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Congratulations, Camp Trans (1993)

Congratulations, Camp Trans (1993)

©2001, 2013 by Dallas Denny

Source: Denny, Dallas. (2003). Congratulations, Camp Trans! Decatur, GA: American Educational Gender Information Service, Inc.

Camp Trans is an annual demonstration outside the gates of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival to protest the exclusion of transwomen from the festival. It’s been held since 1992.


I’m unsure which year this press release went out, but 1993 sounds about right.


Congratulations, Camp Trans!


We would like to publicly state how very, very pleased we are with the constructive ways in which those responsible for CampTrans have chosen to deal with the problem of exclusion of transsexual women from the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival.

Nancy Jean Burkholder’s forced exclusion from the 1991 festival was unnecessary and poorly handled by MWMF staff, and the actions of Lisa Vogel and Barbara Price, the festival’s organizers, have been—well, patriarchal, is the best way to describe it. From their thrones, like some sultan protecting his harem, they decline to even admit there is a problem—although they continue to maintain that only “womyn-born-womyn” can attend and that transsexual women are not welcome.

In the face of rudeness, threats, and repeated expulsions from the festival, the transsexual community has shown remarkable restraint, grace, peacefulness, and ingenuity. Nancy left peaceably in 1991, even though she had paid for the festival, had female genitalia and identification, and was not allowed to retrieve her belongings. In the following years, protestors used a “Confront With Love” strategy, passing out buttons and literature to educate festival attendees. When asked to leave, they did so peaceably.

This year, a group of transsexual men and women, one intersexed individual, and nontranssexual supporters set up CampTrans, an alternative event which entertained, fed, and educated hundreds of MWMF attendees. CampTrans, which billed itself as an alternative festival for “Humyn-Born-Humyns,” included a variety of highly creative workshops, speeches, readings, concerts, religious services, games, and meals.

We can’t begin to express how amazed, pleased, and satisfied we are that this remarkable group of people used their ingenuity and hard work to confront the problem of transsexual exclusion in a loving, lighthearted way.

We salute Camp Trans and its staff, including Zythyra Anne Austen; April Fredericks; Riki Anne Wilchins; Rica Ashby Fredrickson; Davina Anne Gabriel; Jessica Meredith Xavier; Leslie Feinberg; Minnie Bruce Pratt; Kodi Hendrix; Hannah Blackwell; Nancy Jean Burkholder; Nancy Anne Forrest; Wendi Lynn Kaiser; Lynn Walker; Krissy Withers; Arlene Wolves; James Green; Mimi = Freed; Minnie Bruce Pratt; Beverly Woods; Lynn Walker; and others not mentioned in the Camp Trans press release. We also salute Charlotte Manheimer, who was not, strictly speaking, on staff, but who, when challenged by MWMF gender police, refused to divulge whether she was transsexual (she wasn’t).


The American Educational Gender Information Service

P.O. Box 33724

Decatur, GA 30033