Today Tina and I attended a day long conference in the Dallas Oaklawn District.
It was put on by Women of Reason Dallas/Fellowship of Freethought Dallas.
While the D/FW Metroplex has a shit load of big box religious entertainment centers where they mount weekly shows featuring con games, misogyny and bigotry, it is also a city of dramatic contrasts. With a fair number of blunt spoken atheists who think the big box churches are a pile of BS.
It was a good conference and I am incredibly please to say it was trans-inclusive. Tina and I were not the only TS/TG women present. When one sister came out in the process of asking a question of the panel her being TS wasn’t what made me want to know her but rather her story about writing term papers for a service in order to survive. I was touched because we are so much more than just TS/TG people.
One of the panels included Dorian who blogs at http://transandgodless.blogspot.com. She was included on a panel representing diversity.
It felt good to see a feminist organization welcome TS/TG people and include us rather than objectifying us or vilifying us.
Being atheist in present day America means negotiating one’s path through the same minefield of bigotry that LGBT and other minorities are forced to negotiate.
To be an atheist and a feminist means risking attacks, from misogynistic male atheists as well as from the religious right. While I read several atheist blogs and had heard from, I believe Greta Christina and P.Z. Meyers that a feminist atheist had been attacked by a bunch of serious trolls I had little understanding of how serious these attacks were. Nor did I have any idea as to how common they were.
I was extremely impressed by keynote speaker, Noelle George, whose address was titled “Fifty Shades of Feminism.” The type of feminism she discussed is inclusive rather than exclusionary.
Three of the women on the diversity panel spoke of adversity as a result of growing up in a Muslim culture. One woman was of Indian heritage, one Yemeni and one Sudanese. These women spoke about Islam being used to mandate child marriages, threats of honor killings and Female Genital Mutilation. Listening to their stories was a serious gut check for the idea of respect and the multicultural pass we give to the killing and mutilation of women by people acting in the name of religion.
An African American woman told of being disowned because she left her religion and came out as an atheist.
Tina and I came away resolved to connect with people we met through this conference and to add this issue to those we take a local stand on.