2022 Registration Update!

You can now register for the 2022 Women’s Gathering! Please register using the following Google Forms link: https://forms.gle/AgPYWWXym6GuQH8eA If you are having trouble filling it out please contact us at gathering@twinoaks.org.


We are ON! The Twin Oaks Women’s Gathering will take place on Aug 19-21, 2022. Attendees all need to be vaccinated. We welcome and honor all who are oppressed as or identify as women, regardless of gender assigned at birth

Women’s Gathering 2020

As of March 25th, we are planning to have a Women’s Gathering this year!

Saturday Morning Program—An Invitation to Inclusion

On Saturday morning, following the opening circle, we will be assembling as a group to co-create a dialogue about difference. This shared morning program will be an invitation to inclusion, to see one another more clearly, and represent all our stories, and to visibilize the undercurrents of identity in our community. In order to understand how we can move together holding the values we share, we will engage in difficult conversations together in supportive space, doing both large – and small group work, plus some one-on-one time, and sharing back.

It’s time to see each other, and move toward trust in each other. We are in this together. Remember, we are older than categories. Our interdependence makes us lethal to our oppressors.

This space will be held and guided by friend of community Ava Pipitone, an inter-generational bridge builder, who creates tools to scaffold the imaginations of others. Housing LGBT folx, building collective worker power, and organizing transgender communities are her focus. Ava helps communities heal through conversation and organization design.

A Short History of Trans Inclusion at the Women’s Gathering

The Twin Oaks Women’s Gathering has been an annual event since 1983. Within the first few years, the question of trans-inclusiveness was brought to the attention of the organizers and it was decided sometime in ‘84 or ‘85 that trans women would be welcome at our gathering. In 1997 the issue came up anew, and the organizers again made the decision to officially welcome trans women to our event. Since that year, trans women have been in attendance at every Twin Oaks Women’s Gathering.

In 2017, the organizers decided to take a hiatus year to address concerns about the implications of trans inclusion in women’s space. No public event was hosted that year; instead, the organizers hosted a private gathering including some Twin Oaks members and some past Gathering attendees. Only people who were assigned female at birth were invited. In retrospect, we feel that this choice was insensitive, offensive, and harmful. Many other conversations were had within the organizing team, and within the larger network of Twin Oaks Community and past Women’s Gathering attendees, to help us re-evaluate our definition of women’s space and how to move forward with our Gathering. We sincerely regret the choices we made in 2017 and apologize to those that were excluded from that private event.

The organizing team re-formed in 2018 with some old and some new organizers. We re-affirmed our commitment to trans-inclusiveness and vow to never again exclude trans women from events related to our Women’s Gathering.

While the 2018 gathering included many great workshops with transformative and healing moments, we made a mistake in allowing a workshop titled “The Disappearing Woman” to occur. In this workshop, things were said that were offensive and insulting to trans women, culminating in an angry outburst in which one of our trans participants was verbally attacked. We failed to properly vet the workshop and to prepare our team of “angels” to intervene and de-escalate the situation. The events at that workshop were in violation of our inclusion statement and a participant was asked to leave. We believe that we were naïve and not sensitive enough to the tensions underlying the workshop topic, and we apologize to everyone who was adversely affected by this situation.

For 2019, we’ve updated our Inclusion Statement after meeting face-to-face with several trans women and nonbinary participants to figure out how we can better meet their needs. We are designing a more intensive training for Angels, and are working on creating a program for all attendees that fosters understanding and connection across difference to address issues diversity, transphobia, and trans inclusion.

We’re excited and hopeful for the 2019 Gathering, which is themed “Coming Together to Empower Each Other.” We are seeking workshops and tools that can help to create more supportive space within our gathering; we eagerly anticipate any helpful suggestions or contributions you may want to make.

In Sisterhood,
The Women’s Gathering Organizers,
Anna, Alexis, Gabby, Hawina, and Julia

A Strong Brew of Medicine by Bell

The 2018 Twin Oaks Women’s Gathering will be my first experience sharing space exclusively with women and femme folk in such a celebratory and communal setting. This opportunity means a lot to me as a great lover of our collective culture and herstory. I am looking forward to learning about and connecting with my sisters who will be joining together from so many different walks of life and sharing our unique definitions of what it means to be our true selves as women. I am looking forward to the nourishment, understanding and compassion that an event like this aims to cultivate. To me, women gathering together in this empowering fashion is a strong brew of medicine that can shift our lives back into much needed balance.

Women Unite!

Growing up, I experienced a lot of internalized misogyny and slut-shaming from the women around me.  Women in our society are conditioned to be in constant competition with each other, particularly in regard to sexuality.  Prior to moving to Twin Oaks and going to the Women’s Gathering, I had never experienced safety in my female friendships, but the Women’s Gathering is a space in which we women can heal our relationships with one another.  When we create community with each other, share responsibilities, and interact on an inter-generational level, we are a tribe.   When women join together, share ourselves in vulnerably, and seek harmony and balance with nature, the power that is manifested is enough to break the patriarchal chains that separate us.

In co-creating this space, we are pro-actively offering an alternative to the dissociated, disconnected patriarchal culture.  We create true community. – Angelica Jaffe

Freedom in my Skin

It has been many years now since my first Women’s Gathering at Twin oaks, and I will never forget my first time and how incredibly life-changing it was for me.

I arrived late Friday night in the pitch black. It was a hot, muggy night. I was in a state of excitement and nervousness. I had sweat pouring down my face as my heavy body carried my tent and all of my equipment. I didn’t know anyone. but I was very excited to be in women-only space. Walking on the path in the dark, I could hear drums and see a fire in the distance. As I walked up to the fire pit and saw naked women drumming, I thought, “These are my people.”  I watched women dance, and I thought, “I want to dance like that someday.  I want to experience the freedom that these women are experiencing.”

Over the next couple days, I felt more freedom in my own skin that I had ever felt in my entire life. I had always been so self-conscious of my body, but at the Gathering, I was met with acceptance and warmth, and I never felt judged. For the first time, I wore a tank top in public.  And I worked, played, and of course danced with women I have come to cherish.

I come back every year, and this is my third year being an organizer. I have learned so much from my beautiful teachers and friends. If you have never experienced how empowering it is to be in women’s space, I urge you to give it a try . – Erin Tucker

A Journey to Self

Last year was the first Women’s Gathering I attended and one of the first times I have ever chosen to embark on an adventure alone. Although I knew there would be some familiar faces at this event, the idea of camping alone was foreign and frightening to me. I even left the event site shortly after I arrived to call my mother and express the fears I was facing!  Luckily, she was there to reassure and support me in this moment of doubt. So, I took a deep breath and returned to the Gathering with the confidence that I was doing the right thing, and I am ever so grateful I did.

Over the weekend, I felt my walls of social anxiety and self-doubt slowly break down as I witnessed the beauty of women coming together to share songs, stories and support.

Experiencing the scared women-only space was a monumental experience in my life leaving two great impressions on me: a better understanding of self and the knowledge that my femininity exists outside of a sexual realm. – Ash

The Gift of Women’s Community

At my first Women’s Gathering, I wasn’t sure what to think.  Strangers everywhere inhabited the campground I had just helped transform for the weekend.  I had been living at Twin Oaks for three months, and there was a celebratory energy that I couldn’t understand.  What was the big deal?  It was just the Gathering site, right in my backyard.  It was unnerving, to have these strangers in my home, acting as if they knew something that I didn’t.

It was at the Saturday evening sweat lodge that I learned the secret.  I went in a little uncertain about stripping off my clothes but reassured by the darkness.  And with a dozen other women, I expressed my grief and hope for the world.  I came out of the sweat lodge naked and dripping, reveling in my breath and my thirst and the evening air on my skin.  I felt expansive, bigger than my body, able to touch the sky.  I couldn’t cover up my body then.  So I wrapped a thin scarf around my hips and, for the first time ever, strolled through the night with my breasts open to the world.

That was my moment of “getting it,” of understanding the freedom offered by a community of women.  What was this strange new world that women had been creating for each other the previous 28 years?  Feminist women speak of feeling the weight of oppression lift from their shoulders and minds.  Spiritual women speak of the healing in their spirits or of the sacredness of the land here.  And the understanding of what women’s community gifts us can be intense, punctuated by tears gleaming on a woman’s cheeks or a fire burning in her eyes.  You see she is changed.

I still don’t always know the women I pass on the path or greet in the workshops, but I know they are here for the same reason I am.  We both seek that community of women, that altered state of stepping outside of patriarchy for a moment, of expanding our souls until they touch the sky.  This is our birthright.  We come to claim it, for ourselves and our sisters.  We’ve glimpsed a future where women thrive.  Would you like to see it?

— Brittany