Friday, June 27, 2008

Countdown to Pride: Dyke March

Billed as a protest march and not a parade the Dyke March is one of the best rallies throughout Pride week. Although only women are allowed to actually march men are encouraged to rally from the side lines and show their support.

Saturday, June 28th.
Step off at 5pm SHARP
from W. 42nd Street and 6th Avenue at Bryant Park.

It is such a hoot! Please come out and show your love for our lesbian sisters!

For all NYC Dyke March information visit: nycdykemarch.org!

from wikipedia:

The first Dyke March in the United States was held in New York City in 1992, on the Saturday before the annual Pride Parade. It was intended as a woman-only event, organized by the direct action group, the Lesbian Avengers. Gay and bisexual men (as well as other well-wishers) were encouraged to show support by cheering the marches on, a tradition that continues to this day.

The first U.S. Nation-wide Dyke March was held in Washington, D.C. in 1993. This event was also planned by the Lesbian Avengers. Close to 10,000 women marched at this event. The large turnout can be attributed to the fact that the Dyke March coincided with a larger march on Washington. There was a global feel to this Dyke March as lesbians from the United States and other countries marched.

The first San Francisco Dyke March was held few months later, in June 1993, and is still celebrated every year on the Saturday evening before the annual GLBT Parade which is very corporate-sponsored. The Dyke March is more informal, with marchers creating their own signs and most people showing up to participate, rather than to just watch. The streets along the march route are lined with thousands of enthusiastic spectators, mostly gay men in support of the women.

New York City's Dyke March is another well-loved tradition. On the Saturday before Pride, lesbians gather in Bryant Park as they prepare to march down Fifth Avenue towards Washington Square Park.

The reason for the creation of the various Dyke Marches was to protest what many women saw as the control of Gay Pride events by white gay men at the expense of lesbians in general and women of color in particular. Many of the Lesbian Avengers were also concerned that New York's Gay Pride March was losing its political edge as it became more accepted by the city courted by corporate sponsorship.

While the Dyke March in New York has always been nominally open to all women, there has been a movement to push for transgender women and bisexual women to be more accepted and visible in the March and within the queer women's community. Men have been asked to stand on the sidewalks during the New York Dyke March and cheer on the marchers, and a small number of primarily gay men often join the marchers after they reach Washington Square Park. As with the San Francisco Dyke March, the organizers do not seek out a permit, and put a high emphasis on the political. Even though there are many club nights and parties after the March, the event is not so much about entertainment as it is about educating about Dyke issues and promoting the visibility of lesbians within the larger LGBT community.

Dyke Marches are now held in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, Canada as well as Seattle, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, and other cities around the United States.

4 comments:

bstewart23 said...

The Dyke March is my favourite. All the politics and community I wish gay men would embrace more fully are on display, inyerface. I see more real joy of community in the three or so hours of Dyke Marchiness than throughout the rest of the year. Rock on, sisters!

Ryan Charisma said...

yeah! my lesbionic sistahs!

hurray!

ruraljuror said...

Those crazy lesbians, always causing trouble. :)

March on, ladies.

David said...

While I think it's great that our dyke sisters are celebrating themselves, is anyone just a little put off by the tactic of exclusion as a form of empowerment?

We "allow" straight people to march in the Gay Pride parade.