. Definitely. But, that they’re going ahead with the show does not in itself mean they’re without integrity or that they’re trying to pull off a marketing scam. They do not need to do this. They’re already pretty famous, and they have little trouble filing the seats. .

      • Saying that they realize there is a long standing problem but they’re going to perform anyway shows the shallowness of their “protest” statement. Integrity is about standing up and taking acting not hovering in a squat over the principles you espouse. They are therefore without integrity. And ya… marketing is the primary purpose for the statement. Spin, spin, spin… make people talk about you.

        • Well, as I mentioned, they most certainly should not do the show. One hundred percent agreed. However, saying that they have no integrity or that they’re after nothing more than publicity is to merely make a claim or an assertion without any substantiation. While it may appear that way to you, it is not necessarily true because it has not been proven to be true. There could be a multitude of reasons they chose to go ahead with the show that we’re not aware of. That’s what I’m saying.

          But I agree that in the absence of a valid reason, they really should bow out.

    • Sad.
      But that;s the same thing that went through my mind.

    • This is not a marketing scam. Years ago, Amy Ray conducted interviews with people at Camp Trans and with the founder, publishing them at the group’s web site. Also, they already have plenty of money, something they are not about.

      As a longtime fan who has seen them twice and knows their early body of work very well, I believe strongly their integrity is intact; and I strongly applaud their latest move.

  3. This is really awesome. I wish more cis female performers would make similar stands (I’ve got a strong feeling Shirley Manson would have our back, but she doesn’t seem like the type that Michigan WF would invite anyway…)

  4. I love the article and the the replies. It is sad and disappointing that the greatest source of discrimination, against MtF and MtF, comes from the Gay and Lesbian community.

    • The most volte face associated with heinous behavior I have experienced did not come from straight people in my life. With them, it was either disdain and immediate reject or curiosity leading with some to acceptance. Except for the occasional violence from a stranger, which did include gays men too, Straight people did not accept me at first to reject me later. I believe this did happen with gays ( and lesbians) because they felt maybe forced to accept me and at first made an effort but later on couldn’t take it and found some occasion a good excuse to reject me, seeking the blessings of their peers too while doing so.
      I trust that heteros who have been accepting did that with the knowledge that the rest of society isn’t as open -minded. They do take “pride and joy” in being friend with a transgender woman and I have felt it and experience that they do value you in addition for being so.
      I am so deeply sorry to have lost some gay/les friends because of that. It is sad because, every times, I was totally surprised with the volte face and saddened at loosing people I came to love. Why this? I still don’t understand why the sudden hate?
      I will never understand hate!

  5. Haters gotta hate… just because a person is lesbian or gay doesn’t mean they’re covered in fairy dust. In my experience a lot of lesbians have a massive chip on their shoulders, presumably about our male orientated society – idk. As a small minority we make an easy target for all the bile to be spat out and then plenty are happy to jump on the band-wagon.
    Lesbianism is easily understood, so are gay men – as concepts. Being trans* is an inherently complicated status so people get lazy, pick on whatever stereotype is at hand and use that to beat us with.
    Frankly whenever I see the word ‘womyn’ I am immediately suspicious: the whole thing smacks of drawing the wagons into a circle – it says “exclusion”. Hardly a basis for the love this nasty world needs so badly

  6. Marcia, you’re proof that these radical idiots don’t discriminate against just transwomen; they also discriminate against intersex folks. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Womyn says, “Writers who use alternative spellings see them as an expression of female independence and a repudiation of traditions that define females by reference to a male norm.” We’re anything but traditional definitions of females!

    • Well, as I said, I would be naked that they could not make the difference between me and another woman. so they wouldn’t know that I am Intersexed unless I tell them so. Except that if it is the body that defines the woman. Then, they are as bigoted as the next conservative Midwest judge!

  7. It’s fascism pure and simple: exclusion; only the “pure blood’ is good enough…

  8. Thanks for the comments everyone!

  9. I’d like to add that it is most of the time a lot of trouble to break a contract. And musicians, even known artists, do know how delicate it is to act politically without destroying one’s hard won appreciation and livelihood. I am a musician myself and do trust that these two women have not come to choose to stand this way without the knowledge that the delicate balance should be preserved. It is a a good thing that they do and I appreciate their stand and I definitely do not wish for them to sacrifice their livelihood for us. I do not ask that much of anybody. Times are VERY hard for most of us.
    The other thing is that, it is better to stay part of a community and use some clout in other to change the mindset of the people who have the power of decision than to oppose oneself and give up on the whole thing. Now, let also point out that they will give up playing there in the future if things don’t change… and that is a BIG DEAL no matter what. The Lesbian music world is not that big after all.
    I still give them credit and trust that the Indigo Girls have done so in good faith with a realistic touch… We are all humans!

  10. If they disagree with MWMF’s politics, they should not perform there. It is not their place to oprder them to change their policy, which exists for a reason. I am vomitously sick of hearing all the whining about this one small women’s festival that takes place in the middle of nowhere every year. If this is the biggest obstacle to your full inclusion in society, you are not oppressed.

    • I think they include tall womyn as well….
      Take a look up Lexie’s previous posts and choose whatever oppression takes your fancy – you won’t be spoiled for choice and has been making us nauseous for years.

    • It’s funny how easily one becomes a bigot when the tables are turned. You obviously do not get the point, perhaps because you’ve had it too easy. But equally disturbing is your assumption that being repulsed by MWMF’s total hypocrisy and blatant sexism is somehow meaningless and somehow foolishly equals the “biggest obstacle” to social inclusion in the mind of a trans woman who simply wants to be around other women. Your willingness to trivialize the movement of inclusiveness, equality and freedom (when it is not convenient for you), and violate the tenets your very existence is predicated on, is very familiar and pretty demoralizing. Apparently you are too far from the days when a woman couldn’t even wear pants in this country to truly understand this kind of thing.

      But while we’re on the subject, many people have in the past said it’s not their place to order them to change their policy…because their place is in the kitchen, not in men’s places, or their place is with other blacks, not in white places. I can see you’re only interest in equality is when it comes with convenience and benefits and with a blind eye to the past.

      There is no small business in the making of a more perfectly equal society, and the struggle never ends; if you wish to remain free yourself, then you should not only take those benefits, but you should also be the first to give them at all costs. Anything less simply will not do.

      What is especially interesting is the historical myopia so many people in America have. If you think you’re secure in your position as an equal in this society, you are sadly mistaken. The hard work of equality and freedom is never done, my friend. There is always some group, collection of miscreants or mob who would roll back the tide of history at the drop of a dime. And to allow bigotry of any kind to exist anywhere in this society or in any other is to ultimately allow it to exist everywhere. And one day that mob may come knocking on your door. .

  11. I will tip my hat to the thought, but a real statement would have been to go, but not perform, and to recruit other bands and artists to do the same…and to be very public about it. At least (and I will wash out my mouth with soap now) Ms. Shocked has the backbone to wear her shit on her sleeve and take the chances (damn me I do love that Anchorage song). HRC is not our friend, too many ggirl lesbians are not our friends, and too many gay men are not our friends…and it was our predescessors, not theirs, that President Obama noted when he added the word, “Stonewall” to his inauguration.

  12. I believe women do need their own space. I have a proposal though, i.e. on the very definition of a transsexual woman, because I feel there are a lot of misconceptions, wrongly used terms and definitions thrown around. Should a true transsexual woman be considered a woman and be allowed everywhere biological women are? Definitely! But what defines a true transsexual woman? Definitely a woman who has had her bottom surgery, i.e. is now completely and utterly anatomically female: that is definitely a true transsexual. Now, there are pre-op transwomen who feel discriminated by this way of thinking, because they say they are women, too, just in the making. Well, the thing is that many non-op transwomen, i.e. transsexual women who still have intact and functioning male genitals, would like to be included, too. Well, here I see how many women would not feel comfortable around this type of transsexual, not only because they usually look pretty manly, but also because they are indeed MEN! with all the testosterone power and aggression that goes with it. Some guy, who claims to be born in the wrong body, or something, goes to a therapist and tells them a well rehearsed story in order to be certified a transsexual, but is happy with his male genitals, wants to keep his male genitals, and, on top of that, is very much attracted to women, now this guy, should he be allowed in female only safe zones? Should he be allowed in female restrooms and invade and jeopardize women’s privacy? I think not! I believe that the only transsexual women to be allowed in female only areas should be post op transsexuals, and those pre-op transsexuals who are physically or chemically castrated. After six months of testosterone blockers (even earlier when paired with Estrogen and Progesterone intake) a man completely and irreversibly loses his potency, is indeed chemically castrated. He will never be able to use his male genitals functionally anymore and his body will never be able to produce enough testosterone to bring about male aggression. There are tests that can show this. Well, a transsexual woman who has blood work to prove the fact that although pre op, she is no longer a man, should be indeed allowed in women only areas and female restrooms. This is my opinion and my proposal. What do y’all think?

    • Hi Andrea! U might want to check out the film “Gattaca.” Tho not explicitly having anything to do with trans, queer,is a fascinating look at a man who tries to pass as genetically correct in a society where only people with modified DNA succeed & the rest struggle just to survive.

    • I see and understand your point. And to an extent I agree — there are transgender women who are not terribly feminine and are non op, crossdressers, transvestites and drag queens, who probably don’t belong in a women’s-only event. I get this. I am also a pre-operative transsexual merely because I cannot afford surgery and my medical coverage through the VA doesn’t cover it. I am also a rape survivor and also do not feel safe around men, even though I know intellectually that my feelings are not “fair” or “rational,” this prejudice still exists for me. So it is with no small sense of irony that I would likely be excluded from this or other similar “womyn born womyn only” events — denied for my “rapist energy” or similar nonsense. Would I protest? No, I’m far too lazy for that; I just wouldn’t go. Nonetheless I applaud the Indigo Girls (I’m a huge fan since I saw them at Lilith Faire in 1998) for this statement and it warms my heart that perhaps there are some lesbian feminists coming around to see that we women of transgender history are not monsters in wigs but human beings. Maybe, just maybe, women like me are not as different as the radical feminists and fundamentalists might have people believe.

    • Strip search at the gate for all attendees !

  13. Hi there. I think that it’s reasonable that men and women have their own spaces, of course. And transwomen certainly should be included as women would be included. But I think there are a couple of things wrong with your definition and analysis.

    First, nobody walks into a therapist’s office and says, “Hey, I’m a man with a vagina,” nor do they say “HI, I’m a woman with a gigantic clitoris” and poof, they’re labeled a man or a woman. That is not how it works. Instead, there is a protocol that one has to abide by in order to be properly categorized, and it takes a good deal of time, sacrifice, struggle and work: roughly one to two years at the very minimum. .

    This process usually involves, at the very least, living in the proper gender role, called the “real life test” for a period of time with the goal of being prescribed a full course of cross gender hormone replacement therapy. After about a year or so of doing this and taking a full course of hormones is a person eligible to legally change their gender identification documents. In some states, however, actual gender surgery of some sort is required, but in most, HRT and the real life test is all that is required.

    Also, your definition of what defines a trans person is largely centered on the physical body and, moreover, some negative conceptions about male hormones and aggression. What is actually between a person’s legs does not define their gender, nor does a propensity towards aggressiveness or violence define the male gender.

    Gender is not a physical thing that can, for example, be surgically removed if it were broken. It is instead the very essence of who or what a person is, as distinguished from physical sex. These are two very different things Gender, then, is most likely “located” somewhere in the brain, not in the pants. This is the basic consensus among the group of doctors, researchers and specialists who deal with gender and sex issues in humans.

    So, ultimately, a true transsexual is not going to be someone you meet on the street who falsely claims to be a woman, for instance, but who looks and behaves like the kind of aggressive, sex starved male creature of your earlier description in an effort to get into women’s places. That is really the stuff of paranoid fantasies and unreality, the kind that brings to mind the age old depictions of black men calculating their way to the deflowering of so many a white daughter.

    So the bottom line is that physical standards cannot be the sole way to make a determination as to who is a man and who is a woman. That only leads to more and more sex discrimination and totally buries the real distinction: gender.. But, if a woman loses her breasts, is she still a woman? Of course she is, as is a woman born with a womb but a Y chromosome. So, therefore, a person who presents and lives as a woman but who was born with “opposite sex” chromosomes is also a woman. Period.

    There i no need to complicate the matter any more than necessary. Once a person releases themselves of the deeply ingrained social and cultural prejudices of this society, the issue then becomes quite simple. .

    • I had posted an answer to STG, but it is gone … :-(

      • Ok, while I agree the notion of some dude faking trans to become ‘certified’ is silly and rather ignorant, I get completely that no matter how femme I appear and even when my T is made to be almost as low as a ggirl’s, as long as I have the gear downstairs they will not be comfortable with me at the table. I am not offended by that.

        • @Rae,

          So now I am ignorant?? I have a couple who did just that!!!

          Andrea

          • Sorry and I did not mean to say that you are, just that that simplification of something so complex shows an apparently willful absence of knowledge. And that couple- crossdressing or going drag to get in some forbidden door seems more like a frat prank than being Trans. Being pummeled by a dozen real women would cure that kind of crap.

      • Hi STG,

        I will try to quickly recap what I had written to you (my hope is that my 70 words per minute typing skills will come in handy!!! LOL).

        What you say above is right, i.e. that true transsexuals are indeed women and should be allowed to women’s only areas and events, but I was not talking medicine, science, psychiatry and stuff: I was speaking in practical terms.

        When stepping into a restroom at work, at a restaurant, at an event, etc. how is your every day Jane going to be able to tell whether that manly looking cross-dresser, with a deep voice, a 5 o’clock shadow, a male strut, etc. is indeed a true transsexual who is just early in her journey and/or not very feminine looking; or is some guy who is just experimenting, or looking to get his jollies by being allowed into women’s only areas (a very well known male sexual fantasy), or even worse looking to “accidentally” grope a woman, or, the worst ever, looking to rape somebody??

        And what if a bunch a frat guys (nothing against fraternities, I am just saying) decides to dress up like women and go to a women’s only event, or to a female public restroom in order to have a laugh? Why should women have to put up with it???

        Of course chemical, or physical, castration is not what makes somebody a true transsexual, one needs to be one to begin with, but it shows her commitment, her desire to be a woman, and, most importantly, it shows that she is not a man, neither emotionally/psychologically, nor physically.

        See, the types of men I described above, i.e. not true transsexuals, would never ever even think for a moment about seeing their manhood irreversibly gone!!!

        Plus, last but not least: no manhood = no ability to rape!

        It only takes six months for testosterone blockers and female hormones to irreversibly castrate a man, and blood work can show that. I don’t think a wait of six months is too much to ask, now, is it?

        Make sense?

        Blessings,
        Andrea

        • Hi there,

          Well, first, the reason I brought up the medical, etc., information is that it is inseparable from this discussion. Here’s why. Any true transsexual who is frequenting a female restroom is well into transition and is on HRT. In fact, the reason nearly 100% of transwomen begin to use the women’s restroom in the first place is they are no longer able to use the men’s room without causing lots of commotion and perhaps even putting themselves in danger as a woman in a men’s restroom.

          The vast majority of ts women do not use the women’s room until they’ve achieved a measure of passability because men react negatively when they think a woman is using a men’s restroom. So in fact, your scenarios are actually the other way around in terms of danger. .

          Also, these “what if” kinds of scenarios would be no more possible if transwomen were any more accepted at the womyn’s gathering than they currently are. Including transwomen does nothing to change the risk, what ever it is in actuality. For instance, any man dressed as a woman in your scenario who intends to violate a woman by entering the restroom, or any other place of women, will not be inclined more by a ts woman’s acceptance to a women’s only music festival. That is simply not a reasonable argument. Furthermore, loads of ts females currently use women’s restrooms and are accepted at women only events all across this country and without incident.

          The truth of the matter is that the risk of male aggression in women only places is not going to be increased because women would be somehow rendered unsuspecting because of the acceptance of ts women. That is not a reasonable argument because transwomen are already accepted in many, many women only places, and this has not brought on any increased bad behavior from men.

          The truth is you cannot fake gender. Any man who endeavored to pull off something as completely outlandish and insane as what you describe would be pegged in 5 seconds by anyone within eye or earshot. The reality is there is no such instance of a big, burly male cross dresser who walks around with a male strut and a five o’clock shadow, trying to get into women’s only places. That is just not the reality of that world or this world. And it would never stand if that were to occur.

          So for me, I think you are exponentially exaggerating the boogieman factor here as has historically been done to countless other groups in the United States, not the least of which is African American men.

          The issues you are raising stem from a deep cultural paranoia about sexuality and aggression, in my opinion. While these issues are no doubt real, they are no more elevated by accepting transwomen into these places than if transwomen were forbidden. Moreover, to make policy based on the worst possible case scenario is simply not going to serve the interests of public safety nor the fair and equitable treatment of citizens. That’s just simply a fact.

          . .

          • Very pleased to read your reply, STG. It is well formulated and touches to the point. The fear of the boogey man is indeed a reality in the mind of many. Yet,these same individuals who would “detect a man in the female bathroom” are just looking for that! The “weirdo” who try to pass as a woman while they have actually no idea that they were just in a restroom ad the girl that came out of the toilet happened to be trans.
            If you have read already my other posts here, you may know that I am Intersexed. This means that I was “somewhere in between” and yes, for my misfortune, the choice was made that I would be raised as a boy (thank goodness without a surgical intervention at birth which allowed me to correct things much later on). Being somewhere in between, making of me a boy was somewhat “simple”. I was always somewhat androgynous but I followed my parents’s wishes and loved then. I did not rebel as a child.
            I only knew it was not gonna be a simple matter to be a boy when I got to female puberty at 11 and realized then that it was OK with me to become a girl but not to the rest of the world and got into treatment to stop it! And furthermore, developing 2 years later a male puberty. Yes, that was possible with me.
            Sorry to make long with a very long story! I am not an expert in saying things in short but I try.
            The meaning of all this?
            I was looking like a boy! I was looking sufficiently like a man. I was looking androgynous and because of that, did get attacked “as a man” by homophobes. I appeared “GAY” to them and once too my life was threatened. And this was not while I was even trying to live my life as I am now. The danger was when I was still trying to live as a man. How much of a “manly” man do you have to be in order to be left in peace?
            When I decided to live my life as a woman ,which was what I felt would be right with me. I merely corrected the mistakes. And I went through the same process as transsexual women do. I too did not get into HRC treatment immediately, I was not allowed either. And yet, it was required that I start living my life as a woman then, which I did more than gladly. You (rethorical) may then say, you were still a man but if you take well into account what I just wrote above you cannot honestly resume my life to that. What I appeared was indeed okay but you would be able to “spot” a difference. I always will be Intersexed,no matter my gender! And this makes me Transgender no matter what!
            At that time, It would have been suicide to use men’s restroom which are even more a place to get hurt. So, you tell me where I could go pee? Especially that I would only use stalls since always?
            Based upon the outsider’s observation, at the beginning of my transition, you could have “justified” rejecting me like you would have done with ” man becoming a woman” but you see, you would have done me wrong like those homophobes did with me before. Nowadays, it’s been a long time since all this happened. There was no Transgender activism then. Nobody really there for you. I was just lucky to live in LA to find educated professionals who viewed the necessity of a gender center. I was lucky! Otherwise, for a while, I was on my own!
            And yes, I did get assaulted twice then while going to the bathroom, twice violently enough!
            Do you think that this didn’t leave me some scars? Yes, it did! And even though nowadays nobody ever look at me in other ways ( exceptional) I still sometimes remember being attacked and this does make me feel AGAIN uncomfortable somewhat!
            Acceptance is the key! For us, it looks well like freedom will have to be fought and won in the Restrooms of this world!
            I hope I managed to make a point!
            M.

            • @Marcia Deville
              Thanks for sharing your story and for educating me. I am very sorry for what you had to go through, my heart goes out to you, which is really not much, at all, it is just a phrase, but it is all that comes to mind, at the moment. I don’t know why someone would be mean to another human being, or assault them. It escapes me.

              I also want to tell you that I am sorry if, by playing devil’s advocate and trying to understand the point of view of the organizers, I reminded you of all the horrible stuff you had to go through in your life.

              Andrea :-(

      • Moderator here, we don’t delete posts (unless caught in the spam catcher). It likely didn’t “take” when you posted it. Sorry.

        • It is ok, maybe I made a mistake, it would not be the first time! I am internet challenged! I did not think for a moment that my post had been censored, by the way. I was just puzzled. Thanks for looking into it.

    • “Gender is not a physical thing”

      True. In fact, it does not exist at all. Biological sex is the only one that’s actually real.

      • Hi,

        While gender is definitely not a physical thing, it is most definitely as real as the nose on your face. It’s real because it is the very essence of who and what we are. Gender is what lets us know that we are female or male in the first place. If it were not real, then there wouldn’t be anything known as male or female.

        It’s certainly true that much of gender is socially constructed, like certain behaviors, roles, clothing, etc., but the very existence of gender is not made nonexistent because of that. It just means that society’s conception of gender is motivated by reasons other than the simple fact of its existence.

  14. God forbid that women be allowed any safe space where men aren’t included. The patriarchal sense of male privilege simply can’t tolerate that.

    • Thank you, Hilda! I am glad I am not alone. Does my thinking make sense to you?

      • If you think what this person said is reasonable, then you must be operating from a position of serious gender bigotry.

        Male privilege? How does this made up, contrived concept even apply here? I would love to hear this explanation.

        And I was trying to give you my time and consideration in my earlier response to you, but your thinking makes no sense to me because at bottom it is based on gender prejudice. You are apparently missing the larger interests of equality and inclusion.

        If all pubic policy was made on the basis of safety considerations and worst case scenarios of cranks and weirdos hurting people, then laws that would not allow women outside after dark could be justified. The reason we do not have such laws is obvious, and those obvious reasons apply every bit as much here.

        I’m not even sure why I am wasting time responding to this stuff. It’s just too ridiculous to entertain.

        • STG

          I think you were talking to me here, therefore I will respond.

          Well, like we say in German, you and I, wir reden aneinander vorbei, in other words we keep talking about two different things. I agree with you about the need to be inclusive, i.e. not exclude people who would like be included but being an event with the word “only” in it, we need to be respectful of the desires expressed by the organizers. What is so bad about my definition of a true transsexual? What does it hurt? Can you please explain to me why would a true transsexual who goes through all these processes in order to proceed on her journey be against the parameters I am proposing? Can you please tell me why?

          Also, once again, we need to respect the desires of the organizers, whom, to tell you the truth, I am not really a fan of, because I am not a fan of any event that has the word “only” in it. Why not include men, as well, then? Following your reasoning, then we have to conclude that most men are also not a threat.

          Make sense?

          Please, I am also trying to understand, you seem to know a whole lot about this and have experience. I am not trying to exclude, I am trying to be respectful.

          Kind regards,
          Andrea

          • Hi there,

            The simple answer to what is wrong with your idea about transwomen is that your definition of a woman centers on what’s between one’s legs, physical characteristics only. That means that anyone who is not 100% physically confirmed, for what ever reasons, will be discriminated against and that is plain old wrong, not to mention it violates the very tenets of the women’s movement. It may also result in a possible basis for discriminating against other women who were also born with physical anomalies.

            Such a definition not only trivializes the entire problem of transsexuals and those of other women in general, but it could lead to a massive spat of total sex discrimination, thus rendering the entire concept of inclusiveness null and void. You would effectively be turning the women’s movement into an Aryan organization of sorts, looking for the purest form and accepting only that and rejecting every other variation that does not meet the standard of purity.

            When physical traits and characteristics become qualifying criteria for inclusion, you are opening up a door that most in the western world would prefer to leave closed. That would be a complete and total disaster as history has shown.

            Also, what kind of policing of this issue do you propose? Should transwomen and other women born with physical anomalies that do not meet the standard be placarded, as has been done to certain other groups of people in history? Should they wear identification badges or stars or some such other thing to separate them out? How would such a policy work?

            Also, how do you determine whose vagina is “correct”? Do you ask entering women to pull down their underwear or require that they undergo some kind of invasive examination before admittance is granted? Are transwomen supposed to be subjected to something approximating the would be Virginia abortion-wand insertion tests? Ultrasound? How would all of this actually work, and how does this fit within the context of a civil rights based society, even the 4th amendment?

            The other problem with your definition is that it is inherently sexist and casts the male kind as rapists and aggressors, while the truth remains that the overwhelming and vast majority of male people have never harmed and never will harm a fly. “Remove the penis and we’ll let you in because the penis is inherently bad and causes evil mischief.”

            You are basing your standard on the unthinkable behavior of a few and are thus painting an entire class of people as defective, bad or somehow evil based solely on their gender. How then do you profess the moral righteousness to fight against the bigoted iniquities of others?

            That, again, is basically the sexist compliment to virulent racism. To bring home the point, simply replace “man” with “black person.” If your efforts were aimed at avoiding the potential dangers of African sexual aggression against the purest virtues of so many an unsuspecting white woman, and you made those kinds of statements about African Americans as you are making them about men, you would be harried out of this country faster than you could shake a stick at.

            These are some of the problems with your definition and analysis. You cannot fight bigotry by using the tools of bigotry. It simply does not work.

            • Look, I was playing devil’s advocate here, trying to see things from the point of you of the organizers, and offer a possible compromise solution. That’s all. Like I said, I could not care less, since, once again I am not a fan of anything with the word “only” in it, I would personally allow in, not only transwomen, but also men.

              Have I finally managed to make myself understood? Like you said, the vast majority of men are not rapists!!! I support the Indigo Girls’ choice 100%! They are sending a clear message, but I respect the views of the organizers, although I don’t agree with them, and I was offering a compromise. No showing of genitals necessary, thank you very much, just a letter from one therapists to show in case anybody asks.

              Your reasoning makes perfect sense, has my approval and I support it. I also thank you for taking the time to explain it to me and be somewhat patient with me. Liberals have a tendency to call everybody who is not a liberal, an idiot, a bigot, etc.

              Let me tell you this, if I may: I do not think I will ever be a fan of any event that is women only, but I let people be!

              Also, not everybody cares about the 4th Amendment, whatever it might say, the US is NOT the center of the universe. Blacks are not automatically “African Americans” , since they may not be “American”, at all. Why should a guy from Nigeria, who is black, and walking down the streets of Atlanta, be called “African American”?

              You want to “harry” people out of this country, start with me! Not everybody cares about the WONDERFUL US of A!

              Your words appear to be pretty ethnocentric to me, but, then again, I am not surprised, since the average American is brainwashed by incessant propaganda since birth.

              Obama, a liberal, praising the politics of Maggie Thatcher, a super conservative, intimate friend and supporter of fascist, murderous dictators like Pinochet, proves, once again, that American politics are a farce, that America is NOT a true Democracy, and that, when you scratch off the surface a bit, Democrats and Republicans are as different as Coke and Pepsi.

              I hope I made myself clear, I will happily offer clarifications if necessary.

              Regards,
              Andrea (Feminist, Christian Socialist, and Human Being who has rights because she is a Human Being, not because she has an American passport)

              • Hi again Andrea.

                I can appreciate what you’re saying and what you were attempting to accomplish. Totally. I think you’re a very nice person and your gesture shows that beyond any question. But, the truth is there really is no possible compromise with hatred and sexism.. Women, of all people, should know that.

                Also, I was not arguing that America is the center of the universe, but that festival is here in the United States and so it is subject to its laws and customs like anything else would be. Further, who ever said that an African not from the United States is an African American? What is that about? And how did my analogizing the assumed sexual dangerousness of men with the past racist attitudes here about the sexual prowess and aggressiveness of black men turn into my desire to harry you out of the country? I can assure you that I have no such desire.

                What apparently is going on here is that you’re off on a rant of some sort and I’m not entirely clear why. My words have nothing to do with the universal brainwashing that goes on uninterrupted in just about every country on the face of the planet, and increasingly in the western hemisphere. Ethnocentric? How so? I’d love to hear that.

                Also, the US never claimed to be a “true democracy,” and I certainly never claimed that it is such. This country in fact could be understood as an indirect democracy or a democratic republic. That’s probably more accurate than not. And it’s not new information that republicans and democrats are in essence identical. So what? What’s the point? This is a discussion about the hypocritical sexism and hatred of an entire class of people by these women. I’m not clear on why we’re involved in trashing the US.

                But anyway, my dear, my intention is not to fight with you. I mean, you didn’t do anything and you’re at least a consistent advocate for equality and inclusiveness, which is a lot more than can be said of significant elements within the American women’s movement. My only intention was to simply argue my point that that sexism anywhere cannot stand. If it is allowed anywhere, then it will eventually once again be allowed everywhere.

                While I do believe that men and women have the right to have their own spaces, and that there is intrinsic value in that end, I do believe there is a rather enormous difference between being for women’s rights and being flatly against another class of people. That is intolerable.

                Ok, well, I hope you’re having a good night please know that I am well aware that practically all government is ultimately an evil enterprise and that the tyranny of despots is ultimately enacted with the hand of those who consent…

                /s/

                Sarah G
                Not an “-ist” of any kind, just a thinking person. … .

                .

                • Hi Sarah,

                  I did not really go on a rant about America, I just mentioned America, because you mentioned the 4th Amendment, which is specific to the US, while I was talking about the rights of transsexuals in general. I approach life in a world centric manner, not in an America centric manner. That is why I mentioned the term “ethnocentric”. Stating truths, or supposed truths, about America in NOT trashing our “sacred” America, it’s pointing out problems that we have here in America and see if we can solve them.

                  Y’all, or many of y’all who were born and raised in America, talk about America like I talk about my children: it is an unconditional love with no end! Y’all are always mentioning some amendment or some American right, to show how great America is, and if somebody says something that’s even remotely not positive about America y’all think one is “trashing the greatest country in the history of civilization” like Dan Rather would say (wow, that is not even arrogant or anything), and, depending on the person, either say that America is number one anyway, or, like you did, that the “whole world” has problems. Nope, sorry, the problems that America has are unique to America, within a western world context, of course: they are not shared by the whole world. Brainwashing is not in “every country on the planet”, is specifically in AMERICA. I did not grow up reciting something similar to the Pledge of Allegiance, and hearing constantly how great Switzerland is. My children, on the other hand, do grow up reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and hearing constantly how great America is. Don’t take my word for it, ask anybody who was not born in the USA.

                  That is why I mentioned America, because there are certain expressions, like “American Freedom”, “Amendments”, “Defending America” that set me off. America today reminds a lot of people in the rest of the world of Germany in the 1930′s.

                  Also, excluding others is something very specific to America, it peppers American History, past and present. Would you like a list of how somehow, somewhere in America somebody had been trying or is trying to exclude somebody else?

                  There are countries which are not despotic (honestly I don’t think the US is despotic, though), in which there is real democracy, and that do not have political parties which are almost identical to each other (I am talking about the Western World), but believe in pluralism and wider democratic participation. Would you like a list of these countries?

                  That said, after my little novel here that was set off by “4th Amendment”, “African Americans” when talking about blacks being viewed as potential rapists, “harrying people out of the country” and “the whole world being subjected to brainwashing”, I thank you again for showing me things from a different angle. Let me add that thinking about the five o’clock shadow thing, I said to myself “hmmm What about women with hirsutism???”, or “What about those Swedish guys with basically no facial hair? Could they be then automatically accepted as women?”. I can come up with many examples of why the Indigo girls are doing the right think.

                  Long story short: thanks for the exhausting explanation, and if you are indeed transsexual as my instinct tells me you are, I really hope that you did not, do not, and will not have to go through any type of discrimination. You will always be welcome in my house, but not after the children have finally fallen asleep!!! :-)

                  Good Night,
                  Andrea (Still a feminist, still a Christian Socialist, still a person who loves America and would like to improve it without loving it in what appears to be an unconditional way)

                  • Hi Andrea,

                    Ok, first, let me clear some things up here. I think what’s happening here is you are imposing an assumptive view on me about how I feel about America, which is not really possible to determine on the basis of how I feel about discrimination, or from any comments I’ve made here about such. I think it would be reasonable, however, for you to predict or suppose my attitude towards bigotry.

                    Let me state that it is quite appropriate to refer to American governing documents when talking about a phenomenon that is occurring in the United States. There is certainly nothing ethnocentric about that. If we were in Sweden, I would do the same, relative to Swedish law.

                    I think my analogies made the fourth amendment mention quite apt. I do not think, however, that you can project from there that I am some ardent patriot (-ette), or that I am blindly obedient to the USA, nor do I think reciting the Pledge is evidence of brainwashing, especially since Americans have the right to choose not to participate. But if you knew my political and philosophical views relative to political bodies and government, you might have a radically different opinion and maybe even a shocked one.

                    And the African American thing is still unclear to me. I have zero idea what in the name of creation I said that caused you make that comment Anyway…

                    And as is always the case, truth is relative and I generally do not pursue truth (primarily because I know enough to know that I do not necessarily know), but I rather pursue validity. In any case, your truths about America may come off as tangential to the actual matter of transsexual inclusion in the LGBT community. That was where I was aiming my critiques. Engaging in a discussion about the United States and its faults is actually one of my favorite topics, but I found that it is not “on point” in terms of this particular problem and inconsistency in the “community.”

                    Also, you are half right and half wrong about your comment that problems America has are unique to it, especially wrong are you that exclusion is unique to the US. You are. however, right in that America itself is unique for a number of political, social, historical and legal reasons; therefore, it would stand to reason that some of America’s problems would also be unique. However, you are quite wrong in saying that brainwashing is unique here. Brainwashing is to governments as telling lies is to a pathological fiber: they all do it and that is not an opinion but a verifiable reality, the details of which I am not going to get into here. However, as an aside, I would argue that if the majority of people in any country of your choice actually understood their monetary system, there would be a massively violent revolution by lunch time of that morning.

                    You are also considerably wide of the mark on the question of the universality of exclusion and the uniqueness of that phenom in the US. Exclusion has happened and is happening, including modern human slavery, to mention a bog one, all over this planet. The US does not have a corner on that market. These are not opinions, but are verifiable realities.

                    The United States is unique where exclusion is concerned, however, because it has a huge capacity for evolution and change. Many, many places and country’s governing and religious documents do not provide for that nearly as easily, as bloodlessly as can happen here. That is historically valid and important when trying to understand the political and social history of a country like the US.

                    in any event, I’m not quite sure who “y’all” is, but i can tell you that in many parts of this world, the problems experienced by many citizens in those countries make the ones we have seem like child’s play, even though they are anything but. I’m not sure if you’ve been watching and reading, but consider the following: the Arab Spring and other revolutions and riots going on all over the place, like in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Iceland, and countless other places. The world is on fire with problems, my dear…on fire. At least we can talk about them.

                    The United States, by contrast, for good or bad, is fairly stable right now. To me, that is both remarkable and sad when set against the backdrop of the incredible political and financial instability that is happening all over the globe. However, I will certainly grant you that your 1930′s comparison of the US is 100% on the money. There is no question that we are moving in a direction that too closely approximates that period. Also, 1870′s Germany is also something that can be seen. But, alas, I once again digress.

                    The main point here for me though is that the United States and its various problems are not really the central focus here; transsexual exclusion from a women-only event on the basis of a deeply seated dislike of the male and a conflation of the transsexual female with the male is the focus here. So when you went on about the US, I considered that to be a tangent, par excellence.

                    But needless to say, you and I are not on opposites of the inclusion battle so I want to make that clear. We’re actually fighting for the same thing. And I would be honored as a guest in your house, especially after the kids went to sleep lol

                    Sarah G
                    A woman with a trans history and the heart of a true revolutionary :)

                    • Well, good luck with your transsexual journey, I am sure it takes a lot of courage, strength, determination, etc, Truly impressive.

                      I am not going to get into the whole America thing because, aside from being completely off topic, it would be a complete waste of time: your words are basically the exact same words that I have been hearing every single time I approached this topic with anybody who was born and raised in the US. The little song I hear is always the same, almost word per word: “Yes, the US might have some fallacies, but it is a great country, the greatest country of all, look at all the great rights we have. The good things are unique of America, but the bad are just a world wide problem. America is so great. The rest of the world is just so behind us! Look at how much worse off they are than us!!! Heil America! Heil America! Number one! Number one!! USA!! USA!! USA!!!”

                      Scary. I will use your posts to prove my point to those across the world who are still in doubt on who the world worst and most dangerous, delusional terrorist is.

                  • For some reason there was no reply button to your last response, so I’m responding this way. Your language is shocking. I’m also shocked by the fact that you are making insane statements and then trying to pass them off as though anything I’ve said even remotely suggests such lunacy. There is inherent and fundamental dishonesty in your words and approach, and I am totally appalled.

                    Basically, what you’re doing is turning my words or ideas into something that confirms your own beliefs, fears of or fantasies about the world, while at the same time you are shoving your drivel down my throat–which, I do not appreciate in the least bit. What is apparent is that you are doing anything but actually using my words, quoting them, to prove some idea or another of yours of what I was actually implying or directly stating. You are going off the deep end in an extremely inappropriate and totally irresponsible way–a way, in fact, that completely lacks any form of integrity or honesty.

                    Interestingly enough, as it turns, the one doing all the accusing and adolescent finger shaking is actually quite the ethnocentric individual. It’s amazing that you could, by implication, call me a terrorist and denounce an entire country of people because it is quite imperfect, and do it in a way that employs the very tactics of demagogues and propagandists. even terrorists themselves. Can we say extremist, perhaps even bigoted, hateful perspective here?

                    And then you go on to actually suggest my mention of the imperfections of the world were in the context of somehow using that fact as though I was attempting to justify the imperfections of the US, instead of being HONEST about the fact that I only mentioned that fact in response to your bizarre remark that the world is perfect and only the US is screwed up. Ha! Wow. That is some serious intellectual dishonesty.

                    Listen, you would do well to steer clear of trying to derive the attitudes and perspectives of people you do not know on an internet blog site and simply stick to what ever it is you do know. By the sound of it, you have not been on this planet long enough to understand where someone like myself is coming from.

                    You are so wide of the mark and shockingly insulting that it leaves me wondering what the heck you’re even doing talking about inclusion and equality in the first place for, since behind your words there seems to be a considerable amount of hatred and resentment, however subtly situated. It seems just insane. I have no idea what your bag is making those kinds of remarks about someone you do not even know thing # 1 about. I mean, I just would never do that. Gees, man. WTF.

                    I mean I’m also wondering about your ability to accurately perceive your own actions and words. You started out your earlier response, the one I am actually responding to now because the one I really want to respond to did not have a reply link, by actually saying you were not going on a rant about America while practically accusing the country and every single living person in it of being some kind of lunatic, obedient, brain washed Nazi. I’m thinking, whaaaat? Lordy, me.

                    Anyway, please do not respond to me anymore if you’re going to get up on some high horse like you’re just so wonderful and everyone else is just deluded, brainwashed masses of fools who are incapable of apprehending your brilliant storm trooping vision of America. It’s boring and has really been over done by many who’ve long since come before you. If, on the other hand, you have anything worthwhile that actually substantially adds to the conversation in some positive way, and is actually relevant, then by all means, feel free. But enough with all this sanctimonious, moralistic, nonsensical, the US is full of Nazis, bad people, I’m such a good Christian person garbage, even though those sentiments are anything but Christian.

                    Finally, being a transsexual is no more courageous than being a man or a woman. There is nothing courageous about wanting to live, be alive and experience life as who you were born and then taking the necessary steps to insure that reality. So there is no need to wish me luck, nor is it anything that deserve congratulations for, just inclusion–ya know, the topic up for discussion…

                    In any case, I wish you luck with that considerable canyon on your shoulder.

                    SG

                    • Once again, with your ridiculous rant, you confirm my theory. There is a reason why the divide between the US and the rest of the world is becoming bigger and bigger: people like you. :-)
                      Keep writing extra long, ridiculous rants, you are just helping me. :-)

                  • You seem to have some issues. I feel bad. But, the sad truth is you are actually helping, playing into the hands of, the many haters of inclusion movements–and that does not help anyone interested in bridge building and making positive connections. It only helps those whose intentions are less than genuine and quite dishonest.

                    You have much to learn…

                    • I play into nothing. We have been discussing two separate issues. Now that you have finally stopped bugging me with the “America #1″ issue, you start, once again, with the inclusion issue. Go wherever you want to. Fine with me.

                      We agree on the “indigo girls” message and we very much disagree on the “America #1″ issue.

                      C’est la vie, sometimes people agree to disagree and just live and let live. How about that? Deal?

                  • I’m afraid I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about or where you get the idea that I’m talking about America is #1 or what ever it is you’re actually saying. It would be helpful, though, if you would stop making all these fantastic claims and start offering some proof of what you are saying. That way I will be able to make some sense of what you’re words actually mean. At this point, I am totally unclear.

                    Adjectives and descriptions are fine. But, they must be accompanied with strong, verbal phrases and proofs or it is anyone’s guess what any two people are talking about at all. In other words, if I make a claim, then it would be expected that I offer proof of that claim. That’s the essence of validity, something I am actually very interested in…

                    Finally, I have no problem agreeing to disagree with anyone when I know what it is I am actually disagreeing with. As I said before, I am less interested in “truth” and more interested in validity and comprehensible language.

                    Socrates was said to be the wisest man in Athens because he once made the statement that he knew nothing. In other words, to know and know you do not know is good; the complication arises when we do not know we do not know. That’s bad.

                    Also, how come there is suddenly no reply link at the end of your posts? Just curious to know if you know what that’s about…

                    Sarah

                    • Sarah, I am truly exhausted.
                      Anyway, let’s not highjack this poor article any further: if you would like to go on with this discussion, please do send me an email and I’ll be happy to continue.

                      Have a nice evening,
                      Andrea

                  • Hi Andrea,

                    Sure, I’d be happy to message you but i have no idea where I would send you a message. If it is obvious, to some it may not be. And thank you for the nice offer to continue chatting about these issues.

                    Sarah

                    • Hi Sarah,

                      Well I believe in People. I believe that people argue, but they are still people. Arguing may not be pleasant, but it beats not talking, at all, by a long shot.

                      Also, violence is unacceptable, but lively arguments are ok.

                      Interesting that you don’t see my facebook account… I can see myself in the tiny picture next to my name and if I click on the picture I get to my facebook profile, and after I get there I can send myself a facebook message or an email directly to my email account….

                      Can you at least see my picture?

                      Andrea

                  • Hi Andrea,

                    Oh, sure, I saw your pic and your face book link. But I didn’t realize meant to message you that way. I thought there was some email link or what ever somewhere to message you. I did message you on face book though, so hopefully you get that.

                    Ok, talk later…

              • No, I do not want a special paper from a therapist telling people that I am transgender.
                This would mean for me, prior to go any place I might be questioned, to take my phone and call a therapist, make an appointment and go through a whole process just for this? I haven’t had any need for therapy since I got my “problem” sorted out and this was 20 years ago. I believe that you are throwing ideas out there without any consideration for the REALITY IMPACT. This makes of your ideas the ground for rules separating us from the rest of society when all we have tried to do is to live in good harmony with our environment. I doubt very much that I will go through this length in order to get anywhere. Even to the White House or any other place in the world. My being intersexed, do I need a special paper too indicating that I am XX or XY or XXYY- XXXY ? And if I get more X than Y , will I get a special privilege than transsexual women who are XY?
                I do not know what you are doing in your life but I surely have proven enough in the last 20 years to NOT NEED A
                G*DD****D paper! And yes, you are angering me because I can tell that you are still ready to categorize me and many others and you have not the faintest idea of the consequences of it and it doesn’t matter to YOU since you are not. How would you feel if, as a Christian, I would ask of you a paper indicating that you are because I would not want a Christian for certain “pagan celebrations” as Samhain for instance. But this is only an exemple, but think about it!
                In the very first commentary I wrote.The Festival WAS important for a “Lesbian band ” like us. We thought to drive to Michigan for it … Imagine if I had been stuck at the entrance because they would have “spotted” me. They might have not then but who knows? Imagine me driving thousand of miles and being told to F**K **F?
                Imagine me being ask for a paper in order to get in just because they think I am?
                Let me tell you, some women I knew who are cis-gendered could have well passed for a transgender woman alike what people think we should look like.
                I had a Cis girl friend who was once groped in the toilets of a gay bar because one guy though she was a transvestite..
                And yes, she looked “fabulous” in that fashion! Now, she is even more supportive of our Community because for a brief moment in her life she experienced what it is to be misunderstood , misperceived and disrespected based upon the way you look!
                Every dumb judgement is definitely possible in this world!
                And the worse of this, you are still not the worse person on the scene…since you are “tolerant” one!
                The plight that transsexual women go through is heavy and I do share it too. People do not go: ‘Excuse me , before I attack you or grope you or insult you, I would like to know if you are a queen, trav, trans, hermaphrodite? ‘ And then modulate his aggression depending on that!
                We are called a Transgender community for a reason. We all have found the dear need to join our forces together and this, no matter what are our particularities because of the exclusion and the rejection everywhere. And it is with great will and resilience facing adversity that we are making progress. And in the process, gaining ALLIES.
                I couldn’t care less about your so called “Devil’s advocate”. This role you take cannot hold in front of a woman like me who has proven her worth and goodness (and even saved one woman’s life once! I have to tell this to you here in order to make you think about OUR WORTH. Usually, I do keep this to myself ) with countless people around her and who has made great friends who completely understand the greatness in being an Intersexed woman. People who are way beyond tolerance…beyond acceptance…
                I hope that those experiences I have take over an hour of my time to write down ( English, not being my native language) can raise your understanding beyond what I have had to read. But this is up to you! After all you are not subscribed to Lexie Cannes for no reason at all and this should be a plus to understand US.
                And I hope it does!
                I saw your comment addressed to me. I did not before writing this. I am glad that it did “touch you and hope that the rest I wrote here does too.
                M.
                .

                • Yes, Marcia, it did. You got your point across very well! Thanks for sharing.

                  What is your native language, if I may ask? Your English is impeccable.

                  Thanks again and take care,
                  Andrea

                  PS I may be ignorant of things related to being intersexed, TG, etc, but that is exactly why I am here: to understand and learn.

        • No, you are phrasing and expressing yourself very well, and amazingly without any hate or aggressive language towards people who do tend to pull the irritating string in us! I am glad you are writing for US. It is not a waste of time , it is what activism is all about,speak out in face of bigotry.
          My preceding comment should make them realize that there are human being ( intersexed people ) whose biological sex does not help in defining their gender identity , so there is indeed such a thing as Gender in addition to the physical.

    • That’s an extremely sexist and erroneous thing to say It’s also shameful if you consider yourself someone who believes in inclusiveness and equality, even hypocritical.

      That surprising statement in reference to ts women also implies that you believe transwomen are but men. It also implies that women are not “safe” around ts women, which is phenomenally untrue and a grossly insulting way to call a transwoman a man in women’s things. Wow.

      I’ll tell you, I think the women’s movement needs to have a serious, grown up conversation about people who make statements like yours. It is untenable that such a person have the expectation of being treated equally and fairly when in fact such a person bitterly refuses to extend the same to others.

    • Transsexual women are not men, and when you say that it is hateful. This issue has nothing to do with patriarchy and everything to do with bigotry. Calling a woman of transgender history a “man” shows your bigotry, is offensive and unacceptable.

  15. Ok, ok, I went to the Lexie Cannes site for a second, and I saw horrible things of how people, no matter whether they are trans, straight, whatever, they are people, are discriminated and mistreated. It is horrible! I don’t want to be associated with this type of bigotry: let me state loud and clear once again that I consider transwomen women, period, I was just trying to see things from the point of view of the organizers. They can have their rules, their choice, and then people can make their own choices, like not to participate for instance.

    Like I said, I am not a fan of anything with the word “only”, in it, whether it is “women who were born women only”, “whites only”, “blacks only”, or whatever.

    Peace, Love, Understanding and Compassion,
    Andrea

  16. Indigo Girls Rock!!!!!!!!! Don’t care whether it’s this year or the next that they abstain from the festival–their thoughtful statement of support is worth its weight in antimatter!

    For my part, fwiw, the medieval or Chaucerian spelling of woman as “womyn” was always enough to give me pause.

    • I couldn’t agree more. That spelling has given me pause on many an occasion. It’s one thing to be for something, to advocate for a group, and quite yet another that your advocacy is rooted in being profoundly against another group or class. I think once the support for something or the belief in something crosses that line, then it becomes an instance where great hatreds and prejudice are born and encouraged.

  17. I have been browsing online more than three hours today, yet
    I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It’s pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  18. I am proud of the Indigo Girls for taking this stand. I am a big fan, and I have seen them twice in concert. I am especially familiar with the first half of their output, up through Come On Now, Social; and those who question their integrity do not know anything about them.

    Some years Amy Ray conducted interviews with people at Camp Trans and with the festival’s founder, publishing them at the group’s web site to further dialogue and understanding. This issue has been on their hearts and minds for some time.

    Thank you, Emily and Amy, for taking a stand for society’s trans sisters!

    Hoka hey!

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