Women Trans* Femme (WTF) Workshop
The mission of BICAS’ WTF (Women/Trans/Femme) Workshop is to build a knowledge-sharing community with anyone who self-identifies as transgender, femme, female, woman, genderqueer, nonbinary, or feels that their socialization or treatment as a woman, transperson, and/or femme has impeded their participation in bicycle mechanics and/or cycling communities.
This “workshop” is run similarly to our BICAS open shop but in a supportive all-WTF/only-WTF atmosphere, every Monday from 3 PM to 7 PM.
Bring your own bike project (or see what we have!) and use our Community Tools ($8-16/hr) as an informal classroom with WTF-identified mechanics on hand to guide you and answer your questions, or grow your skills in another way and earn shop credit with our Work Trade program.
Enjoy our WTF Zine Library whenever you’re in the shop, scroll through our class schedule for opportunities to take structured courses with other WTF-identified people, and come to our regular WTF Community Events the last Monday of the month for other fun opportunities. We’d love to have you!
*What’s with the asterisk?*
Bicycle maintenance has traditionally been an overwhelmingly (cis)male-dominated area. It is our goal to help teach individuals who have been marginalized or intimidated in this setting to be knowledgeable and confident working on their bikes. Our BICAS WTF Workshop was developed in response to an expressed community need for such a program, drawing inspiration from similar programs nationally and internationally.
On a daily basis BICAS strives to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for all, while also recognizing the benefits of offering women, trans* & femme-specific hours as a stepping stone to achieving greater confidence working in our space throughout the week.
This space is for:
Women: A person who identifies as a woman. Period.
Trans* People: Transgender, genderqueer, non-binary, non-conforming, anyone whose gender identity is fluid, transgressive, and/or transitioning.
Femmes: A person of any gender who embodies a “feminine” appearance, expression, or identity, including those who identify as femmes, fairies, sissies, mariposas, mariquitas, or any expression which counters or challenges “traditional” masculinity.
If you are not WTF-identified, BECOME AN ALLY:
- Respect the space: Give us our day without an argument. It’s just one day.
- Respect People: During any given day at BICAS, treat all female & trans* mechanics with respect, including respecting their instructions, knowledge, and pronouns.
- Get Educated: Seek out information about the issues facing women and trans* communities and make genuine efforts to learn and practice using the most respectful terminology, pronouns, etc, even if they are new to you.
- Educate others: Tell others why spaces like WTF are important. Also, interrupt others when they are making messed up jokes or violent remarks about women, trans folks, and femmes.
- Listen: Just stop and allow space for WTF people to share about our lives and experiences. Believe that our stories are true, even if you don’t fully understand them.
If you are sincere about becoming a better ally but don’t know where to start, check out this truly excellent resource created by PFLAG: “Guide to Being a Trans Ally” And thank you!
- Ask for exceptions or ask to come in during WTF for “just one little thing.”
- Say they “can be a woman for a day.”
- Hang around the entrance during WTF hours.
- Call women or people they perceive to be women “sweetie,” “honey,” “baby,” etc.
- Interrupt women, trans*, or femme people while we are talking.
- Grab wrenches out of anybody’s hands.
- Assume WTF mechanics are less skilled or knowledgeable.
- Ask WTF mechanics if our boyfriends/husbands taught us how to fix bikes.
- Ask WTF mechanics anything about our boyfriends/husbands/romantic lives.
- Hit on WTF mechanics while we are helping you fix your bike. Not cool. We’re at work.
- Make any unsolicited comments about other people’s bodies. Period.
Questions or comments? Want to host an event or workshop? Send us an email at wtf.@bicas.org
This project is supported in part by a grant from LGBTQ+ Alliance Fund, a fund of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona