FlyGirl: a community and safe space for womxn

The Nottingham-based initiative connects womxn of all shades while prioritising those of colour.

FlyGirl

(Note: the words women and womxn will be used throughout the article. The former should apply to all women but unfortunately doesn’t to some who use it, as you’ll see, so womxn will be used where applicable.)

It’s funny how my Twitter timeline works. Within minutes of seeing a questionable article title from the BBC—“Women and women of colour continue to change the face of Congress”—I found a community that didn’t separate women of colour from the perceived default. It’s called FlyGirl.

In their own words, FlyGirl is “a community of like minded womxn who understand and appreciate the value of working together to achieve great things.” It was created by Avarni Bilan, who initially wanted to create a comfortable and safe space for womxn to support one another. But as the idea grew, her intentions shifted slightly:

“[…] as the idea was developing it then became really clear to me that the only way I would ever be able to do it authentically would be if it works to represent womxn of colour. I wanted to create a very practical response to the clear lack of representation that womxn of colour experience on a daily basis and be able to unapologetically address topics that may largely only apply to these womxn.”

Excerpt from Avarni’s LeftLion interview

​Based in Nottingham, FlyGirl offers local events to support womxn of colour in the Arts, as well as providing financial and practical advice so they can fully realise their dreams.

According to the website, FlyGirl is inclusive of the following groups:

  • Cisgender women
  • Queer women
  • Trans women
  • Non-binary people
  • Intersex people of colour

Other services include:

  • D&I workshops
  • Bespoke HR training
  • Company-wide training days
  • Unconscious bias training
  • Interview skills
  • Business evaluation and feedback

There’s also a FlyGirl Directory (similar to Rememory) for businesses to find WOC and make practical changes to diversify their workplaces (hopefully after some unconscious bias training).​

EDIT: It has been brought to my attention that there is discourse around the term “womxn” and its intentions and impacts for trans women and non-binary people, as addressed in this Instagram post. I apologise if the terminology has offended or excluded anyone in this manner.

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