Please Forward and Repost-
Hello friends, partners, and allies of femmes and the queer community,
Over the weekend of August 15th, a portion of the national femme community met in Chicago, IL for the Femme2008 conference: The Architecture of Femme. This is the 2nd conference produced by The Femme Collective, a national collective committed to creating accessible and inclusive conferences by, about, and for femmes.
This year’s theme, The Architecture of Femme, sought to articulate femme and examine the cross sections of femme identities. In a moving address, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (activist and author of Consensual Genocide with work appearing in anthologies such as Colonize This! and We Don’t Need Another Wave), put forth that “being a femme is about making a new way of girlness that doesn’t hurt.” While keynote Julia Serano (spoken word artist, activist, and Author of Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity) called the crowd to action, claiming that “what we as feminists need to be challenging is compulsory femininity, not femininity itself.”
These conferences are a necessary part of building community and creating social change for the femme community, the larger LGBTQI community, and for women. This year was blessed with four keynote speakers (Dorothy Allison, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinhi, Julia Serano, and Veronica Combs) and three days of workshops, discussions, and presentations. This life-changing conference was the result of two years of work on behalf of the Femme Collective and countless other volunteers, as well as generous donations of both money and resources.
Unfortunately, by the end of this year’s conference the collective was still in debt $3,900. These costs are left to be covered by the conference organizers, who have personally invested their money into the conference. This debt is the result of unexpected costs in the host city, as well as an increase in travel costs. The collective maintains complete transparency around all of their organizing and you can view their financial records at www.femmecollective.com.
As community members and allies, it’s important that we support these conferences on a regular basis, and particularly at critical moments like these. I ask that you join me in donating $15 or more now to help reduce the debt from this year’s conference.
Additionally, I’m seeking allies and friends to join me in committing to a $10 a month donation toward the next conference in 2010.
Go to www.femmecollective.com right now, and click on the “Donate” button (at the bottom of the page). Please join me in supporting this important part of our community.