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A Women-Only Festival Has Banned Trans Women Who Haven't Had Reassignment Surgery

The festival reportedly told Facebook users that it would only allow trans women who have "undertaken all operative measures to become a woman".

Posted on December 15, 2015, at 7:10 a.m. ET

Seven Sisters Festival is a three-day women-only festival near Melbourne, Australia.

Last month, Facebook user Caitlin Therese Sullivan posted to the festival's event page, asking whether trans women would be welcomed.

Seven Sisters Festival / Via

Festival organisers responded that individuals who are "physically men" would not be allowed onsite.

Both posts have since been deleted.
Seven Sisters Festival / Via

Both posts have since been deleted.

A woman identified as Kylee has also posted what she said was a response email to an enquiry as to whether the festival is trans inclusive.

Kylee / Via

Over the weekend, the festival organisers posted to their event page stating they would delete any posts with "abusive and violent language".

However, people posting on the event have accused the group of deleting any posts that support trans women, or accuse the festival of cultural appropriation.

Rie Rie Kirkbright
Kt Rose Collins
Karlie Schaad

A number of comments criticising the festival still appear below the post.

On Monday, the organisers released a statement saying that they are seeking legal advice and will be releasing a survey for past and future festival attendees to complete.

Facebook: sevensistersfestival

Dear beloved Seven Sisters community…

Since it's beginning, Seven Sisters Festival has had a policy of inclusion. We recognise that the identity of 'woman' is a unique lived experience to each individual.

On Sunday 13th December a provocative transgender campaign was elicited on our Facebook page. We are currently investigating this.

Whilst we value the opinions of ALL people and are sympathetic to this cause, we do not condone abusive and inflammatory words, nor do we tolerate the use of forceful language to push unsubstantiated views onto others. As such, we are deleting all content relating to this issue from our festival pages as it is not the appropriate forum and we wish to prevent further perpetuation of bullying and violent language.

We apologise for any undue duress this situation has caused to everyone involved.

As an organisation, we strive to engage in respectful dialogue, which involves everyone. To be clear, Seven Sisters have at no time expressed any official statement regarding our position on trans inclusivity, but we are now seeking legal advice on this matter, hearing the voices of our patrons as well as engaging into dialogue with the transgender community.

Therefore, as a part of maintaining the integrity of our community, in the next month, we will send a confidential survey to our fellow sisters who have and will be attending next years festival so they can share their opinions without fear of bullying.

We believe this issue needs to be heard and we need to listen to every woman who has made Seven Sisters their sanctuary and home over the past four years.

Our policy and festival content will be reviewed based on the responses to this survey and publicly posted on our website.

Suggestions on how to improve Seven Sisters festival are welcome through this medium.

As always, we strive to co-create the best Seven Sisters possible.
We look forward to hearing your voice from a place of compassion, balance and honour.

With warmth,
The Seven Sisters Festival Team

BuzzFeed News has reached out to both Seven Sisters Festival and Caitlin Therese Sullivan for comment.