This V-Day, Let’s Work Together to Prevent Violence Against All Women and Girls

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/calpernia-addams/post_8905_b_6497356.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voice

Posted: 01/18/2015

We are representatives of the first all-transgender benefit performance of The Vagina Monologues.

In 2004, Eve Ensler supplemented The Vagina Monologues, writing a transgender piece after having intimate conversations with a diverse group of women in our community. It debuted in 2004 as part of the first all-transgender performance, which was cast without regard to transgender surgical status.

That trans-inclusive piece has been performed by trans and non-trans participants around the world as part of V-Day’s global fundraising efforts to end violence against women and girls. We feel it is one of many important steps which made the feminist movement more trans-inclusive.

The money our benefit performance raised went to Peace Over Violence, a trans-inclusive anti-violence nonprofit, the National LGBTQ Task Force, and V-Day’s annual focus of 2004, violence against women and girls in Juarez, Mexico. The interviews and performance became the 2005 film Beautiful Daughters.

V-Day’s and Eve’s amazing response to concerns presented to them by trans people has been inspirational. They made extraordinary efforts to make the play and the movement trans-inclusive, changing many hearts and minds in the process.

The goal of V-Day is to create a community which raises money and raises our voices together until violence against women and girls stops. Throughout the project’s history, Eve has added new monologues to include voices that were not heard in the original play.

Hurtful labels and divisiveness are antithetical to the social justice movement, which encourages building bridges and finding common ground around shared goals. We encourage all trans and genderqueer people interested in sharing their own unique voices to work with V-Day as we have. Our successful efforts with V-Day emerged from sharing our constructive criticism through direct outreach.

The V-Day movement and Eve’s play continue to evolve and respond to issues of the day, and our work with the movement was meant to be the start of a conversation about including sex and gender minorities. We encourage you to join us in working together to eliminate violence against all women and girls.

In love and solidarity,

Calpernia Addams, producer
Andrea James, producer
Lynn Conway, participant
Valerie Spencer, participant

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