Queer Spirit Festival Statement on Gender
Our aim is for QSF to be a place where people of all genders, or none, are not only accepted but celebrated. We believe that each person's definition of their own gender is sacrosanct. Asking for, and using, peoples pronouns is just one small way in which we try and make the space welcoming to all. We see the authentic use of pronouns to be only the outward sign of a deeper search for understanding of gender. We understand that it is easy to make mistakes (for example using the wrong pronoun when talking about someone) but we will not tolerate the deliberate denial or discrediting of someone's gender. This also applies to people's sexualities and lifestyle choices, including the choice to live or spend time in spaces restricted to certain genders or other identity groups. No-one has the right to criticise another's choices or identities. If the organisers hear of instances of this it will be deemed to be bullying. We will give one verbal warning, then if the behaviour continues the person will be asked to leave site. No refund will be given.
There will be some 'restricted' spaces and sessions at the festival. These will be clearly indicated and clarity given about who the spaces are for and the intention behind this. The women's space will be open to all who identify as women. The trans space will open to all trans, genderqueer and/or non-binary people. Any men's spaces will be inclusive of all who identity as men. There will be some workshops, sharing spaces, sessions in the sauna and times in the sacred sexuality space restricted to specific groups of people. No-one will be asked to justify their inclusion into these spaces. We understand that there are many reasons why people need 'identity spaces' and welcome those who offer these in the spirit of making the festival a safer space for oppressed and marginalised groups. Our hope is that having separate 'home spaces' for different identity groups will make it easier for everybody to access the festival, and to move out into the wider festival with somewhere to 'come back to' with other people who understand their experiences .
We understand that there are many issues that separate different sections of the LGBTQ communities. We aim to make our festival as safe a space as possible for ALL sectors of our community. Our workshops, performances and volunteer teams are as diverse as we have been able to make them. We understand the reasons why women may feel uncomfortable in mixed spaces, or why non-binary people may feel uncomfortable in groups primarily of people of binary gender. We ask that all attendees be aware of these issues and show support and appreciation of those who have had the courage to come into mixed space. There will be ongoing support in the welfare space and stewards (and if necessary, organisers) will be available to deal with anything that comes up on site. If you have any concerns about the festival or would like support in attending please get in touch with us at