Untangling the Wyrd Wide Web
Folks- I have put the post about Transphobia into draft mode. I am still very much opposed to transphobia, however I am also very much opposed to racism, and individuals have been sharing that they have experience hurtful racist comments as part of conversations that I personally was not a part of. I also have been called out for comments I made about other people’s status as rape survivors, which is also very wrong of me, and for those comments I apologize.
I typically try to stay out of other people’s interpersonal drama be it online or in person, however sometimes I feel a need to speak up when something is wrong. However, in this case I do not feel I know enough about the people and the situation to truly make a fair judgment. Also to begin with, these conversations took place on semi-private Facebook posts which I only could read because of screenshots being posted. Oy vey.
Cultural appropriation– What this is, is really up to the culture from whom ideas/concepts/rituals et al are being borrowed from- or outright stolen. I kind of got the impression Kathryn nic Dhana was playing “cultural appropriation police” and specifically going after people (like Erynn Laurie & Ellen Evert Hopman) that she seemed to have some sort of rivalry with. This may be a mistake on my part, and I may have let my feelings about past Celtic Recon political faultlines color my impression of Kathryn. She is in contact with Native leaders/elders and is in conversation with them about possible appropriations when they take place. Also since Erynn & Ellen are both authors and semi-public figures, I think its OK to e-mail them and ask them about these things yourself if you are concerned. Kathryn has done so, and said situations have not been resolved to the satisfaction of Native communities involved.
Personally I tend to stick to confronting things that happen in my in-person local community. I am fortunate to have multiple local communities I can participate in, and sometimes disrespect towards other cultures occurs. It’s an ongoing learning process for me, including figuring out what is the best way to share this information to prevent further disrespect from occurring.
Transphobia– I do think there were transphobic comments made in the conversations Allec posted. I also feel like there are some generation gaps in regards to ideas about women-only space, and gender identity. Some people feel that their privacy, and possibly safety was violated, names of minor children were on the screenshots, gender identity status and other things of a sensitive nature.
Gaol Naofa– I am not a member of Gaol Naofa, I am not familiar with how their leadership structure works. There is disagreement over whether these conversations reflect upon the culture of GN as a whole, or whether they were unrelated. I was a member of the Gaelic polytheism group run by GN at one time and left it of my own choice, not due to anyone doing anything wrong, we just had some differences of opinion, that’s all I remember at this point.
Racism– Sky (a friend of Kathryn’s who is also on the board of CAORANN, Celts Against Oppression, Racism & Neo-Nazism) has shared with me that someone in this conversation threw around the word “genocide” in a inappropriate manner (in re: to a cultural practice of exiling violent people from their community). I don’t know why the heck that was dragged in, but it is definitely not OK to make false accusations of genocide, WTF, people! (BTW, the practice of exiling criminals was also done by both the Norse and Irish- and is still probably more humane than our prison system!) There are also allegation of multiple vulgar, racist insults towards Sky and her associate, a Two-Spirit elder.
I am going to say for now though, since all this essentially took place behind virtual “closed doors” that should not have been opened I am reserving judgment about Kathryn & Gaol Naofa in general.