Solidarity and Inclusive Dick Jokes: Meet Girldick Hosting

Updated April 21, 2016 1:46pm PDT
Carrot

Show of hands, who likes girldick?

That's what a brand new non-profit webhosting company Girldick Hosting, catered to transmisogyny-experiencing individuals, would like to know.  The first thing you notice in the site documentation is the dick jokes. They also have a support twitter, which is also full of dick jokes. Their logo looks like a sort of Greek letter with erectile dysfunction.

I honestly had no idea so many gender-ambiguous dick jokes, stripped of essentialist association to men's bodies and attitudes, were possible.

Girldick Hosting is a not-for-profit (subsidized by a for-profit company)  web host operated out of Germany, but maintained by a team scattered all over Europe. They offer two main types of plans, and a variety of hosting services. As mentioned before, these services are available to male-assigned women, trans, and non-binary folks that experience transmisogyny. An acronym they provided to me was "TW&NBET", for "trans women & nonbinary people experiencing transmisogyny".

I had a chat with the hosting team recently to get some background on the project. Responses to my questions were a group effort between them.

I noticed some verbiage on the site about not looking for profit—is this a non-profit venue?

It is—it's in part funded by a for-profit business, but none of the money made from girldick is passed back to the business or used to pay anyone involved.

A non-profit web host isn't something I've heard of existing before. Where did the idea come from to make this service predominately available to folks that experience transmisogyny?

A few AMAB trans people were sitting in a living room thinking up the weirdest domain combinations we could find: whydonotranswomen.top, etc. We discovered that “girldick” was the best thing to put before a TLD to make it hilarious—girldick.photos, girldick.gallery, girldick club, and of course girldick.hosting. Then we looked up server prices, one person made a logo, and then. Well. Girldick happened.

We ended up finding a business willing to supply some funding to help us get on our feet, and thought it would be a useful resource to help make technology accessible for people from a similar background as us.

I noticed y'all are from Europe. I'm curious how experience as trans women differs out there, with medical care and/or legal recognition (or social navigation with or without them) as well as your opinions on what must seem some really backwards obsession with bathroom use laws here in the United States lately.

Well, not all of our team are originally from Europe, although that is where we're all based. And obviously these answers will be vastly different depending on where in Europe a person is based. Using the UK as an example, the National Health Service means that medical care is a lot more readily accessible, speaking from a cost perspective. However as a result of public funding, wait times are drastically high for any treatment. From a legal perspective, there are gender recognition laws—however they're overly bureaucratic and difficult to navigate. They are centralized within a country, which is another difference to the US.

The obsession with bathroom laws over in the US is a concern to us all, to be quite honest. Solidarity between trans women here and elsewhere is important. And it does set a bad example for the rest of the world.

We're also in a big fight here for nonbinary recognition at the moment, which is obviously quite important to many of us. Yet, de-focussing on the United Kingdom briefly, some European countries are making great progress with recognition for other genders, which is a big positive.

I have a Scandinavian friend that I remember was pretty excited about changing rules about surgery requirements for gender recognition recently.

That is a thing in some places, but largely speaking, Europe is seeing a shift away from this, thankfully.

Are there a lot of for-trans women-by-trans women services in Europe that you are aware of? Even now, at a point in my life where I've been actively seeking out such things for a years, they still seem scarce here in the US.

There are some services for people like us which are by people like us, but they tend to be focused on advocacy and activism. This is partly why we wanted to start this, we’re hoping to perhaps start something of a trend in this way. As a sidenote, we do like to emphasize we're for all who experience transmisogyny, explicitly including those nonbinary people who do - not just trans women.

You're right. Sorry. I'm still working to process not summarizing "transmisogyny experiencing folks" as "trans women" or "transfemmes". I appreciate the reminder.

No problem.

Your site and FAQ seem to cover most of the nuts and bolts of the operation—do you have anything further you would like to communicate to folks who will be reading this article?

Mainly, we'd like to encourage people who want to get into technology or have a general use for our services to consider giving us a try. We'd also like to encourage other people who experience transmisogyny to consider setting up similar services in their fields of expertise. We can potentially offer some advice if people want to get in touch.

Our overarching aim with this project is to create a space where people like us can work on projects together, whether they are political, creative, or technical.

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Destroyed For Comfort frontperson. Gamedev of altgame titles like Never Go To Work and retro game enthusiast. Probably writing about something pop culture related. Born/raised Texan; slightly embarrassed about it. Weirder than you're probably comfortable with. Once had a Tumblr post reach 40,000 notes. Has a reputation, for good or bad.