It seems there was a clash last weekend at Boston’s Dyke March between a TS/TG contingent and the radfem SCUM.
Now I haven’t taken part in a Dyke March since I left Los Angeles, but the one thing I remember about them in the 1990s was that TS/TG lesbian sisters were welcome to take part as Dyke March was trans-inclusive.
From the Edge Boston: http://www.edgeboston.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=local&sc2=reviews&sc3=&id=134547
by Winnie McCroy
Wednesday Jun 27, 2012
Visible Trans Contingent Joins March; Infighting Ensues
A new, very visible contingent in this year’s march was The Hole-y Army, a group of about 75 gender-variant and genderqueer people, marching under the banner of “Gender > Genitals,” promoting gender inclusion for all women-identified people.
“We wanted to do a project for trans inclusion, gender queers, MTF butches and FTM femmes, no matter what gender we are and what we want to present to the world, anyone can self-define as a dyke,” said organizer Coral Short. “Some of my friends didn’t feel welcome at the Dyke March, and were asked, ’Do you belong here?’ But everyone belongs: part-time dykes, ’used to be a dyke.’ The Dyke March numbers were going down, and so we wanted to bring in the whole family.”
With their colorful outfits, assorted “holes” on sticks, choreographed dance moves and prepared chants, The Hole-y Army added a lot of excitement to the Dyke March. But according to numerous participants, a dust-up between a lesbian activist and some of the members of The Hole-y Army has marred an otherwise unifying event.
According to reports, Baltimore lawyer Cathy Brennan was walking past Dyke March organizer Ida Hammer when Hammer tapped her on the shoulder, flanked by about a dozen trans activists.
“I had no idea who Hammer was, but she said that she knew who I was and wanted me to know this march was for all women,” said Brennan. “I said, ’Yes, I know it’s an inclusive space and I respect that, and that women have the ability to decide what their space should be.’ That seemed to flummox her; I think she was looking for an apology or a fight, I’m not sure.”
Brennan has been vocal on her blog about her opposition to transpeople who “pressure lesbians to transition, or to identify as sexually open to trans women, or be labeled bigots.”
Brennan said that she feared a confrontation, and asked the group to move away from where some young children were playing. She moved to a bench and sat down, and was surrounded by activists, one of whom got so close, Brennan asked whether the individual would like to sit in her lap.
“They are saying I sexually harassed them, but I said, ’You stepped to me, and I’m harassing you?’” Brennan told EDGE. “It lasted a very long time — at least an hour — and during this time people were crowding my space, and I didn’t feel I could leave easily. I’ve been an activist for 20 years, done counter-demos against racist skinheads and KKK people and never felt as physically unsafe as I did at that moment.”
Hammer left soon after the conversation began, and Wolfe stressed that the remainder of the people involved were not representative of Dyke March organizers.
“I think that transpeople telling lesbians who we need to find desirable is just like a man telling us all we need is a good dick,” said Brennan. “If you substitute your values for my values as a dyke, you’re going to have problems.”
Another march committee organizer, Juniper, was among those that approached Brennan. “People went to speak with her because she has a long history of outing transwomen, and people went to speak to her about making transwomen feel unsafe,” said Juniper. “She was saying horrible things to transwomen, and some walked away crying; she was calling transwomen not female, and that was really hurtful.”
One observer heard Brennan tell queer activists that while they may self-identify as “women” they were not “female.” She added that she was appalled by what she saw as a condescending tone activists took toward Brennan. She also took issue with the physical threats made against Brennan.
“They paint themselves as all rainbows and hearts and want to love everyone, but they think everyone who values a space for women who were born female hates transwomen and is ignorant,” said the observer. “They approach you as if you are a bigot; there’s no agree to disagree happening. And these physical threats are a whole different degree of insanity to me.”
Kurland said that infighting amongst the LGBT community is unfortunate, and while the Dyke March has always been a place for emerging ideas about gender and sexuality to be expressed, “at the same time, I think there has to be a kind of respectful intention that while we fight to ensure that our ideas are expressed, we also allow others to express their ideas.”
Complete article at: http://www.edgeboston.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=local&sc2=reviews&sc3=&id=134547