If you think what was known as GIN (Gender Inclusion Network) had gone quiet, you would be very wrong.
Formed in July of this year, and yes, many did go on holiday for a few weeks over the summer - the many teams of volunteers behind the scenes has been working flat out, building a website, looking at legal issues - not to mention the direction of our network in the coming months and years.
I say "our" because I am a very excited member like so many of us!
Membership has shot up to 1500 people worldwide, albeit that most members, at least for now, come from the UK. The aim, though, is to be a global group with a punch!
Firstly though, we looked at our name - GIN did not incorporate our feminist credentials, and well, "Equality" sounded a tad better than "Inclusion" - hence, we changed our name to Feminist Gender Equality Network (FGEN).
While certainly academic-based and a self-imposed brief to counter imported transphobia from the US that is active within academia and our universities, FGEN is open to all - yep, even me with just two GCE's to my credit!
The simple truth is we must counter the hate that is building in society thanks to the transphobic trope that is often platformed by the BBC, The Guardian, The Times, The Spectator, Spiked, The Telegraph, Observer, Daily Mail, Sunday Times etc.
And let us not forget the host of gender-critical books and authors that 'is silenced'... yet 'magically' gets prominent media attention!
In recent years the gender-critical has somewhat re-branded itself, pitching the mantra of "women v trans" when in reality, most accept it is about gender-critical exclusionary rad fems v transgender people, particularly trans women.
Janice Raymond lives!
FGEN has big plans, and to launch us as a global force, we knew a conference was a must. In London - often mooted the capital of the world because for sure our capital is a truly international city with probably the most diverse population you could ever find.
And with location, we needed international names for our conference who are prepared to speak out - and we have them!
Julia Michelle Serano - author of my favourite book, which I have now read three times "Whipping Girl". Julia is an American writer, musician, spoken-word performer, trans–bi activist, and biologist.
Jules Gill-Peterson - Associate Professor of English and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Jules authored the book 'Histories of the Transgender Child'.
Grace Lavery - Associate Professor of English, Critical Theory, and Gender & Women's Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
C. Riley Snorton - American scholar, author, and phenomenal activist.
Marquis Bey - Again from the US, Marquis work focuses on blackness, transness, and black feminist theory.
Agnieszka Graff - Polish writer, feminist and women's and human rights activist.
Elzbieta Korolczuk - from Södertörn University in Stockholm and American Studies Center, University of Warsaw. Her research interests include gender, social movements and civil society.
All genuinely amazing speakers from outside the UK who will spread their message over a two day conference period - scheduled Friday, April 1st & Saturday, April 2nd 2022.
And will Sally Hines speak?
I am sure she will - along with other big names that will be announced over the next few weeks and months.
The conference location is Goldsmiths University, situated close to London City Airport (ideal for those flying in from within the UK) - with the area boasting loads of hostels, guest houses, hotels and other living accommodations via Airbnb.
With outbreak events during the conference period and, of course, a massive party on Friday night, my hotel room, along with my co-eds from Stephs Place, is already booked!
One final word. New members wanting to join the Feminist Gender Equality Network are welcome, but just for now, the membership joining process is closed so it can be updated.
Authored by Steph @PlaceSteph