For those of you lucky enough to not live in New York over the last few days, you may have missed that a local “inclusive” queer party booked JD Samson, of MEN, who is playing MichFest 2013 and is violating the boycott. When their audience, the queers of Brooklyn, starting posting concerned messages and asking them to cancel the performance, the organizers briefly argued back, and then finally, in the eleventh hour, relented and cancelled on JD. (We, the Topside folks, were literally about to start printing flyers to take to protest the party when it was finally announced that JD was out.)
However, the organizers have stayed true to their “free speech” motif and have allowed pretty much every transphobic person to post whatever they wanted on the Facebook wall for the party and for the event.
After the announcement that they had done the right thing and cancelled the performance of JD Samson, vitriole spewed, and the above conversation took place. A post on the event page turned particularly ugly, and eventually someone named Chelsea P.R. Menth told trans women who wanted JD out to “burn.” She later deleted many of her comments, realizing perhaps that they contained hate speech above and beyond what had been thrown at trans women, on this page at least, before.
We’re posting them so that these are not lost, because they are part of the conversation, because this is what we are up against, in our own communities, among our “allies” and at our “parties.” Note that the managers of this page did not intervene, did not delete this, did not say, NO, ON OUR PAGE, THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE; ANYWHERE ELSE ON THE INTERNET YOU CAN TELL TRANS WOMEN TO BURN, BUT NOT HERE. The organizers displayed zero leadership, and in fact, they displayed crappier politics than a corporate social media shill would have been able to deploy in a time of crisis.
MichFest is a cancer in our community that we need to deal with in a real way, today, for good, so that the healing can even hope to begin. Lisa Vogel saying it is OK to discriminate against trans women in Hart, MI creates a climate in the US where it is OK to tell trans women to burn. Anyone who thinks differently is unbelievably naive.
Oh, BTW, dear reader, this event was called, THEY QUEEN, and was created to celebrate the genderqueer/third gender. Et tu, safe space?
NB: Additionally, you can read a conversation between Cyd Nova and Julie Blair about this mess, here.