Women Bike is moving forward as WeBike Portland!
Historically and today, cycling spaces for women have excluded and hurt transgender and non-binary people. To end this pattern we are changing the name of our program to establish an inclusive path forward.
The Origins of Women Bike and the Change:
Women Bike was created to tackle the gender gap in cycling. We wanted to create a space where it is safe to share our unique circumstances and deconstruct barriers to using a bike for transportation through support and shared knowledge.
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, 2 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.
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 first approached the possibility of a name change with a survey in July of 2019. We had many great responses and we are thankful for your contribution to this discussion. We have decided on a gender-neutral name because it ensures binary genders are not prioritized over non binary people and people within a fluid gender spectrum. Lastly, we chose WeBike Portland over Wom*en Bike because we do not want to reduce trans people of all genders, gender non-conforming folx, 2 spirit, and women (both trans and cis) to an asterisk.
To ensure that WeBike Portland is welcoming and respectful for trans people of all genders, gender non-conforming folx, 2 spirits, and women (both trans and cis), we ask participants to:
Use gender-neutral greetings like “folx” and “friends” and refrain from using gendered greetings such as “ladies”
Include preferred pronouns in introductions and respect pronouns
Understand that it is not the role of transgender and nonbinary people to educate cis people. Reach out to the moderator or refer to the links in this document if you have questions or want more information
Please report violations to the moderator. We want to give everyone the opportunity to learn from mistakes and do better; the moderator will reach out privately to share concerns
What hasn’t changed:
We strive to create safe spaces for people of color, disabled people, LGBTQIA+3 and women in the cycling community
Our love of connecting new people to cycling
Our culture of respect, information, excitement, and encouragement
The community thrives on your positive participation
We are unified in our desire to celebrate uniqueness
To those who have felt excluded because of the name Women Bike, we are deeply sorry. 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!
Let's keep going, #WeBikePortland