Oh HEYYYY again...
It's a double email kinda day.
1) Multilingual Nights
We're hosting our first ever multilingual nights YAYYYYY! We now have a
posse of rad mechanics who are fluent in English, Spanish, French,
Cantonese, and Mandarin and we are planning to hold a series of
multilingual instruction nights. We're about to have our first
sub-committee meeting about how we're going to go about the planning of
these nights (ie: Do we have a strictly Spanish night, or a Spanish &
French night? What is the role of Anglo mechanics in these nights? What
are the underlying needs of these communities beyond language
instruction?), but first I wanted to find out if any of you have feedback
or resource materials about your own experiences hosting multilingual
nights. What did you set out to do? Did it work? What did you learn?
2) Women on Wheels
We're in the process of reconsidering the reach and name of our women's
night, Women on Wheels. This name has been revisited several times by our
collective, and again we're feeling the need for change. Those of you who
commit energy to thinking about providing services across the
gender/sexuality spectrum...I'm looking for your input. The key challenges
for us, (and maybe all of us?) I think, are two-fold:
First, it's about holding space for those who adhere to identity politics
(tangible and named - Woman, Lesbian, Dyke, sometimes Transwoman etc) while
also holding space for folks who exist all along the gender and sexuality
spectrum (intangible and variably named - Queer, Tomboi, sometimes
Transwoman, Genderqueer, etc ). As in, how do we hold safer space for
butch grandmas and trans women and gender queer folks all at once? Is it
feasible or possible to hold safer space strictly around gender variance?
Or is it presumptuous as fuck to try to lump these diverse communities
together? Or reductionist to assume gender experience is the key
connecting factor between these individuals (and not race, or class, or
Second, it's about negotiating the instances of inclusion and exclusion
that emerge as a result of differing levels of awareness and knowledge
around these varied philosophies and ways of identifying. This is the crux
of why we've called it Women's Night for so long. While in practice our
"women's night" is attended by trans-women, cis-women, femmes,
masculine-identified genderqueers, tombois, etc etc, we have continued to
call it women's night to make sure that people who aren't familiar with the
world of post-modern gender identity know they are welcome, and cis-men
know easily and clearly that it is not for them. I guess, to make it
legible to mainstream communities, while still welcoming to non-mainstream
Meanwhile, we've also had interest from femme-identified cis-men and trans
men in having services for masculine-presenting folks or folks who are
presumed masculine (which again, is on a really broad spectrum). We're in
convo with folks about their needs and wants, but it would also be great to
have input from other shops. Where I'm really seeking is input about how
your shops are drawing the lines around participation in nights for
marginalized communities (including communities bonded around race,
ethnicity, ability, etc) and/or how to meld diverse communities in
appropriate and supportive ways.
I know that Plan B has Ladies, Trans, and Sissies Night, and BICAS has
Women, Trans, and Femme night. Where are folks at with their organizing
process around this? What are other shops doing?
You are all so great.