Ohio Lesbian Festival Statement of Inclusion and Anti-Bullying

As a core value, OLF believes in and is committed to inclusion and honoring of ALL womyn. We seek to establish and maintain an inclusive culture that fosters appreciation and respect for each other as a community.  We see our desire to create a space for us to celebrate, center, and honor all womyn as being directly tied to creating a culture of radical community building and safer space for each other. Toward that end, we call on the OLF community to join us in this work of community building and draw strength from both our myriad of differences and our shared commitment to each other.

The Ohio Lesbian Festival is a gathering with a 27 year herstory of providing a fun, supportive, and safer environment for any and all women .  Our commitment to every womon is reflected in our declaration which has been and continues to be our mantra and guide post in our planning and in our outreach, inviting others to join us in co-creating this labor of love:  “ALL Womyn Welcome. Always.”

As a community committed to ALL womyn, we request all womyn who join us to be committed to this too! With consideration for the spirit of this festival, the Festival Committee has identified the following guiding principles that underpin our policy of inclusion and respectful treatment of ALL womyn:

  • Help us maintain an environment where there is NO room for judgment or bullying of ANY woman based on her race, age, size, ability, or her perceived gender.
  • On the note of radical community building and inclusion, OLF has always and continues to invite our trans-systers to join us. To clarify:
  • We do not tolerate the use of certain words that have often been traditionally used to silence, hurt, undercut, or erase certain womyn. This is true when we speak of womyn of color or different abilities and it is true of how we talk to and about each other with regards to our trans-inclusive policy. This means that we ask members of our community to refrain from using the term “TERF”, gendered pronouns, or any other deliberate slur as a derogatory term directed at members of our community and that likewise we ask our community to acknowledge that transwomyn are also our systers and are womyn who should be treated with the same respect and referred to and honored as such. We do not have to agree on this outside of the OLF community but our inclusion of our trans-systers is not up for debate within our community.
  • Please be respectful to each other. This applies when talking to your systers online or in-person, even if – especially if – you disagree!
  • In addition to asking our community to honor this and, in turn, each other during the festival weekend, this act of radical community building also extends to our website and social media pages. Understand that we reserve the option to delete comments on our pages  that are not constant with the spirit of OLF.
  • We ask for each of us to continue to educate ourselves and each other about things that tear apart or hold down any womyn or any part of our OLF community. This includes but is not limited to: unlearning internalized misogyny, dismantling racism, striving for accessibility for all abilities, and encouraging openness and radical listening to each other all ways, always.

We live in quickly changing times and our awareness or even capacity to respond in the fast-paced world of social-media often lags behind our sincerely held values of inclusion, acceptance, healing, and growing together. We also know that OLF continues to grow each year and we will continue to learn and adapt as we do.  Make no mistake that we hold all of us, which includes each of you, responsible for holding us all accountable to each other as we continue to learn and grow.   Thank you for your respect and your participation. We literally could not build this community without you.