Big names drop out of Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival over trans-exclusionary policy

Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, via Facebook
Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, via Facebook

Following in the steps of the Indigo Girls, three popular acts have withdrawn from this summer’s Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival because of a policy against admitting transgender women.

“Orange is the New Black” star Lea DeLaria

“Orange is the New Black” star Lea DeLaria, poet Andrea Gibson and Canadian rockers Hunter Valentine are the latest to drop out of the female-only festival, which takes place in the woods of Hart from August 5-10

The 38-year-old international feminist music festival, also known as Michfest, which attracts about 3,000 women, gather for music, comedy, poetry and other entertainment.

Those who have withdrawn said they want the festival open to all people who identify as women.

“Both sides of the Michigan Women’s Music Festival dispute refuse to listen to each other. Due to their unyielding stance, I am withdrawing from the festival,” DeLaria posted on Instagram. “I truly look forward to the time when all LGBTQ stand as one.”

DeLaria’s costar, Laverne Cox, would be prohibited from attending.

The music festival has declined in popularity since the early 1990s when attendees began learning that trans women were prohibited from attending.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.