Dancing Eros Welcomes Transgender Women
As you may be aware, recently a well known Australian womens festival received backlash for responding to an email saying transgender women who had not had gender reassignment surgery would not be welcome at the event to protect the sacred womens only space.
When word got out, shit really hit the fan. The response was full on with the festivals social media page being slammed with harsh attacks of outrage and disgust at their position.
Firstly, knowing a little bit about the backend of this festival, I do not for a second believe that this decision came out of conscious ill intent from the organisers. More likely fear of the unknown, concern of possible triggers as well as not taking the time to fully feel, think and research into the depths of this issue were probably at the core.
Segregation, bigotry and discrimination very often do not come from a place of malice or evil but from the vulnerability of being around those that are not like us, a fear of being insensitive, the terror of getting it wrong and managing the complexities that difference brings up.
I also feel it’s important to remember that we are all doing our best. Behind any event are a bunch of humans figuring it out, learning, growing, fumbling and being exposed in those fuck ups and limitations of their own worldview and privilege. I want to acknowledge this festival, their humanness and the vulnerable journey it is to create an offering in the world.
I hope that the festival rethinks their position on this issue, but whatever the outcome, I’m choosing to see the light in this. Through all that drama this topic has been brought to the attention of many and now is at the forefront of questioning the exclusiveness of women’s work.
Throughout history we have been continually forced to expand beyond our differences and our dogmas. Still today we deal with huge and often ridiculous divides of race and sexual preference. We have come a long long way but as the consciousness of this planet evolves – as humans we have to as well. I believe right now there is a shift in how our culture experiences sex and one way this is happening is through transgender humans being born, or perhaps our world is open enough now for them to be received and feel safe enough to come out? Whatever it is, people who know they are born into a body that does not reflect how they feel inside are challenging us to question what it means to be a woman or a man.
There is a huge power in women’s only spaces which I will continue to be an advocate for, there is transformation that occurs when women come together to explore their femininity. Right now we are undeniably being called to expand our definition of what it is to be a woman. The media is reflecting this to us, our community events are, more and more people are stepping up to speak of their unique experience and we can all be part of that change by questioning our conditioning.
I’m not going to deny that as a white cis gendered hetereosexual woman I have any idea the extent of my privilege in this society and fully acknowledge that this may sometimes result in ignorance that I’m not even aware of. I’m not going to pretend I haven’t had my own fears or insecurities come up through all of this. However that kind of expansion, questioning and moving beyond what we know is what I’m interested in being about and what I CAN do is open and welcome all women into the Dancing Eros space so we can all learn from each other and work towards making this issue a non issue.
I’m not going to deny that this may be a vulnerable journey for all of us because it is new and anything new can stretch our boundaries of what we are used to and make us feel uncomfortable. But I believe in this community and how strong, sacred and safe the Dancing Eros space is, so let’s work through whatever comes up together. All insecurities and fears are welcome as they always are and we will all be supported to move through what comes up.
Myself and the Dancing Eros community welcome our transgender sisters to the space to explore with us.
If you identify and live your life as a woman, we welcome you to this sisterhood.
I felt to share here some of the words spoken from the Dancing Eros community and our private online space when we brought this issue to the group.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT WELCOMING TRANSGENDER WOMEN TO THE DANCING EROS SPACE?
“The answer for me is simple. Im a 100% open and welcome.”
“I can’t possibly imagine how it would feel to be in the body of the opposite gender I identify as. And as Dancing Eros is about femininity and it’s a woman’s right…then absolutely trans women should be openly welcome”
“I welcome trans women, they are women.”
“Maybe the first night I’d feel… I’m not sure, it might bring some things up. As long as every woman respects the space we create in Dancing Eros then I’m happy”
“I would definitely welcome trans women in Dancing Eros. That’s not to say that it wouldn’t challenge me in some way as there is conditioning present in me that I am not even always aware of – but this in itself is a gift. I absolutely welcome having myself challenged and opened”
“Dancing Eros is feminine expression for women. What is feminine and woman, and who and how it is expressed is very broad in my opinion.”
Whatever kind of woman you are – fat, thin, butch, feminine, transgender, cis gender, queer, gay, straight, young, old – you are welcome.
Women’s circles and spaces are not just for one kind of woman, they are for all and that is our vision as this work spreads and expands.
The gifts of the feminine and of the sisterhood are waiting for you to claim that right for yourself.
The world is changing and so must we.
You woman in all your uniqueness and whatever form, are welcome.