Girls Write Now Welcomes All Groups Marginalized by Gender
25 years ago, we created Girls Write Now to support and amplify voices disempowered due to their gender. At the time, mainstream culture did not fully see or acknowledge trans or nonbinary people; they saw “men” and “women”. Published authors were predominantly male, overwhelmingly white, with limited perspectives of the world. Girls Write Now was created as a space where cis girls and women could write and support each other as a community while elevating the voices that weren’t being heard.
Times have changed and society’s collective understanding has evolved. We now view the concept of gender beyond the strict binaries of “men” and “women”. In today’s world, many groups have been marginalized due to gender, and Girls Write Now welcomes all into our community.
Girls Write Now welcomes cis women, transgender men and women, non-binary, 2Spirit, genderqueer, and other gender expansive identities as mentors and mentees. We are a space for writers and creators too often not given the respect, opportunity, and care due to their gender identity.
A Community of Feminists
Girls Write Now’s mission is firmly rooted in the history of feminism. As we fight to protect all gender identities, we remain committed to fighting for justice for women and girls. Despite some notable gains, every day around the world women and girls are still treated without dignity, equity, and basic human rights. Many also shoulder the greatest responsibilities for their families and communities, and therefore, if nurtured and supported, hold the greatest potential to effect change. This is the time to hold tight to our feminist beliefs—and to harness that passion, perseverance, and empathy to cast a broader net, embracing all those systemically under-represented by their gender.
Creating Space for Affinity Groups
As we expand beyond the binary, we celebrate all those along the gender continuum. No belief or identity need be abandoned to honor another. We can soak in the diversity of everyone around us while also leaning in to those with whom we share affinity. There may be times when nonbinary groups, or trans men or trans women, wish to gather together as affinity groups. There can also be space for femme-presenting writers and creators to connect with each other around their femininity and experiences as girls and women.
Honoring the Process of Decision-Making
As we share our current policies, we also understand that gender is complex, multi-faceted, viewed through a wide range of identities and perspectives, and ever-evolving. As a community of writers, we also know how language can be wielded as a force for great good or great harm. For this reason, the leadership of Girls Write Now commits to staying in regular conversation with our larger community about how we articulate and apply our understanding of gender moving forward.
If you have ideas or feedback, or if you wish to join the discussion, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are trans men and trans women eligible to be mentees or mentors with Girls Write Now?
Yes! Girls Write Now acknowledges that trans men and trans women are systematically underserved and their stories need to be heard and supported. Both trans men and trans women are welcome at Girls Write Now.
Are nonbinary individuals eligible to be mentees and mentors with Girls Write Now?
Yes! Girls Write Now acknowledges that nonbinary individuals are systematically underserved and their stories need to be heard and supported. Nonbinary, gender-fluid, 2Spirit, and all others who identify beyond the gender binary are welcome at Girls Write Now.
What supports are available to trans and nonbinary members of the Girls Write Now community?
All Girls Write Now staff and mentors receive training on gender identities and cultural sensitivities through a trauma-informed lens—recognizing the pervasiveness of trauma in the world and seeking to be responsive to this unfortunate reality. We prioritize psychological safety, practice empathy, doing our best to create environments that do not cause further harm. Participants are encouraged to provide their pronouns in workshops and other events if they feel comfortable doing so. They are also able to update their pronouns on their Author Page, and publish work under pseudonyms if they are concerned about publicly sharing their gender identity. We work regularly with licensed mental health professionals called Wellness Advisors who help train and guide staff, mentors, and mentees through challenging circumstances.