Kate Kendell @KateKendell and NCLR @NCLRights (USA)


Kate Kendell, the Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, issued a statement today in which NCLR withdrew its support for an anti-lesbian petition against the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. You can read the statement below. The statement does not include an apology.

As you know, last summer NCLR signed the petition sponsored by Equality Michigan calling on the organizers of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival (Michfest) to embrace the presence of transgender women at the iconic gathering. In the wake of our signing, you contacted us to express your disappointment and anger that NCLR would sign a petition which called for a boycott of the festival. 

Many of the letters we received recognized transgender women as women and sisters in struggle, while also arguing that the intention of Michfest does not diminish the lived experience of transgender women. 

Since then, we have been involved in a number of conversations with Michfest womyn, Equality Michigan, transgender leaders and colleagues who signed the petition. These conversations have made clear that there are essential values and perspectives we all share and that the petition was not going to be an effective vehicle for a resolution. 

NCLR has removed our name from the petition and will be actively engaged in conversations in which we honor our differences while also pursuing a conclusion that supports the gender identity and inclusion of all women in Michfest. We have faith that such a resolution is possible. 

This entire process has been one of great learning for me and, while we may disagree on some issues, I think there are many values we share. I signed the petition on behalf of NCLR because our core passion and commitment is that we all be able to live fully and be embraced as our authentic selves. 

We are grounded in some deeply held principles, including the belief that discrimination and bigotry against lesbians is rooted in sexism, misogyny and the devaluation of women. We do not believe it is possible to win liberation for lesbians in a world where misogyny thrives. We also do not believe we can end the oppression of women and lesbians in a world where transgender women are reviled and targeted. 

NCLR has come to a deeper understanding of what Michfest means to our community and seeks to honor that through this process. We also acknowledge the Michfest organizers have been involved in an ongoing conversation over the years on this issue. We are committed to honest and forthright dialogue as a more constructive means for seeking resolution and common ground. 



4 thoughts on “Kate Kendell @KateKendell and NCLR @NCLRights (USA)

  1. “The statement does not include an apology.”

    No, and you aren’t going to get one either. Before making an honest attempt at apologizing, Ms. Kendell would first have to ask the people who really run things what they think. This whole lame letter sounds like a half ass, kind of, but not exactly an apology, while at the same time making sure that people know it’s still transgender/men’s interests first.

    The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a transgender/men’s rights organization. They might have started out as an organization that focused on lesbians and women, but that is not the current reality, and it hasn’t been that way for years. In fact, every major LGBT (the L really doesn’t count anymore) is a men’s rights/trans group. Their primary focus is transgender rights, and they don’t care how many women they step on, step over, or ignore in the process.


    Under their drop down menu on Cases and Policy, there isn’t even a category for lesbian. There is, however, “Transgender Law”, “Transgender Youth”, and “Transgender Parents”.


    “NCLR has removed our name from the petition and will be actively engaged in conversations in which we honor our differences while also pursuing a conclusion that supports the gender identity and inclusion of all women in Michfest.”

    Notice how they say, “while also pursuing a conclusion that supports the gender identity and inclusion of all women in Michfest.” With these people, it’s always about transgender. That is, males expecting women to place their needs above our own needs. By “all women”, they mean males. Why is the NCLR even telling women what they can and cannot do on their privately owned land?

    (1.) Their pathetic attempt to make some kind of apology for their attack on Michigan Women’s Music Festival was because they finally realized that it was impossible to gloss over and cover up how hateful their actions were. Do I think they feel any regret or remorse? No, I do not. They will never apologize for crapping on women.

    (2.) They have supported every “gender identity” law, including AB1266, that violates the privacy rights of girls and women. The NCLR is actively working to make sure that males have access to women’s restrooms, locker rooms, women’s homeless shelters, etc. How women feel about any of this is irrelevant.

    (3.) While they went out of their way to attack Michigan Women’s Music Festival, they had no opinion on the “Cotton Ceiling”. Lesbians are branded bigots for not dating transwomen. The NCLR was too busy working on transgender needs and issues to even worry about how lesbians felt about this.

    (4.) The NCLR has no opinion on the death threats against “TERFs”. They have no opinion on the silencing of women’s voices, and the harassment of women.


    Women need to stop giving money to organizations that crap all over women. I wish no harm to transgender identified persons, but women owe transgender activists nothing.

    NCLR, screw you! I’m not buying your half ass apology.

  2. Pingback: Rea Carey @rea_carey The Task Force @TheTaskForce (USA) | Gender Identity Watch

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