excerpted from Bevin Branlandingham's blog "The Queer Fat Femme Guide to Life"
During the Opening Ceremonies [at Michfest last summer] I had a spiritual awakening.
These happen for me in a subtle flash, sometimes suddenly, sometimes
slowly there is a shift and I have clarity about something that
previously troubled me. The opening poem spoke of Artemis and her tribe
of womyn hunters. On the stage appeared dancers, many topless, dancing
with bows. The ceremony continued with music and the shooting of three
flaming arrows from the stage. It was visually stunning. I was stirred
in a very deep part of myself. [...]
The opening ceremony reminded me that Artemis (or choose your own
deity/higher power and insert it here) drawing together her tribe to
gather in the woods of Michigan is a lot stronger than an intention
around organizing or a sex assignment at birth. The spiritual call to
womanhood and, specifically, Festival Wymhood is stronger and more
I think all girlhoods are important. All girlhoods do not take place
embodied or recognized. A lot of womyn who were female assigned know
what it is like to feel disembodied for a lot of reasons. I felt
terribly disembodied throughout my girlhood and I can point to Festival
as a place that helped me heal. Our trans sisters were raised, by and
large, in environments that did not recognize their bodies as
legitimate. I think the call to womanhood is a spiritual one, and comes
from a much higher and more powerful space than Western medicine.
Western medicine is what the present intention of the Festival–Womyn
Born Womyn–bases their organizing around.
Why, in a space so inherently Womyn-centric, lovingly built
from scratch by Wym hands, where we worship the Feminine divine either
explicitly or implicitly, are we dependent on a patriarchal medical
definition of sex to define who we bring together to celebrate wymhood
and all it can be?
Read Bevin's full posting....