An initiative by The Street Trust to tackle the gender gap in cycling wants to become more inclusive.
“We know that a barrier to cycling is feeling unsafe in public spaces and that non-binary and trans people are deeply affected by this.”
— The Street Trust
The nonprofit announced this week that their “Women Bike” program is now called We Bike PDX.
“Historically and today, cycling spaces for women have excluded and hurt transgender and non-binary people,” reads a statement from the organization. “To end this pattern we are changing the name of our program to establish an inclusive path forward. While we have supported non-binary and trans people in the Women Bike program, the name does not reflect our values and our members. In our political climate, with the rise of hate crimes, we understand that now more than ever, we must be there and fight for people with vulnerable yet powerful identities.”
We Bike PDX started as Women Bike in 2015 and has grown to a community with regular events and an active Facebook group with over 1,600 members. The program is sponsored by Metro, the Federal Transit Administration, and Street Trust donors and members.
Street Trust staffer Caroline Crisp says the group wants to be more intentional about providing a safe space. “We know now that there are many barriers and types of marginalization that occur in our public spaces that are shared among trans people of all genders, gender non-conforming folx, two spirit, and (cis) women. We also know that a barrier to cycling is feeling unsafe in public spaces and that non-binary and trans people are deeply affected by this. More than one in four trans people have faced a bias-driven assault, and rates are higher for trans women and trans people of color.”
To keep the group welcoming and respectful The Street Trust outlines several guidelines to all members of its Facebook page. Those include the use of gender-neutral greetings like “folx” and “friends” instead of “ladies” and including preferred pronouns in introductions and respecting the pronouns of others.
“To those who have felt excluded because of the name Women Bike, we are deeply sorry,” Crisp shared in a statement to members. “We see your fight and will use our power to fight for you and ensure you are included and able to thrive in cycling spaces.”
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and email@example.com
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