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I love Pride month. For me, the highlight of June is when half the lesbians in NYC march down Fifth Avenue. The NYC Dyke March isn’t nearly as well known as the Pride Parade. As most of you know, large cities each tend to have their own Pride parade in June. In New York, the Dyke March always happens the Saturday before the main June Pride event, the parade. I went to the march for the first time last year, before then I literally did not know it existed and I’ve lived here my whole life. I had to go back again this year. That was my last Pride activity as I spent NYC Pride traveling to San Francisco and subsequently missed Pride in both cities! Which totally blew, but it was an amazing way to end my June gaylebrations.
Didn’t make it to NYC Pride either? Check out one of my fav blogs, Lame Adventures for a full report.
But I want to talk about the Dyke March, it’s been going on for twenty years, probably right under your nose and like me, you didn’t know about it. Basically, it’s awesome. I have to admit, I kind of like it more than Pride because it’s shorter and more like an old school activist rally than a parade.
It started in 1992, when lesbians started marching for visibility after the NYC public schools decided to cut out any mention of the lesbians in schools. So a bunch of lesbians started protesting and called themselves the Lesbian Avengers. Then, they started protesting for civil rights and to protest violence against the LGBT community after a gay man and a lesbian were burned alive in their home. The Lesbian Avengers staged protests where they literally ate fire to bring attention to the violence against us. Pretty heavy stuff, and if you want the entire story, check out their website. The work these women put into the movement twenty years ago is the reason so many of us can be out and proud today.
So to celebrate and promote our visibility we walk, sans a permit, from Bryant park to Washington Square park. Oh and did I mention some women choose to protest topless? Yes. Yes they do. While it is undeniably hot, it also sharply calls attention to the double standard of men being able to go topless while on women it’s considered indecent. In this manifestation, bare female chests look beautiful, natural and powerful.
And then the topless women jump into the big fountain in the park…and get all wet. Did your inner perv just say “schawing?” Mine did.
If you haven’t gone, go next year. It is a beautiful thing to see, and you will be more moved than you think and feel more accepted for who you are than you ever have.
…and then go out and party, of course! This year I went to Siren, at the South Street Seaport, which of course, featured a mermaid theme and even more boobs!
Gay rights and boobs! June is the best month to be a queer girl in NYC.