Monday, April 13, 2015

What’s Happening With The MWMF?

 There seems to be some discussion going on about the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival (Michfest), TransAdvocate suspended their petition.

The Windy City Times report that,
NCLR and Task Force remove names from Michfest petition
By Sarah Toce

Just days after Kate Kendell and the organization she leads, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), removed their signature from Equality Michigan's Michfest petition, another big league LGBT organization followed suit. National LGBTQ Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey has withdrawn her support for the petition.

Kendell and Carey's original letters were met with an outcry from the LGBT community opposed to Michfest's intent on transgender women, and an additional joint statement was released on Saturday, April 11, 2015.

"We are writing to state clearly our commitment to the full inclusion and welcome of transgender women, as women, in the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival (Michfest). We will continue to actively work to fulfill that goal," the updated response said. "After a number of conversations, we do not believe the petition/boycott is going to be ultimately productive in achieving the goal of a fully inclusive Michfest."

Kendell and Carey added, "There have been a number of misstatements and distortions that have been included in some media reports, social media and blogs about our positions regarding Michfest that have wrongly equated taking our names off the petition with a lack of support for trans women. We have not abandoned our efforts to work for a fully inclusive Michfest. Our goal is a Michfest that fully welcomes Trans women." 
And now the TransAdvocate reports that,
TransAdvocate Suspending Its MichFest Petition Signature
By Autumn Sandeen
April 12, 2015

On the evening of April 8, 2015, The TransAdvocate editors came to a unanimous decision to suspend our signature on the Equality Michigan petition asking for MichFest to change their trans exclusionary, womyn-born-womyn intention.

This was decided after earlier in the day the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ (NCLR’s) Kate Kendall sent a letter to Lisa Vogel and withdrew its name from Equality Michigan’s petition asking for MichFest to change its trans exclusionary, womyn-born-womyn intention.
On April 10th, I called Emily Dievendorf, the Executive Director of Equality Michigan, and informed her of our decision to suspend our participation in the petition in an attempt to foster the kind of honest and forthright dialogue that Kate Kendall suggests; we are committed to the truly productive discussions that Rea Carey states are necessary. These kinds of discussions cannot be done with intermediaries alone.
We at the TransAdvocate are making a good-faith effort to engage MichFest in dialogue with the goal of a reconciliation that will bring an end to the decades of trauma the MichFest, trans and feminist communities have experianced. So, we at The TransAdvocate are giving pause; we’re giving space. We’re giving space to give an opportunity for the face-to-face meetings that are long overdue to reconcile, heal, and embrace the core value of inclusiveness. We, along with MichFest associated intermediaties who are in dialogue with the TransAdvocate, have reached out to Vogel and await a response.
So is there a breakthrough coming? I guess we are going to have to wait and see.

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