06 February, 2013

Dianic Wicca & Transgender Pagans SCRIPT

Hey, Readers!

I really don't like posting so many things so close together, and I just published my blog about Enlightenment yesterday, but I have some supplemental materials to post that go along with my Tuesday Pagan Perspective video (which, unfortunately, took so long to upload due to our recent internet connection issues that it is now Wednesday).

This post is the script of my notes for the video. The following post will outline some specific quotes I looked at for my quick research.

This script is not word for word. This time I'm posting my notes exactly as they were! So there may be improper grammar and stream of consciousness, rather than full sentences as you would see if I were writing it as a blog. The video took forever to render and upload (a good six hours, ending at 5am), so I'm not taking the time to edit the notes. This is just here in case someone wants to look over text after hearing it spoken, or to refresh on the points made.


The topic comes from runesofshamish
--"I have just come across the practice of Dianic Wicca. They only accept "Women born Women" . So no males are allowed, this includes transwomen (male to female transgender). Taking this beyond the realm of Wicca and into the larger pagan community. How do you feel about Women only or Men only circles and groups and transgender pagans? Do you think Women's groups should include transwomen (mtf) and Men's groups should include transmen (ftm) ? Or somewhere in between. I.E., yes except if the group does some work sky clad, they could be asked to leave."

I want to mention that I did a couple videos on LGBTQ pagans on my channel over the summer, and those might add a little to the perifery of this discussion. I was supposed to do a third video about trans pagans, but I didn't know that much about it yet. Preparing for this video has helped some, but I still want to have even more to say before I add on to that series on my channel. The links to those will be below if you want to watch those, as well.

As for this week's topic, I referenced several sources for basic information on Dianic Wicca, the links to which will be below [see video for these references], as well as a link to a blog post where I talk about some specific quotes a little bit more. This is a big topic with a lot of discussion to be had, so feel free to read the other sources or contribute your own.

First let's talk about what Dianic Wicca's stance on this is.

  • Z. Budapest's Dianic Wicca allows only women-born-women because for her, the religion is about mysteries related to having been born and raised a woman, which they feel cannot be replicated by hormonal or surgical alteration. Trans women are not included because they are not physically female and therefore can't relate to those specific things.
  • One article on Witchvox says that true hermaphrodites who have been raised female in our culture are an exception, and also that women-born-women who self-identify as male would exclude themselves from Dianic circles because they don't consider themselves women.
  • Some Dianic groups do allow other genders. The McFarland Dianic tradition, and The Living Temple of Diana (not affiliated with Temple of Diana) accept other genders. And of course many other Wiccan groups include men, women, and otherwise.

Now, in general:
How do we feel about single gender groups?

  • I think single gender groups can be very helpful, whether it's born gender or including transgender, I think people get something out of being in a group of all women or all men for a little bit. That doesn't mean it always has to be separate, but maybe a mixed gender group will occasionally split up to do different things and work on their own side of the polarity. The group I attend now is all women, and we happen to be cis female, but I'm not sure why the group chose that. I have an idea but I don't know for sure. I've been meaning to ask just out of curiosity but I haven't yet.
  • A bible study group at my college sent out emails that said where the girls would meet and where the boys would meet, so I emailed back and just asked why they were separate. They said that there is a group bible study, too, but there are separate ones that cover gender specific topics that don't involve the other gender or would make some people uncomfortable discussing with members of the other gender. That seemed logical to me, to have both.

Should they include trans people?

  • I think groups should include trans people if they want to. If a group really doesn't want to, I would just advise that trans person to find a group who does want to include them. It would be a better environment. Sure it would be nice if everyone included everyone, but until everyone in the world gets on the same page, I think forcing groups who have a problem with it to accept a trans person won't be the appropriate welcoming environment, so there should just be other, more welcoming options. There are groups that allow all people regardless of gender identity.
  • The word SHOULD is problematic because what I think is right is different than what other people think is right. SHOULD everyone be included, yes ideally if people want to be involved they should be allowed. But again, I know that not everyone in the world is on the same page so telling people what they SHOULD do about their personally held beliefs is hard. On the one hand I think it's fine to say that people can just go to another group that accepts them, and on the other hand we want to protest that the problem shouldn't exist because all groups should allow everyone. But the problem does exist, and the same type of problem exists in many areas of life. We're working towards different groups having more rights across the board, but there are still groups who disagree, and personally all I do is stay away from those groups that disagree with what I personally believe is right. It's just a really hard subject, and I know I'm not providing solutions here, but really all we can do is learn more about it and discuss it and stand for what we personally believe, and gain more understanding.

Yes but not if the group works skyclad?

  • About the skyclad comment, I think that if a group has chosen to allow transgendered individuals, then they should either 1) not care what everyone looks like physically if they practice skyclad because they chose to accept everyone, or 2) choose never to work skyclad in order to not worry about that issue. If you accept the person into your group, you accept the WHOLE person. Decisions about whether skyclad is appropriate for the group should include the whole group.

That's all I have for us this week, and I do plan to look at more resources I found today in order to learn more, but I didn't get to it all yet, so consider this a tip of the iceberg because it definitely is. This is such a big topic and some of us are only just learning about the issues while others may be experts on it by now. Some of us are more involved in the LGBTQA community than others, some of us know more trans people than others, some of us are in single gender groups and can speak to that, and so on. We all have different levels of experience with this, and like I said, all we can do is continue learning more and seeking understanding. It's such a big topic, it truly is, and I only hope that this fosters more constructive discussion and learning for everyone, myself included.



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