09 5 / 2014
The Queer Resource Center and the QSOCC planning committee have made the decision to rescind our invitation to Climbing Poetree to participate in the Queer Students of Color Conference. They were scheduled to perform and facilitate a workshop at our weekend conference. However, we were recently informed that Climbing Poetree is scheduled to perform at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival (MichFest) in August.
Since its conception, the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival has held the policy that only “womyn-born-womyn” are welcome at the event. For over twenty years, they have maintained this position even after several performers, artists, attendees, activists and people in the queer and trans community have protested and demanded a change in policy (for further information regarding the festival and its policies, please visit Emi Koyama’s blog http://eminism.org/michigan/).
As the Queer Resource Center, and the Queer Students of Color Conference planning committee, we are dedicated to providing a safer space for all queer and trans folks of color. The Michigan Womyn’s Festival has excluded transwomen from participating, and has, time and time again, been unable to address the concerns raised by members of the queer and trans community. The Queer Students of Color Conference has decided to stand in solidarity with folks who continue to be excluded from this space.
We have spoken to Climbing Poetree and have heard the reasons why they are choosing to attend MichFest. While we respect these reasons, we have made the decision to cancel their performance (You can read their statement here). We are not, however, suggesting that Climbing Poetree is transphobic. Rather, we are stating that we have a disagreement regarding our approaches to solidarity and activism surrounding MichFest. Our main goal and mission is to provide a space in which queer and trans students of color can feel included, safe, and welcome so that we can begin to develop networks of support. We recognize that the presence of a performer who supports Michigan Womyn’s Festival may cause a sense of exclusion that we are actively trying to challenge.
We hope that others continue to stand in solidarity with those folks who have been hurt and excluded from spaces like MichFest, but more importantly, we also hope that we can continue to create spaces that actively try to recognize those voices that have been silenced and ignored.
09 5 / 2014
Day of– Registration
Smith Student Memorial Union
2nd Floor, Room 262
(we encourage to come before 6:15pm, so folks can attend the Laverne Cox Keynote)
08 5 / 2014
1) Visit our QSoCC Tumblr page under “Schedule”
2) Download the QSoCC2014 Program as a .pdf from this link:
Will be available during Day-of Registration.