Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



Thousands at Chicago's 20th annual Dyke March
by Gretchen Rachel Hammond

This article shared 20 times since Sat Jun 25, 2016
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

      More Photos

They numbered in the thousands.

So many people showed up to the 20th Annual Dyke March June 25 that they spanned most of the Humboldt Park route from Western and Division to the park entrance.

Comprised of the entire spectrum of race, gender and gender identity, they marched with defiance. They marched with love.

Much like the first Dyke March in 1996, Chicago Police Department (CPD) presence was minimal and necessary only to stop the flow of traffic along the marcher's route.

In a stark contrast to the expected massive CPD participation in the June 26 Pride Parade, Dyke March organizers focused on the community looking after itself.

Dyke March Safety Marshalls were on hand offering security or a bottle of water to anyone who requested it as temperatures along the route and at the rally topped 90 degrees.

As the marchers began to gather, the overwhelming feeling was one of acceptance and unashamed joy. There were plenty of hugs as old friends and Dyke March participants from the 1990s era were reunited with the words "Happy Dyke March."

Once the marchers set off, headed by a small contingent of Dykes on Bykes and representatives from the Broadway Youth Center (BYC), they chanted "We are Dyke March," "CPD means we've got to fight back, Orlando means we've got to fight back, gentrification means we've got to fight back," and "We're here, we're queer, we're fabulous, don't fuck with us," among others.

Yet there was no belligerence in their tone rather they were the impassioned cries for social change and community around which the Dyke March is centered.

"The Dyke March really emphasizes the importance of being in communities that are marginalized and left behind in terms of education around who the LGFBT community is," Dyke March participant and Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame member Emmanuel Garcia said. "After what happened in Orlando it's really important that we center the voices of the communities that were affected. Given that the majority of the people that were victims of this crime were Puerto Rican, I think it is especially important that the March is in Humboldt Park and that we're continuing to create solidarity with these communities."

Dykes on Bikes began collaborating with the Dyke March in 2011.

"It's the empowerment the March gives the LGBT community in general," Dykes on Bikes Chicago Chapter President Debby Rijos said. "I feel like the whole purpose of the Pride Parade has been lost with greed and money. The Dyke March still has its niche of showing the struggles and love of our community. No matter how many letters we add every year to the acronym, we still embrace everybody equally."

Garcia echoed the feeling that, without the regimented security that will be in place for the Pride Parade, the Dyke March retains an atmosphere which is unique, and in many ways, more suited to inclusion.

"We know that more policing and more surveillance only affects communities of color and the LGBT community of color," he said. "I think that we need to create more models like the Dyke March to bring the Pride Parade to the roots of Stonewall which was a direct response to policing. I think that's why Dyke March stands out and has always been rooted in community."

For others, the Dyke March is a place to meet new people. The extinction of lesbian bars not just in Chicago but across the country has turned the event into an invaluable social resource.

Rico was participating in the Dyke March for the fourth time.

"I like ladies," they (preferred pronouns) said with a laugh. "There's no places for lesbians to go. When you get a group of women-identified people together, it's a beautiful thing."

Rico is a part of a bimonthly kink and sex-positive meet-up called Femunch which currently boasts around 350 queer, women-identified members.

"We don't have a safe space anymore," Rico said. "The way that people are treating lesbians, and trans women is just ridiculous."

Rico added that they are also unenthused by the Pride Parade.

"It's just become so corporate," they said. "The Dyke March seems like it's more our crowd instead of being directed towards gay men. I'm all for unity but we do need a place that is just for us."

Despite the tremendous surge in numbers this year, The Dyke March displayed none of the drunken, obnoxious riots which marred the 2015 Pride Parade and started discussions about the event moving out of Lakeview.

For Rico, the reason all boiled down to mutual respect.

"It's so oppressive at Pride with all the drunk kids and older men," they said. "Here, we don't want to be disrespectful."

That level of respect was equally as prominent at the Dyke March rally on the grounds of Humboldt Park.

There, participants enjoyed free food cooked on a wide bar-b-que and browsed tables from organizations that included Affinity, Lambda Legal, Chicago Welcoming Churches, The Chicago Public Library, the Windy City Performing Arts/Windy City Gay Chorus, New Lease on Life Chicago, Rape Victim Advocates and the Midwest Access Coalition among others.

Abby Minton was offering magnets created by IO Handmade Crafts. The work of the organization is as altruistic as it is beautifully detailed.

"Today, sales are going to help LGBTQIA homeless youth at The Crib," Minton said. "Forty percent of homeless youth make up the LGBTQIA population which is highly disproportionate so we wanted to make a difference."

"A lot of younger kids are being rejected from their homes," Minton added. "But when we talk to them, they are very courageous. They would rather be out and homeless than inside and miserable."

Minton hoped to make $500 from the day, the proceeds of which will go to the homeless shelter which is a project of the Chicago-based Night Ministry.

Entertainment at the rally ran the gamut of spoken word, music, dance and even some body-affirming burlesque.

Performers included Kaycee Ortiz, Tiff Beatty, Miz Jellie Mae Jones, The History Makers, Tweak, Milani Ninja, Tasha, Holliwood Monroe and Bella Bahhs. The emcees for the show were Niki Gee and Miss Eboni.

Just as in 1996, Dyke March core organizers were floored by the unprecedented turnout for the event.

It was Sadie's first year as a member of the Dyke March Collective and the fourth as a Dyke March participant.

"It's fantastic!" Sadie said. "I think that a lot of people are feeling that it's a very important time to be at an event like this. We love and care about each other. We protect each other. We're really invested in that and we're intentional about building structures that create safety and support."

Although there will be a long break before discussions even begin about Dyke March 2017, Garcia and a number of others mentioned that, if they had their wish, they would like to see the event move to a neighborhood like Little Village.

"The fact that the Dyke March is still very much taking it to the streets gives me hope," Garcia said.

This article shared 20 times since Sat Jun 25, 2016
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Chicago's holiday cultural and arts events to reopen for in-person
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) today announced DCASE fall and holiday programming as Chicago's vital arts scene continues to safely and fully reopen. In-person holiday ...

Gay News

Equality Illinois CEO Brian C. Johnson on new book, 'Our Fair Share'
In Equality Illinois CEO Brian C. Johnson's new book, Our Fair Share: How One Small Change Can Create a More Equitable American Economy, he posits that receiving a Citizen Dividend will help all U.S. residents achieve ...

Gay News

America250 to host LGBTQ+ Community Conversation Webinar Sept. 23
--From a press release - Washington, D.C. —America250, the nationwide commemoration of America's 250th anniversary in 2026 led by the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, will host its next Community Conversation on Thursday, Sept. 23, at 4 pm ET. Members of the LGBTQ+ ...

Gay News

LGBTQ blood donation discrimination assessed, PULSE shootings cited
--From a press release - Chicago, Ill. — Last week, Reps. Mike Quigley (IL-05), Val B. Demings (FL-10), Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Adam B. Schiff (CA-28), Barbara Lee (CA-13), and Ritchie Torres (NY-15) received a ...

Gay News

OPALGA+ Scholarship Gala taking place Oct. 23
The 2021 OPALGA+ (Oak Park Area Lesbian & Gay Association+) Scholarship Gala will take place Saturday, Oct. 23, at Nineteenth Century Club, 178 Forest Ave., Oak Park. Cocktails will begin at 6 p.m., with the program/dinner ...

Gay News

Equality Illinois 'deeply troubled' by investigation into pro-LGBTQ teacher
Equality Illinois issued a press release stating it is "deeply troubled" after a DuPage County teacher is being investigated for posts about LGBTQ history and racial justice. The videos, which were reposted to Twitter in early ...

Gay News

Chicago Ald. Cappleman attacked
On the night of Sept. 18, Chicago Ald. James Cappleman was attacked in the Uptown area of the city, The Chicago Tribune reported. Cappleman, in charge of the 46th Ward, is one of five members of ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Carl Bean dies, LGBT History Month, military events, Dykes on Bikes
Archbishop Carl Bean—an openly gay former Motown singer, longtime AIDS activist and leader in the LGBTQ church movement—died at age 77, The New York Daily News reported. In a statement entitled "The Giant Sleeps," the Unity ...

Gay News

WORLD Germany's compensation, Lyra McKee, LGBTQ Afghans, tennis player
Germany has compensated almost 250 people who were prosecuted or investigated under a Nazi-era law criminalizing homosexuality, according to euronews. By September, 317 people had applied for compensation for their ...

Gay News

Patrick J. Kennedy to receive award from Trilogy at virtual gala
Chicago-based Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare will present its Partner in Recovery Award to The Kennedy Forum founder, mental-health advocate and former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy as a part of its virtual 50th-anniversary gala on Thursday, Oct. 21. ...

Gay News

Polis marriage marks first same-sex wedding of sitting governor
On Sept. 15, Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis wed longtime partner Marlon Reis—marking the first same-sex marriage of a sitting U.S. governor, NPR reported. Polis keeps making history. In 2018, Polis became the first openly gay ...

Gay News

Hastert settles sexual-abuse lawsuit
Days before a trial was set to begin, former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert reached a tentative settlement in a hush-money lawsuit filed by a man whose decades-old sexual-abuse allegations led to the politician's downfall six ...

Gay News

Now, only five of Chicago's 50 aldermen reject automatic pay raises
Forty-five out of 50 Chicago aldermen have opted to accept a 5.5% pay increase in 2022 that will push the highest paid among them to an annual salary of more than $130,000, according to The Chicago Tribune. ...

Gay News

Chicago alderman apologizes for 'offensive words'
Jim Gardiner, alderman of Chicago's 45th Ward, apologized during the Sept. 14 Chicago City Council meeting for his "offensive words" but said he "never acted on any of those rants" in which he appeared to call ...

Gay News

Gov. Pritzker signs transformative energy legislation for Illinois
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Delivering on principles previously laid out, Governor JB Pritzker signed landmark legislation into law that puts the state on a path toward 100% clean energy, invests in training a diverse workforce for the jobs ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.