Dyke, trans marches to kick off at Dolores Park

  • by John Ferrannini, Assistant Editor
  • Wednesday June 21, 2023
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People carried signs and umbrellas during last year's Dyke March. Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland<br>
People carried signs and umbrellas during last year's Dyke March. Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland

A mainstay of Pink Saturday, the San Francisco Dyke March returns to the city this Saturday to claim space for queer women. It will start at Mission Dolores Park, one day after the Trans March is slated to also kick off at the public greenspace near the heart of the city's LGBTQ Castro neighborhood.

The Dyke March won't be preceded this year with a rally at the park, an unnamed Dyke March spokesperson told the Bay Area Reporter.

"All are welcome, all dyke and all dyke allies, to attend," the spokesperson told the B.A.R. over the phone. "We are happy to have people. We don't have a permit or the organizing capacity to host the big event in Dolores Park."

The march will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday, June 24, at the intersection of 18th and Dolores streets, at the foot of the park. The march will then move to Valencia Street, to 16th Street, and then up Market Street, ending in the Castro.

The Dyke March was first held in 1993. The Mission neighborhood has a storied history as a lesbian enclave, whose heyday was in the 1970s through 1990s. The Castro has often been criticized as being inclusive of white, gay men while being more exclusionary toward the rest of the LGBTQ community.

"Dykes gather at the Dyke March to celebrate our love and passion for women and for ALL dykes," the Dyke March's website states. "We celebrate our queerness in all its manifestations. We understand dyke identity to include those of us who are questioning and challenging gender constructs and the social definitions of women: transdyke, MTF, transfeminine, transmasculine, genderqueer, and gender fluid dykes. We also welcome all women who want to support dykes to march with us. Celebrate dyke diversity!"

Male allies are encouraged to "support us from the sidelines," the Dyke March's website states.

The spokesperson told the B.A.R. that the Dyke March is run by volunteers and the organizing committee that puts it on each year needs all the help it can get.

"We're still here," the spokesperson said. "We'd really love to see people get involved in our organization."

People who wish to volunteer with the Dyke March can sign up online. More information is available at thedykemarch.org.

Trans March

Niko Storment, a queer trans man who is the head of marketing and stage manager for the Trans March, told the B.A.R. on Monday that the march would be proceeding from Dolores Park to the Transgender District in the Tenderloin at 6 p.m. Friday in an event expected to last about 90 minutes.

Storment spoke to the importance of having the march considering the nation's political environment, which is seeing a backlash toward trans rights in particular.

"I think it's extremely important to celebrate trans visibility and joy, really to just ensure our people know there is a future for trans people, that they have a community, that they aren't alone, that they have someone who loves them," Storment said.

The march began in 2004. Friday's events will begin with the Señora Felicia Flames Intergenerational Brunch at the Women's Building, 3543 18th Street, at 11 a.m., Storment said. While the brunch doesn't have space left, the Trans March will be providing space for intergenerational conversation at the park, Storment said.

Then, from 3 to 6 p.m., there will be programming at the park before the march kicks off and heads to Turk and Taylor streets, the location where in 1966 the Compton's Cafeteria riot became one of the first uprisings against police harassment of trans women and drag queens, occurring three years before the more famous Stonewall riots in 1969 that ushered in the modern queer rights movement.

The after-party at El Rio benefitting TGI Justice Project is sold out, Storment said. There will be a sober after-party at Wicked Grounds, 289 Eighth Street, according to the Trans March's website.

TGI Justice Project did not return a request for comment.

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