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Michigan's Womyn's Music Festival

I attended the Michigan Womyn's Music Fest a few times in my youth. I was always amazed at how smoothly and well-organized Michfest was, and I loved watching lesbians and feminists coming together to give women a safe, happy place. I walked to the subway tonight with a woman who also has been to Michfest, and we discussed the problems that have popped up in recent years. Michfest WAS a music festival for adult women - young and old. You were free to camp in an area where you felt comfortable (Chemical Free, Over 50, Vegan, etc) and you were free to behave as you saw fit - within limits, of course. Back in the day, there were many women of all body types who enjoyed the event nude or topless and snuggled up to their female partners without worry of ridicule. First came the children. As lesbians got into the "gayby" boom and modern Mommies got more "crunchy", more and more kids started showing up at Michfest. There was childcare for them, separate camping areas for families, etc. But naturally, along with children comes things like public breastfeeding, some women asking for a little more "decency" from the nude revelers and lots of fucking noise. Second came Camp Trans. Now, as a queer person, I am friends with queers of all varieties - gay, lesbian, genderqueer, gender outlaw, MTF, FTM. Michfest has always stated that the festival is for "women born women". There were initially some titters (no pun intended) about FTMs and genderqueers attending the festival, but that faded away. However, Michfest, to this day, does not allow MTFs into the festival. Basically, if you have male equipment, you were not allowed. Now, I have met quite a few transsexual women at Michfest, but they were post-op and stealth. Camp Trans popped up for pre-op MTFs, MTF genderqueers and other woman-identified males. The last time that I was there, Camp Trans had gone from a peaceful protest to all out anarchy. Trans women were running through the woods showing festival-goers their junk and screaming at the gate. There were totally nude trans women in the showers, and women at the festival didn't want to shower or take children in there. There was also some incidents of people masturbating in public and screaming obscenities. This year, groups like the Indigo Girls are speaking out against MTF transphobia, and are calling for the incorporation of Camp Trans attendees into the regular festival. Some of the feminist and lesbian groups that I subscribe to have EXPLODED over this, stating that letting the women from Camp Trans in was: A.) Triggering for rape survivors if they see penises or MTFs masturbating B.) Bad for young girls because Michfest is supposed to be a "safe, women-only" environment, where girls are free to enjoy their bodies without commentary from males. There is also concern about young girls seeing penises. C.) Suspicion about sexual abuse because it seems that some of the more recent Camp Trans attendees use drugs, which lead to bad behavior. D.) Concern over straight attendees wanting to bring their male partners if woman-identified males are allowed to attend. So, what do you all think about all of this? Legitimate concerns or complete overreaction?

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