trent lane, name




An open letter to our communities from “Elliott” (a pseudonym), Kate Loewe, Kathy Ni Keefe (, Samuel Lurie (, and Eli Clare (

We are writing to let our communities know about a recent hate crime that occurred in New Mexico. We are writing to break silence, to create resistance to violence and space for healing, and to build support for the survivor. We are writing in hopes that we can take care of each other, undercut the community-wide fear that comes with hate violence, and work toward justice.

Please note that what follows contains some graphic details, which could be triggering. Also, the survivor is a parent of two children, and this information MUST NOT reach them.

Read more...Collapse )

x-posted a good amount (x-post more and feel free to place on your personal journals)

Camp Trans needs us!

<< This community does not support PAYING to attend MWMF or giving labor as payment. >>

I feel that frustration, but I guess i don't agree with the strategy. Not this year.

Look, Camp Trans has declared victory. I understand, if you had been at Camp Trans this year, you probably would have *not* have voted to declare victory. I might not have voted for victory either. But that's not the way it went.

Remember when the fest even let me buy a ticket? I had interesting adventures on the land that year. And we had to get together and have the discussion - do we declare victory? For lots of good reasons, we did not.

This year, several out transwomen were allowed to buy tickets, and the reception they got on the land was especially positive. CT decided this was the year.

Look, Lisa Vogel was never going to fold completely. "Im in charge" type people never do. But it sure sounds like no more transwomen are going to be told they cant buy tickets and no more transwomen will be ejected from the festival.

OK, for those who were waiting for a big "Im sorry" from the management, this doesnt feel much like a "victory." I get that. And sure, They could start ejecting transwomen again next year, and we might all look silly. The old policy was enforced unpredictably, after all. Maybe they will continue to be unpredictable.

Look, this was never about changing one person's mind. This was about changing the community's mind. And the fact is, the community has largely changed its mind on this topic. I mean, it worked. All the zines, the arguments, the protests, the boycotts, all the hard work that so many people have done over the years. And we didn't do this just because of a festival in the damn woods, we did it to change a whole community about the way they were treating some of their sisters.

Now, if this is all about the Festival and nothing else, then nothing changes. Michfest is just wrong, and it should be shut down, and no one worth talking to will attend, and no one who attends should be spoken to. Wrong is just wrong.

And I get that, I do. I've said the same thing myself, many times.

But if this is about changing the community, then the next phase of that work happens on the land. This year, for the first time, an out transwoman ran a workshop on trans-inclusion at Michfest. Lots of people came. They talked.

That's huge. That's just very different from a few people coming over to CT to "chat" with the freaks. That kind of open dialogue, happening at an official Fest event, is something we begged for just a few years ago.

This year, CT people worked full time on the land, handing out info, answering questions, and so on. They even sold copies of my damn zine on the land. Isn't that amazing?

If this keeps up, then more and more of the work of CT will have to happen on the land. That makes it "working from within" no matter how much that phrase was abused in the past.

One of the women who was running CT this year (and who was sold a ticket) is taking over "Yellow_armbands" as we speak. Isn't that amazing?

Look, I went to CT a bunch of years, and one of the things that frustrated me there is that we would do stuff and then come back and find that the community would not support us. I took amazing shit for the year i went on the land. Pro-CT activists called me all kinds of nasty names, because it was not a strategy they approved of. They knew better than me, they were right, I was wrong, end of story. And I would shrug and say "but i was there on the ground, and i went with my instinct, and it why not support me? Why not trust me?"

Well, CT made a call this year. We werent there, they just made decisions without us. They smelled the wind, looked things over, and made their call.

I say, Let's support them. I'm going to. I could, after all, write a big essay about why they made the wrong choice and plaster it all over the internet. But who would that help? Goddess bless them, they are my heros. Have you met any of these people? CT this year was mostly run by young, razor sharp transwomen. Amazing girls. They did work I wish I was doing. I want to help them.

Helping the Camp Trans gang also means trusting Camp Trans gang.

Maybe they got it wrong, Maybe they'll screw it up. It would be "safer" to sit back and stay out of it and start preparing my "I told you so!" essay. But I cant do that. it hurt too much when people did it to me.

If that doesnt make any sense to you all, well, I understand. In that case, please accept my resignation from "Wbw_is_bullshit" cause Camp Trans isn't just the kids who got high in the woods and went swimming this year, I am Camp Trans. I always will be. I dont know why, it just got into my blood.

You know as well as i do, the average "but Im working from within!" person was just saying bullshit. Well, that's still gonna be true, on average. But this year, when people come up to me and say "Im working from within!" Im gonna smile and say "good for you!" cause that's the note we're hitting this year. We cant make you join in - but we could sure use your help.

Camp Trans isn't there FOR me. It isn't there to make me feel good, it's to open doors around the community. It will serve the needs of a lot of women who haven't even shown up yet. Community building is something you do for the people who show up after you. Sometimes, that work is fun. Sometimes, not so much.

But it's good work, and it's worth doing. I urge everyone in the wbw_is_bullshit community to come help us. Nope, Im not holding the steering wheel this year, but thats ok with me. Im still willing to get out and help push.

We could sure use all of your help.

Anyway, Im sorry that this post rather pushes the boundries of the "wbw_is_bullshit" rules, please accept my apologies. Im open to chat about this in any venue that's appropriate.

much love,
Stacey (princess)
  • Current Mood

National Center for Transgender Equality Press Release

Note how the press release tells you about the trhe for profit music company that owes MWMF

National Center for Transgender Equality Press Release
Advocates Celebrate End of Policy Barring Ticket Sales to Transgender Women
August 24, 2006

But Management of Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival Insists Transwomen Should Choose Not to Attend

Washington, DC — After an openly transgender woman was allowed to purchase a ticket at this summer’s Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, Camp Trans organizers released a statement on August 21 celebrating the end of a 15-year old, anachronistic, divisive policy that served to police women’s bodies and exclude transwomen from attending the Festival. Camp Trans is an annual gathering of people dedicated to promoting inclusion of all women at women-only events. However, the celebration of this news was short-lived as management of We Want The Music Company (WWTMC), a for-profit corporation that runs the festival, issued a press release the next day reaffirming their belief that transgender women should police themselves and not attend the Festival.

While the Festival box office will now sell tickets to transwomen, according to WWTMC’s Lisa Vogel, the only people welcome are “womyn who were born as and have lived their entire life experience as womyn.” Vogel’s statement continues, “If a transwoman purchased a ticket, it represents nothing more than that womon choosing to disrespect the stated intention of this Festival.”

While trying to cloak WWTMC’s rhetoric in window dressing by calling transwomen “sisters in struggle,” Vogel erroneously continued to assert that it is not transphobic to ask transgender women not to attend the long-running Festival. In a disturbing twist of logic, Vogel acknowledges that transgender women will now be able to purchase tickets, but she stands behind the spirit of company’s recently retired policy, calling transwomen disrespectful if they choose to attend the Festival.

“All women should feel welcomed in women-only space,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. “It’s just sad to see this company continuing to police the validity women’s identities and experiences. WWTMC’s rhetoric echoes the language of other oppressors. We expect better of those who should know the pain of oppression. We’d like to see Vogel’s company get up to speed with the attitudes of the feminist community and with the vast majority of festival workers and attendees.”

While WWTMC has dug in its heels regarding which women it deems fit to welcome to the Festival, the attitudes of festival-goers and workers have definitely shifted since 1991 when a transwoman was forcibly ejected from the event. The feminist community overwhelmingly embraces the diversity of women’s experiences, from butch lesbians to genderqueer dykes to transwomen.

Camp Trans organizers continue to educate WWTMC’s management around the divisiveness of their position.
To learn more about Camp Trans, please visit:
To learn more about the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, please visit:
  • Current Mood
  • jess_s

(no subject)

An Update On Camp Tran's Recent Victory

Festival management issued a press release on Tuesday filled with a lot of
the same rhetoric we’ve seen in the past about why transgender women
shouldn’t attend the festival and accusing Camp Trans of spreading

I’d like to set the record straight.

As Camp Trans announced on Monday, this year the festival ended its 15-year policy
of refusing admission to trans women, and began selling tickets to women
who are openly trans. The festival now has no policy forbidding any woman
from attending.

This was first confirmed to Camp Trans organizers by box office staff, and
has been confirmed again by this press release from Festival management.
The end of the policy is an enormous victory, and activists at Camp Trans
and within the festival were overjoyed to learn the news at this year’s

Fest management does not deny that trans women are now allowed to buy
tickets and attend the festival. Instead, they are now denying that the
festival ever had such a policy. They say that the flyer handed to trans
women at the gate for years, which explained why the festival would not
allow trans women to attend, was not a policy, simply a suggestion that
was self-enforced and open to individual interpretation.

Here are the facts:

In 1991, a transgender woman named Nancy Burkholder was removed from the
festival grounds by festival security acting on behalf of management.
Festival management retroactively announced the policy.

The policy was reaffirmed in 1999 with a flyer handed to every festival
attendee, and given to trans women at the box office in following years.

That flyer states:
Welcome to our 25th Anniversary Festival! For one week a year, the
Festival provides a space for us to gather as womyn who were born as,
and have lived our entire life experience as womyn.

We also have a commitment to run the Festival in a way that keeps
faith with the womyn-born womyn policy, which may mean denying
admission to individuals who self-declare as male-to-female
transsexuals or female-to-male transsexuals now living as men (or
asking them to leave if they enter).

It seems that festival management would rather erase the entire history of
our struggle than admit that times have changed, and festival workers and
attendees overwhelmingly support trans women attending the fest.

We should all be working to help our communities heal after 15 years of
division, and this hostility from Michigan management is disappointing.
But it does not diminish the significance of what trans activists and
supporters achieved this year. Trans women are now allowed to be part of
the conversation. Trans women openly attended the festival this year and
were welcomed by the women who’ve made Michigan the incredible place it
is: festival workers and attendees.

Activists both inside the fest and across the road will continue our work
together to make Michigan even better.

Knock it off

Please respect this space as it was intended.

Especially in light of the recent press release from Lisa Vogel that completely undermines and rejects any work done by individuals and organized communities done on The Land, it is more important than ever NOT TO GIVE HER MONEY TO FUND HER TRANSPHOBIA.

This community does not support PAYING to attend MWMF or giving labor as payment.

If you have a problem with this, unjoin. Respect space set aside for people with a particular experience and history ... in this case, people frustrated with being jerked around by Lisa Vogel.

And definitely, no links to other communities.

Last, if you are banned, it's for a reason -- posting under another screenname is not only sneaky, it's disrespectful.

(no subject)

I suppose I will weigh in with my opinion on the whole MWMF thing.

I *was* very proud of all the work done by the Camp Trans organizers (this year's and everyone who came before them). The fact that the *culture has shifted so that transphobia is a politically-undesirable worldview* is just amazing. It is now seen as uncool and non-progressive (amongst our small queer community) to be transphobic and this wasn't always so.

I didn't think for one second that the positive reception from festies meant anything in terms of legitimacy from the festival's owner, Lisa Vogel. I admit it, I am a cynical bitch when it comes to these things.

While everyone was jumping up and down and getting fired up to un-boycott all I could was "jerked around again" and "I don't think this is going to stick." I said I was cynical.

I am not surprised at Lisa Vogel's "taking back" of the short-lived MWMF-specific victory. She has gone on record as saying that she will shut down the festival rather than openly welcome transwomen.

But, well ... hear me out. As an activist who for several years boycotted MWMF-playing musicians in my home city our rationale was this: "MWMF is a transphobic institution that influences countless women activists, social workers, and progressives. These women return from their 'week in the woods' and create transphobic policies at women-specific organization that mirror MWMF policies since MWMF is held up as an ideal women's community, therefore MWMF's policy has the power to affect policies surrounding transwomen in women's communities on a national level."

That *was* our rationale.

But the culture has shifted. Well, our queer culture. You won't see me arguing that mainstream America is not only ignorant of transgender issues but often transphobic as well. It's not cool to be transphobic anymore. The people with the "good politics" are the ones who honor a person's declared identity rather than limiting a person by genital appearance at birth.

In the larger sense, I feel like we *have* won.

No, transwomen (and serious allies) aren't allowed in into some bully's private party. But remember the schoolyard bully? Lashed out at other kids due to own insecurities, usually not very happy individuals? Yeah.

So. So I can't go to MWMF and probably never will. But my local women's center allows transwomen. So do other major women's conferences and retreats. Everytime I go to a women's or genderqueer/queer event I see more young transwomen not afraid to socialize or speak up or read at an open mic who are not shy, who know they belong ... this is the real victory -- a generation of transwomen who will hopefully live in a queer community that is a little bit safer, more inclusive, more understanding and more just fun.

I don't care what happened at MWMF or what Lisa Vogel says. We won.
The Lip

Hopes dashed: Michfest still discriminatory

I need to say something about the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival shenanigans over email. I almost did a happy snoopy dance yesterday and started to think about "the healing process" when I read the Camp Trans press release that said that the policy was all gone...but then I read it closer and it didn't say anything about Lisa Vogel, the woman who owns the land and is adamantly anti-transwomen so I was...skeptical. I did a happy dance in my boss's office when she sent the Camp Trans press release over the email list, but still--skeptical.

Sure enough, Lisa Vogel's put out a press release today (see below the cut), spouting the old tired shit about how Nancy Burkholder, the first transwoman kicked off the land in 1991 in a big to-do, is supposedly a "man." And how supposedly some random transwoman from Camp Trans ran onto "The Land" and flashed her genitals (lies lies all lies). And how having a non-transwomen-only gathering is as transphobic as having a women-of-color-only gathering, totally ignoring the utter lack of parallel structure in her comparison what with non-transwomen having all the power and privilege here. And so on.

So I have this to say: I'm unsurprised. My faith in women's community has NOT been restored. All you people who listen to and patronize musicians who play in the discriminatory festival are assholes. That means you, Alix-Olsen-lovers; I don't care how fun her "armpit hair" song is or how empowered you feel when she raps about cunnilingus because her music is about her politics and her politics exclude transwomen and so do yours. Genderqueer does not equal transwoman, transman does not equal transwoman, and if you think being "down" with the FTMs gives you a pass on supporting transwomen and making your activism accountable to transwomen you are WRONG. If you think you have ANY call as a non-transwoman to tell transwomen that their tactics are wrong, well--you're just all chock full of entitlement, aren't you. YES.

And to the woman I ran into on the street whose "whole perspective" on Michfest has been "totally changed" with the experience of going to the festival: NO duh, you had fun. You're not a transwoman. Your physical safety wasn't threatened. Nobody's telling you that you're not the sex that you are, and nobody's shrieking about your genitals. It's a great space, a fertile breeding ground for feminism and anti-racist organizing, an important part of our history as queer women--a great space, unless you're interested in a model of social justice that includes transwomen. A great space unless you're a transwoman, or are *perceived* as a transwoman. Its fabulousness as an institution is part of why it's so important that the social justice of this "model community" include transwomen. Your ethics are flawed if you can soak up the privileges of being accepted in that women's community even knowing how transwomen are excluded and how transwomen have asked you not to pay into Vogel's institution, and I'm disappointed in you. If you want to make amends promise you'll never go back until your transwomen sisters are included in women's community, and spend the money you would have spent on a ticket on donations to Camp Trans, the Transsexual Menace, transwomen-inclusive chapters of the Lesbian Avengers, and Stacey Montgomery's printing costs.

Lisa Vogel's press release, from the listserv for people in the National Consortium of Directors of LGBT Resources in Higher Education, hereCollapse ).

I know you all share my rage.

Cross-posted to my journal.

(no subject)

Julia Serano has an amazing open letter to the queer community about how transmen and non-trans women can be better allies to transwomen.

It starts like this ...
here is a scenario that i hope will spark some long overdue dialogue:

say a woman you know is the victim of sexist discrimination, and her discriminators were unapologetic about it. if you were a righteous male ally, would you:

1) hold the discriminators accountable by calling them on their shit, boycotting their business, etc.

2) assure the woman that you will meet privately with her discriminators, behind closed doors, and try to show them the err of their ways.

if you chose #2, and the discriminators refused to change their ways, would you:

1) hold the discriminators accountable by calling them on their shit, boycotting their business, etc.

2) instead, continue to meet with the discriminators in private to try to change their mind, because you have worked with them before on other issues and you know they are good people deep down.

If at this point you still would chose #2, would you continue with that strategy for years on end? Would you continue even if some people used the fact that the discriminators were willing to meet with you as evidence that they aren’t really sexist?

Camp Trans Anyone?

Hey guys, I just joined and I wanted to pose a question.

Is anyone from the east coat driving up to Camp Trans or MWMF?
I live in the Philadelphia area and am thinking of going up.
I can't afford it on my own, but have a working car.
Anyone want to tag along? Even half the ride?

Just in case you're wondering, I am James. Eighteen. Genderqueer.
I like camping. I'm single and own a big tent.
Come on! You know you want to!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
On the left.

(x-posted to a few spots)
  • Current Music
    The Streets

Camp Trans Wants YOU to give a workshop!

Hi Folks, this is jack, the Camp Trans Programming Coordinator for summer 2006. for any of you who are planning on coming out to camp trans this summer, we are looking for presenters for a number of workshops we are starting to plan, below is a description of some of the workshops we have in mind and anyone interested in planning any of those (or if you have other ideas) should email me at jackrobinson @ riseup . net for more info or just fill out a presentation proposal form (found, with instructions, on our website) and send it my way