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A Statement of Trans-Inclusive Feminism and Womanism

We are proud to present a collective statement that is, to our knowledge (and we would love to be wrong about this) the first of its kind.  In this post you’ll find a statement of feminist solidarity with trans* rights, signed by feminists/womanists from all over the world.  It is currently signed by 790 individuals and 60 organizations from 41 countries.

The statement can be found here in English. It is also available in French, Hungarian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian and Serbo-Croatian.

The complete list of individual signatories is available here, or alphabetically or by country. The signatory list of organisations and groups is available here. We would love it if you signed it too. You can either use this form, or email us, or post a comment on this post or on the statement.

Our continued thanks to everyone for your support.



Our newest signatories (Update # 9)

There’s a constant trickle of new signatures, and today we’ve added another 35 individuals and 6 organizations to the lists. Which brings our total number of signatories, to date, up above 890!

The new individual signatures are available here, and the organizations have been added here.

Thank you every single one of you!

Women speaking out against transphobia

In the last few days (despite one rather embarrassing example of the “let’s hear both sides” style of journalism, at bustle.com), we’ve seen quite a few excellent articles — some written by cis women, and some by trans women — speaking up and speaking out against transphobia, and, particularly, the words and actions of one particularly well-known anti-trans “activist.”

Here are some links; each of these is very much worth reading — and, if possible, emulating:

http://seattlefreepress.org/2013/10/23/3052/    (by Quinnae Moongazer of quinnae.com)

http://www.shakesville.com/2013/10/so-heres-deal.html (by eastsidekate)

http://www.reluctantfemme.com/2013/10/its-time-to-squash-bug.html  (by Cassie Goodwin)

http://www.bustle.com/articles/7419-my-response-to-cathy-brennan (by Amy McCarthy)

http://stavvers.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/time-to-pick-a-side/ (by stavvers)

http://theterfs.com/2013/10/22/fact-checking-terf-claims/ (by Cristan Williams)

http://theterfs.com/2013/10/23/attorney-cathy-brennan-more-extreme-than-an-ex-gay-hate-group/ (also by Cristan Williams)

We would never, ever suggest to anyone that they “should” speak up.  Some of us know as well as anyone what the risks can be, both in general and in this particular case.  Especially for trans women, as some of these pieces point out — not that cis women, like Laurie Penny in recent days, are by any means immune to being threatened with defamation lawsuits.

Still, for the most part, what happens to cis women who speak out against transphobia, or even just publicly state that they accept trans women as women (as by signing our trans-inclusive statement), is that they’re accused of being, among other things, homophobic and lesbophobic  — because accepting trans women as women apparently equals believing that cis lesbians should be coerced into having sexual relations with trans women even when they don’t want to, which of course no cis lesbian ever would.  Indeed, the very individual who’s the subject of the articles above has given the collective appellations “Homophobes for Lesbian Erasure” and “Men and Women for Homophobia and Lesbian Hatred” to the signatories to our Statement.  (The so-called “Men” she’s referring to are, of course, primarily trans women.)

As a friend of this blog pointed out in a comment on Shakesville some time ago (she has given us permission to use her thoughts here), it really does seem to be necessary for TERFs to vilify and belittle and discount any cis woman who supports trans-inclusiveness, because acknowledging the reality of that support fatally undermines at least part of the foundation of their reprehensible ideology.    Without active support from cis women for trans-inclusiveness, it can be very difficult to penetrate the self-contained, circular argumentation of transphobic radical feminists, because they can always rely on their underlying premise from which everything else flows: namely, that trans women are men. (Because they’re men.)  No matter how vigorously trans women argue the contrary, it’s easy for TERFs to dismiss what they say as self-interested and not worthy of serious comment. But it isn’t so easy for them to be quite so dismissive of cis women who accept that trans women are women.

The TERF “party line,” of course, is that it’s impossible that any cis woman who believes that trans women are women could have reached that conclusion as the result of an actual, intelligent, truly voluntary, thought process.  Instead, all such cis women — including every last one of the 750+ cis women who expressed support by signing on to our trans-inclusive statement — are not only homophobic and lesbophobic (see above), but are also (1) suffering from false consciousness, (2) delusional, (3) brainwashed and suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, (4) handmaidens of the patriarchy, (5)  “is it self-hate, internalized misogyny? Internalized lesbophobia?”  (asked on twitter by one thoroughly baffled and befuddled TERF faced with the fact that so many cis women signed our statement), (6) “The essence of their POV is entirely based on magic” (another confused TERF), (7) “They know, at cell level, they are erasing themselves” (another), (8) “I really think it’s being afraid of men/transwomen” (another), or (9) all of the above.

And these are the things they have the astonishing arrogance to say to every cis woman who disagrees with them, many of whom have devoted their lives to feminism, and many of whom identify as lesbians themselves.  This is where the whole TERF system of belief begins to fall apart, because as good as the TERFs are at playing on trans women’s insecurities and fears, we find it very difficult to  believe that they have ever convinced a single trans-friendly feminist cis woman to change her mind, and decide that all trans women are really men, by telling her (with supreme condescension, of course!) that she’s nothing more than a delusional, brainwashed, Stockholm-Syndromed, self-hating handmaiden of the patriarchy, who accepts trans women only because she secretly knows that trans women are men, and, therefore, is afraid of them and feels compelled to cater to them.  (Because all the cis women who signed our statement are, of course, deathly afraid of disagreeing with men!)  The sheer ludicrousness and preposterousness of the TERF reaction to cis women disagreeing with them (one can almost see the circuits shorting out and the smoke coming out of their ears, as they desperately try to understand how any cis woman, let alone a cis lesbian, could possibly accept trans women as women) shows that they have no avenue whatsoever that allows them actually to comprehend disagreement.  And they certainly can’t deal with it — and can’t deal with the fact that over the last 20 or 30 years, theirs has gone from the overwhelmingly dominant viewpoint in feminism (including feminist academia), to a dwindling (but increasingly furious) remnant — other than by telling themselves  comforting bedtime stories about how “Years from now, when more & more trans ppl turn away from trans, . . . their statement will look like jokes” (yet another uncomprehending TERF tweet).

So, as important as it is for anyone who can to speak out, it can be especially important — and, we believe, especially effective — for cis feminist women to speak out against TERFism, whether in general or about the specific person who’s the subject of the linked articles above, but whom we refuse to name.   Your support through signing our statement, of course, constitutes a form of speaking out in and of itself, and, as the TERF reaction makes clear, has already had a significant effect.   Thank you all.



Call for help: please speak out about this joint harassment of a young trans girl by TERFs and the religious right, in unholy alliance

Please see this post by Cristan Williams at transadvocate.com about the horrible situation involving the coordinated attacks by the so-called Pacific Justice Institute and a certain particularly loathsome and shameless anti-trans “feminist” activist — the latest example of their unholy alliance — upon a young trans girl in Colorado whom they’ve accused of “harassment” in a girls’ room — which, as it turns out, consists entirely of her having the temerity to exist in a bathroom while trans, and  while using the bathroom which she should use and is entitled to use.   At least this one TERF is so single-minded about doing whatever she can to attack trans people, that she’s willing to ally herself (and host the words of) an institution that also devotes itself to homophobia and fighting against (among other things) same sex marriage, gay and lesbian adoption and parenting, etc.

Some media outlets have retracted the “harassment” allegation after the school itself, and people who were actually involved, confirmed that it was a fabrication.  But Fox News (of course!), and the Pacific Justice Institute, have doubled down, with the enthusiastic  assistance of  well-known TERFs.

Please respond if possible to the call for help in this post, and also please speak out, if you can and wherever you can, about what’s happening.  This is a perfect example of something that people can do to fight transphobia themselves — something that there simply aren’t enough trans people to be able to manage entirely on their own.


OUR HELP REQUESTED: HRC condemns fake trans harassment charges, ex-gay group dodges my fact checking, family & friends open up

[More at link]

Thanks in advance for anything that any of you can do.

Your moderators

Norwegian translation has been added!

A Norwegian translation of the statement has been provided for us by Janneke van der Ros. Thank you for this! The translation has been published here.

Ha en fin dag!

Hungarian-language version now available! (With news of other translations forthcoming)

And the new translations keep coming:  we are very pleased to announce the Hungarian-language version of the Statement of Trans-Inclusive Feminism and Womanism.  Thank you so very much to the translator, Eszter Harsányi, and, in general, to Professor Sally Hines and the PhD student community of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies at the University of Leeds, for their volunteer translation efforts.  We are told that German, Romanian, Spanish, and Turkish translations are underway, and have learned that an Italian translation is being worked on as well, independently.

We are so grateful to all of you who have undertaken translations of the Statement.  Trans* people are everywhere (and always have been, contrary to what some remarkably ignorant people like to assert), and, unfortunately, expressions of transphobia from (some) self-identified feminists have not by any means been limited to feminists in English-speaking countries.   So it is, we think, important to spread our message of trans-inclusiveness as widely as possible.  Wherever trans* people happen to be, they should know that they are not alone — however much it may sometimes have seemed that they are — and that there are more cis feminists than ever before who stand ready to speak up to support them.

The translation is from this site. You can read the full translation here on our site.

Serbo-Croatian translation is now up!

On the heels of the French, Portuguese, and Russian-language versions of the Statement of Trans-Inclusive Feminism and Womanism, we are very pleased to announce that there is now a Serbo-Croatian translation (in the Roman alphabet), thanks to Milica Jeremić of our signatory Gayten-LGBT, at transserbia.org.

Here is the source for translated Statement; a translation of the introduction is at the link as well. The translation is also available here on our site.

Russian translation now available, plus news of petition to Russian feminist community

Thanks to our signatory Yana Sitnikova, there is now a Russian-language version of the Statement, from here.

Our newest signatories (Update # 8)

We apologize for taking so long to post this latest update, but please welcome our newest signatories: 57 additional individuals and 8 new organizations, from a number of different countries.  (France and Brazil are well-represented, for obvious reasons — thanks again to those who worked so hard on the translations into French and Portuguese! — and there are signatories from two countries we hadn’t seen before, Denmark and Serbia.)

That brings the total number of signatories to the Statement of Trans-Inclusive Feminism and Womanism to 790 individuals and 60 organizations — 850 in all, from 41 different countries, to date!

Thank you all so very much for your continuing support.

New individual signatures can be found here, and groups and organizations here.

And now there’s a Portuguese-language version!

Following quickly in the footsteps of the wonderful French-language translation of the Statement of Trans-inclusive Feminism and Womanism, there is now a translation into Portuguese, thanks to our signatory Hailey K. Alves — who happens to be the very first person listed, alphabetically at the end of the Statement! —  and her colleagues at Transfeminismo.com in Brazil, an organization that is also a signatory.

You can find the original translation here. It is available on our site here.

And, again, thanks so much to Hailey K. Alves and Leda Ferreira and to Transfeminismo.

Your moderators

French-language version of Statement of Trans-Inclusive Feminism and Womanism

We are extremely pleased to present a French-language version of our Statement (together with a link to the original version).  Our thanks and our great appreciation go to Koala, Holly and Lén, who worked together to produce the translation in an amazingly brief period of time.

We hope that anyone who lives in France or any other French-speaking country or community, or knows anyone who does, is able to make use of this translation to convey our message as widely as possible to activists, to feminists who are  trans*, cis, or genderqueer, and to others who may appreciate it and/or make use of it.

The source is here, and the translation is available on our site here.

Your moderators