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Camp Trans- A Feminist Festival

June 19, 2009


In my post about the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, I mentioned their exclusion of transgendered women. In response to this exclusion, Camp Trans takes place concurrently with the Womyn’s Music Festival each year near its location in Michigan.

Their web site states their mission is,

Protesting the exclusion of trans women from women-only spaces, most notably theMichigan Womyn’s Music Festival;

Building a trans-inclusive community that is welcoming and safe for all;

Empowering the next generation of activists to fight for trans issues locally through organizer trainings, workshops, and leadership development; and

Advocating for the inclusion of trans issues in progressive, queer, and feminist movements by building coalitions with supportive organizations and bringing attention to local campaigns.

Camp Trans contains performances as well, encouraging supportive artists from the Womyn’s Music Festival to perform, as well as speaking out from the MWMF stage in support of the above goals. 

Have any of you readers ever been? It sounds like a wonderful environment, and I think women’s-only spaces are important, with a potential for profundity.

On a personal note, a request for info. I am quite happy with my male biology, and quite happy with my current partner who happens to have female biology, but have continued to queer my identity and relationships. Does anyone know of a festival that welcomes this kind of community?

  1. Shiloh permalink
    July 20, 2009 10:18 am

    I am female bodied and my partner happens to be male bodied. We are involved with a radical faerie community in Tennessee. I’m thinking about going to camp trans this year. My partner and I love queer community and have been dreaming and brain-storming about starting an event centered around hetero/queer couples for lack of a better term. This seems to be a new thing happening and there just isn’t anyone organizing toward it. We would love to be in touch with you and hear your thoughts!
    ~ Shiloh

  2. Shiloh permalink
    July 21, 2009 12:54 pm

    It’s me again,
    More on Hetero/Queer couples… this is such a new thing that it doesn’t even really have a name yet. There is the bi-sexual polyamorous crowd but I don’t think that necessarily includes queer. I think queer suggests an extra streak of freak that polyamory just doesn’t cover. My partner and I have gone back and forth about the labeling of what we are and I would love to hear some suggestions…

    • Carrie permalink
      July 21, 2009 2:27 pm

      I think my situation is somewhat similar to yours, Shiloh. Some disclosure: I’m a queer-identified woman engaged to a straight-identified man. I go back and forth between embracing the labels “bisexual” and “queer,” but I usually stick with “queer” because I think it’s the term that encompasses my life experience most accurately.

      I think the reason why there aren’t many events and spaces specifically for queer-identified opposite sex couples is because, no matter how else one might identify, opposite sex couples always benefit from heterosexual privilege. I am attracted to women, and I’ve had homophobia directed towards me during my life, but none of that changes the fact that I now enjoy the privilege of holding my partner’s hand when I walk down the street without having to worry about being harassed. It sucks that there isn’t a lot of discussion about queer heterosexuality, because it certainly exists, but that’s probably because queer heterosexuals (and queer cisgender people, for that matter) are simply not discriminated against in the same way as LGBT folks are.

      Finally, on labeling “hetero/queer couples” – why do you feel you need a label? The entire reason I’ve never really settled on a label for my identity and relationship is because there just isn’t one. And once I realized that was okay, I felt really liberated. You don’t need a label to justify your relationship, or to build a community. Just love who (and how) you want to love – and the people who matter will understand, no matter what you call it.

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