Performer Jesse Molina summed up the reason for the Dyke March with her anthem “The Dyke in You,” about dyke-identified people standing together as one.
A short downpour prior to the march did not hamper the 400 dykes and allies who turned out for solidarity and community. The marchers took to the street for a 2-mile stretch, reciting an array of chants such as: “End the bigotry, end the violence, today our voice will not be silenced.” They went on to sing a delightful rendition of “When the Dykes Go Marching In.”
This year’s Dyke March organizers ran a perfectly timed show, starting off with MC Comedian Di Hardgrove, who kept the crowd laughing. The show continued with spoken-word artist Fantasia and a performance by Rasta Boi Punany, Mr. Philly Drag King 2011, along with various singer-songwriters, The Attic Youth Poets and a harmonious performance by L.Y.F.E. Dance. The Radical Faeries were there with water ice — engaging as usual.
In 1993, the Lesbian Avengers organized the very first Dyke March, the night before the March on Washington. The idea of dyke marches caught on, and dykes organized and marched in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Montrèal.
This year’s march, the 14th annual, was the largest to date, with social-networking sites such as Facebook helping propel this event: At last check, there were 492 RSVPs on Facebook.
When asked why a dyke march was needed when there is already a Pride parade the next day, a young transgender dyke named Melissa said, “I feel the Dyke March is more inclusive for transgender people: I feel like I belong at this march.”
This sense of community continued throughout the event. One younger dyke, who considers herself to be a “trike” or “tri-gendered,” said she felt welcomed at the Dyke March as well. A self-described pre-op trans dyke took an opportunity to take a jab at state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R), carrying a sign that read, “I named it Daryl Metcalfe, because it is an unwanted dick.”
Desire, a proud femme dyke, said, “We need a dyke march because, regardless of the advances we’ve made as women, as gay women we must harness our power, we must own our fierceness and we must take to the streets with pride and abandon for the womyn in us all.”
Two of the Dyke March organizers, Amber Hikes and Samantha Giusti, said the march was a collaboration of many volunteers, without whom the event would not be successful. Organizers posted a heartfelt thank you on their Facebook page, ending with, “We have never felt prouder!”