DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript FUAH's 9-5-06 press statement -The Michigan Women's Music Festival Continues to Promote Discrimination


The Michigan Women's Music Festival Continues to Promote Discrimination

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Families United Against Hate (FUAH)

Contacts:

Carolyn Wagner

Gabi Clayton (360) 888-5291

email: info@fuah.org

website: http://www.fuah.org

 

September 5, 2006

 

Families United Against Hate was elated to hear that the "Michigan Womyn's Music Festival" had ended their 31 year long policy of discrimination toward transgender women. This was not to last, however,  as we learned that the "Michigan Womyn's Music Festival" spokesperson, Lisa Vogel issued a long and protracted statement which essentially said nothing has changed: the Festival is intended for women-born women, and those who seek to purchase tickets are asked to respect that intention. Vogel emphasized, "If a transwoman purchased a ticket, it represents nothing more than that womon choosing to disrespect the stated intention of this Festival."

 

In the days that followed we read responses from Camp Trans (a camp of people who meet at the same time each year with the purpose of protesting this policy of exclusion, educating the organizers of WWTMC and other organizations and individuals about transphobia).

 

Now we are compelled to respond. On August 30, 2006, Carolyn Wagner, co-founder of FUAH called WWTMC and spoke with a spokesperson named  Sandy who reiterated their position, and stated that it would not be changed even with our offer of mediation.

 

We deeply regret this ongoing act of bias toward our transgender family members and friends, especially when both we and WWTMC know that transgender women are targeted for such an extreme amount of bias-motivated discrimination and violence. The time could not be more urgent and crucial for WWTMC to open their arms to welcome their trans sisters, to eradicate any previous emotions of bias and pain.

 

Gabi Clayton, co-founder of FUAH states, "As the mother of a son who was assaulted because he identified as bisexual, I am all too aware of how marginalization contributes to beliefs that eventually lead to hatred and violence. The current attitude held by WWTMC toward transwomen is marginalization, pure and simple."

 

Carolyn Wagner also stated that, "I now believe that the Michigan Women's Music Festival is asking all transgender women to cooperatively and actively participate in their own oppression as a form of self imposed segregation. Having grown up in the south during the days of segregation, this would be equivalent to having people of color cooperating with their oppression such as sitting in the back of the bus, the segregated lunch counters, and so forth."

 

We believe that to remain silent regarding this ongoing act of blatant discrimination toward transwomen enables such bias to continue and plants those seeds that we know can and do lead to violence and the destruction of lives we all hold to be precious. We invite individuals and other organizations to join us in denouncing such forms of discrimination regardless of how such bias is cloaked or who is perpetrating it, such as, sadly, this time when is the bias comes from those we would believe were within our own communities.

 

Dr. Martin Luther King once said, "We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people."

 

We regret that while we had heard in the past of the exclusion of trans-women from the Michigan Women's Music Festival, we did not act. We now seek to correct that error and we beg the forgiveness of transgender people, their families and loved ones for our taking this long.

 


Links:

 

FUAH's position regarding federal hate crime legislation

http://www.fuah.org/federal_legislation.html

 

Remember Our Dead

http://gender.org/remember/

___________________
 

FAMILIES UNITED AGAINST HATE (FUAH) is a nonprofit grassroots organization created by and for families and survivors of hate motivated violence, in collaboration with other individuals and organizations. 
 

We offer support, guidance and assistance to families* and individuals dealing with incidents based on bias; and to the people, organizations and agencies who serve and support them.

* We define family broadly to include biological, extended and chosen family.

 

 

#

 


 

 September 7, 2006

On the Camp Trans 2006 website:

Our Goals  and  Frequently asked questions and objections

http://camptrans.squarespace.com/trans-inclusion-and-michfest/

 


 

September 14, 2006 ~ this was the email we sent out in response to the critical/negative replies to our press statement:

Dear ______________
 

Thank you for taking your time to respond to our 9-5-06 press statement: "The Michigan Women's Music Festival Continues to Promote Discrimination."

We have read and considered your words and thoughts -- and we hope that you will continue to reflect on ours.

We object to how a person's gender is defined in order to exclude some people. Bias impacting transgender people goes beyond the issues at the Michigan Women's Music Festival -- excluding them from the policy table for legislation on hate crime, employment, housing, etc. By allowing this exclusion to continue, MWMF is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

The MWMF organizers welcome thousands of women to attend festival annually -- and we are sure there is great diversity in those who are welcome. But the organizers have singled out a class of women whose attendance they say would be disrespectful to the others -- thus marginalizing them.

Individuals do indeed have a right of association.  Blue eyed, black haired women can associate with other blue eyed, black haired women in their homes and in private clubs. But there has been an assumption made in some of the emails we have received that the festival is like a private party on private land. We know they do not let the attendees in for free.

The festival is registered with the State of Michigan as a Domestic Profit Corporation.  See:

http://www.dleg.state.mi.us/bcs_corp/dt_corp.asp?id_nbr=354459&name_entity=WE WANT THE MUSIC COMPANY

The incorporation documents show that they issued 50,000 shares at $1 per share. You can see the articles of incorporation at:
http://www.dleg.state.mi.us/bcs_corp/image.asp?FILE_TYPE=STS&FILE_NAME=D0201\93191\93191AFC.TIF

We (FUAH)  believe that it would be discriminatory for a Domestic Profit Corporation to discriminate against blue eyed, black haired women, and similarly, we believe it is discriminatory for the corporation to announce that another segment of women would disrespect the wishes of the organizers if they attended.

Sincerely,
Gabi Clayton & Carolyn Wagner
co-founders of Families United Against Hate
http://www.fuah.org

"Within the lesbian community I am Black, and within the Black community I am a lesbian.  Any attack against Black people is a lesbian and gay issue, because I and thousands of other Black women are part of the lesbian community.  Any attack against lesbians and gays is a Black issue because thousands of lesbians and gay men are Black.  There is no hierarchy of oppression." ~ Audre Lorde
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