It’s that time of year again, when lesbians descend in droves onto The Land in the woods of eastern Michigan to…to what? Participate in drum circles? Celebrate the Earth Mother and talk about wombs? Listen to crappy folk music?
As you probably guessed, MichFest is not my cup of tea. It’s waaaay too hippietastic and Second-Wave for my liking. Yep, I’m a lady and I’m queer. I don’t need to go play in the dirt and bang on drums with a bunch of other lesbos to feel affirmed in my dykeness. And seriously ladies, there’s only so much damned folk music I can take, so I sure as hell don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with that as my sole soundtrack. Add to this the fact that it costs hundred of dollars to go sleep in the dirt and pee in port-a-potties for a week. Simply put, MichFest is not worth it.
But you know the most important reason it’s not worth it? Because it’s still a transphobic, exclusionary event. Yes, there are now trans women who attend the event and there are more and more allies there each year, especially thanks to the group Trans Women Belong Here (TWBH). But at its core, MichFest doesn’t want trans women there which is why the founders have refused to officially drop the “womyn-born-womyn” entrance policy. And this is not something I will support. I will not attend a festival created by transphobic radical feminists who refuse to see their hatred for what it is.
I know lots of women attend MichFest as trans allies, working with TWBH for the week, showing visible solidarity with our trans sisters and helping to provide safe spaces on The Land. I can see the need for that but I still can’t bring myself to give money to a transphobic organization. In my mind attending (especially if you are not actively volunteering with TWBH or some other trans ally group) is akin to supporting. You are paying these women to continue their exclusionary policy. Think on that.
I think it’s high time for a new summertime queer, woman-identified festival, one without incessant folk music and transphobia. And please, no drum circles either, I beg you. Who’s with me?