The Dyke March will be on June 7, 2019 (the day before Capitol Pride) at 6 pm. We will be meeting at McPherson Square and marching to Dupont Circle. Both locations are easily accessible by metro. The route is about one mile long and was chosen for its visibility, accessibility, and historical and political significance.
D.C. Dyke March exists to celebrate and center all Dykes. Anyone who identifies as a Dyke is welcome to march. This includes all who experience gendered oppression—including but not limited to: trans and cisgender women, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, non-binary individuals, as well as bisexual and queer women. We exist to uplift and protect marginalized voices and identities in our queer community. We will not condone any demonstration of transmisogyny.
We seek to reclaim, politicize, and empower ourselves with a derogatory term used against us. We believe that Dyke identification is transformative and validating for those that choose to claim it. As Dr. Karla Jay wrote in her affidavit on behalf of Dykes on Bikes:
“People who discriminate against and hate [the queer community] will do so, no matter how we label ourselves, for it is our very existence they despise. in calling themselves ‘dykes,’ this organization defies anyone who thinks that words alone will stop them.”
We understand that this word comes initially from a place of hatred and misunderstanding, and we continue to be in dialogue with its use and intention throughout our process.
This year, Dyke March is being organized by a collective of Dykes passionate about bringing the March back to D.C. in its former glory. Some of us are experienced organizers and others are first timers, but we are all here as volunteers to bring our wide scope of skills together and collaborate on the accomplishment of this goal. We always welcome new members and would love for you to join us!
For general matters, the organizing collective reaches decisions through ranked choice voting. General matters are those that impact every committee’s work. A two-thirds majority is required for the motion to pass. There is one vote per person. The collective will use a consensus voting model instead of ranked choice voting in the event that at least three people motion to do so. If you have any questions about the structure of our collective, feel free to email email@example.com.
The first March, and all Dyke Marches to follow, did not have a permit. It is our First Amendment right to protest, and until we are truly liberated, the Dyke March is a protest march.
We know that police were used in the Reconstruction Era specifically by Congressional mandate to terrorize formerly enslaved people fighting for their own rights as workers and people. We know that the Stonewall was a riot against police brutality and that cops continue to harass queers, especially trans women of color. We know that collaborating with cops is especially dangerous for the most marginalized in our community and will not bring safety.
Dyke March in DC has a history of being unpermitted and we are honoring and continuing that history. Marches in DC are often unpermitted in general; this is an action and a march because being a dyke is political as much as it is personal.
All of this said, we are planning on having a police liaison who will be the sole point of contact and who will be trained in speaking with police. Legal observers will also be present to document any police incidents and to discourage bad behavior on the part of police. We will have Dyke marshals present who will help guide us and keep us safe along the route. Marshals will be trained in de-escalation and there will be bystander and de-escalation trainings available to any Dykes interested in being trained in those ways in anticipation of the march.
We aspire to a future without police where we keep each other safe. This is our step towards manifesting that future.
While the dyke march will remain permitless, we will have a permit for the public space where we will gather at following the march. We have decided to get this permit to reflect the diverse needs of our community. By reserving the public space with a permit, we will ensure we are not removing any other groups from the space who previously requested it.
We recognize that for many dykes, especially dykes of color, being part of an unpermitted direct action comes with increased risk of arrest. We are committed to creating spaces where all dykes can celebrate their identity and community without fear of harassment or arrest, which is why we will have a permitted space that dykes can choose or not choose to be a part of. We will continue to have a police liaison, de-escalators and legal observers in the permitted space.
If you have any other questions or concerns about why we are permitless, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Legal and Safety Committee” in the headline.
We are working to make the March as accessible as possible. We will have a vehicle support option for those who cannot walk the route, as well as making water stations and available restrooms well-known along the way. There will be places to sit where the March begins and ends. We also will have ASL interpreters at the March and at Dyke March community events.
If you have any questions about the accessibility of the March, please email email@example.com with “Operations Committee” in the headline.
We are not! Dyke March is a protest march that happens the day before Pride. We reject the corporate sponsorship of Pride and exist intentionally to promote Dyke visibility and advocate on behalf of issues and policies impacting us.