The first 3 weeks of Ecotopia Biketour 2022 (see route page) will be LGBTQIA+ & FLINTA only (non-mixed, without hetero cis men).
What does it mean?
LGBTQIA stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual. It refers to anyone who is not heterosexual or cisgender.
FLINTA stands for Female, Lesbian, Intersex, Trans and Agender. It stands for anyone who is not a cis man.
Cis or cisgender is the opposite of transgender. A cisgender person presents as and/or identifies as the gender that they were assigned at birth. For example, a cis man is a man who sees himself as a man and who has also for his whole life been seen as a man by society.
Endo or endosex is the opposite of intersex. An endosex person is born with a body that does fits into the norms of a male/female body. The norms are that male bodies have a penis, no breasts, a prostate, XY chromosomes, etc. and female bodies have a vagina, breasts, a uterus, XX chromosomes, etc. But some people are born with a vagina and XY chromosomes, or with a penis and a uterus, or with a vagina and a penis.
For the first 3 weeks of the tour, hetero cis men are not invited to join the tour. The other 9 weeks of the tour are open to all genders and sexual orientations, including hetero cis men.
We trust and expect you to respect the safer space and only join the first 3 weeks of the Biketour if you identify as LGBTQIA+ and/or FLINTA. No one’s gender identity or sexual orientation will be guessed based on their appearance, and you will not be required to out yourself to be welcome on the tour.
Why exclude some people?
In the last years, we noticed that the percentage of hetero cis men on the tour was very high. This was sometimes creating uncomfortable group dynamics with patriarchal and/or heteronormative structures. With the LGBTQIA+ & FLINTA start, we want to create a temporary space with less sexism/heterosexism/cissexism, and we also hope that it will have a positive impact on the power dynamics within the group for the rest of the tour.
The partriarchal/heteronormative group dynamics were already excluding many people, particularly many LGBTQIA+ and/or FLINTA people. That exclusion was just not explicit. In an ideal world, we would have a group that is not excluding anyone, but that goal is impossible or very hard to reach, at least in our current society. That is why we have decided to explicitly exclude one group (hetero cis men) from the first quarter of the tour in order to make the tour more inclusive to another group (LGBTQIA+ & FLINTA people). This is not a perfect solution and it does not take into account individual needs and experiences outside of the categories of gender identities and sexual orientations, but it is an attempt to be a temporary step in the long journey towards a more inclusive and equal world.
Not everyone in the preparation group is convinced that this is the best way to fight patriarchal structures on the Biketour. On the one hand, there is the wish for an environment that is inclusive for everyone, and excluding certain people goes against this idea. On the other hand, there is the worry that despite being called LGBTQIA+ & FLINTA, the space will be a safer space only for hetero cis women, where the struggle against patriarchy and sexism will dominate and leave no space for the specific struggles of trans people, non-binaries, queer people and others. But since this is the first time that the Biketour does this, we agreed to try it out and learn from it.
Why LGBTQIA+ & FLINTA?
Many of us have encountered non-mixed FLINTA spaces and/or non-mixed queer spaces before. But at least in the Biketour preparation group, we have not heard of a LGBTQIA+ & FLINTA non-mixed space before. So why did we choose this concept?
FLINTA spaces can be excluding for trans men and butch people because of a negative attitude towards masculinity. They can be excluding for male-passing trans/non-binary/intersex people and for trans women because of a negative attitude towards bodies perceived as male. They can be excluding for trans men because they are only welcome for being trans, conveying a message that they are not “real” men. They can also be excluding for male-passing trans men because they are forcing them to out themselves as trans in order to be welcome. By opening the space for (gay/bi/pan) cis men we hope to create a space that is more welcoming to trans people and butch or male-passing people of different gender identities than many FLINTA-only spaces are.
Despite homophobia being as present as sexism and transphobia in all parts of society, including leftist movements, there are not many safer spaces for queer people. By excluding hetero cis men from the first quarter of the Biketour, we hope to create a space that is more safe and welcoming for queer people.