A Prairie Homo Does New York: Wooooh, Dyke March!

Hello, my dear Autostraddlers. How are you? I hope you’re drinking lots of water and sitting under lots of trees or even maybe just standing underneath tall people who have afros because, my lovely homoqueers, it’s hot! You know how during the hottest part of a summer’s day you can sometimes see heat waves rising from the sidewalk, making everything blurry? Well that’s what’s been happening to my brain. Not only does summer in New York make my skin feel like it’s melting off my bones, but I swear my brain cells are evaporating, rising in blurry squiggle waves of heat from my skull and into my hair, which, if it weren’t for all the inexpensive black hair products I’ve found in Brooklyn, would resemble a frizzy nest perfectly suitable for one of New York’s many rodents.

But let’s not think about that right now, okay? Despite the heat, many exciting things have transpired recently, and I’m not just talking about sweat. I don’t know if you know this already, but I’m pretty gay and pretty Canadian, eh; so how lucky am I that this past week there has been not one, but two events to mark my favourite identities? Unfortunately, the Canadian Consulate in New York chose to celebrate Canada Day on the same day as the Dyke March, and dykes will always win over nationalism, so I joined the dykes! And the queers! And we marched! Or, as a fellow Autostraddler put it, we did a kind of homo shuffle because when you have that many queers in one place at one time, it’s hard to move as quickly as the city wants you to.

There were all sorts of sights at the Dyke March, like boobs, and a cute baby in a jumper that said “queer spawn” and drag queens dressed as nuns who sang about clits! Adding to the entertainment, there was a solitary religious protestor who stood on the sidelines holding a sign that read “Christ died for our sin.” I always thought seeing religious protestors so close to me would make me feel scared or angry, but in reality, it was just really, really funny. I mean, there we were with our rainbows, our boobs, our queerspawn, our clit-worshiping nuns, our bravery, our laughter, our signs proclaiming the need to stand with trans* people and people of colour, our purple Dyke March pins which read “dyke” or “fisting,” our sandals, our sneakers, our heels, our wheelchairs, and some random guy felt the need to talk about sin? What sin? His sin for being against making the world a better place by marching for diversity, pride, equality, and fun? It was all a little funny. He looked like a circus side-show, especially with the person beside him happily holding a sign that accurately let everyone know that “this guy needs a hobby.”

I like getting the chance to be gay without having to think too much about it.

Once upon a time, many years ago on a cold winter’s night (no, I’m serious. Remember I’m from the Canadian prairies!) I felt like the only little queerling in the world as I chopped my hair into a lesbian haircut and listened to the soundtrack to Rent, not knowing that one day I would pay actual rent in New York and march (I mean shuffle) amongst hundreds of queers through the streets of Manhattan, not even one bit worried about my long hair not making me look “gay enough.” When you’re surrounded by so many queers celebrating queer, you feel normal by default and happy because everyone around you is happy. You don’t feel the need to change how you look as some sort of signal, and having a conversation on where to get sandwiches and water is just as, if not more important than discussions on identity and queerness and coming out. Constantly having to explain and defend your sexuality and/or gender identity is heavy and exhausting. I like getting the chance to be gay without having to think too much about it. That’s why the spaces created in the Dyke March, Pride, and A-Camp are so wonderful and important.

Our very own Gabrielle is the cutest marshall ever! via @stef_schwartz

Our very own Gabrielle is the cutest marshall ever!
via @stef_schwartz

I’m still a little sad I missed the Canada Day celebrations at the embassy though. I’ll have to have a belated Canada Day party in the coming weeks. Who’s in?

Avatar of Malaika

Malaika likes books, drinking tea, long conversations, dinner parties, making funny faces, bike rides, and dogs. Originally from Edmonton, she now lives in Montreal where she edits, runs, and writes about the Alberta Tar Sands for The Media Co-op. You can follow her on twitter @Malaika_Aleba.

Malaika has written 83 articles for us.

15 Comments

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    Dyke March is totally my favorite part of pride weekend!!! There is no greater feeling than feeling normal holding hands with your neon wig wearing girlfriend while you’re in a collared shirt and rainbow tie.

    And did you see the trans derby girls?! I want their skills on skates.

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    I’m from Texas but I was living in NYC last summer and I went to dyke march and I think it was maybe the highlight of my summer. I also saw a LOT of boobs, especially at the end when everyone took their clothes off and danced in the fountain. God bless New York.

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    Chicago’s Dyke March was also amazing! I liked it much better than the actual Pride Parade the next day, because I’d rather BE the parade! Everyone hung out (and maaaaybe got slightly intoxicated) in a park for music and dancing afterward which was the best part, so fun!

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    I was there!! It was seriously thousands upon thousands of queers surveying their own numbers in awe. And the “this guy needs a hobby” sign girls were my heroines of the weekend. Loved every second of it. :3

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    D’aw! I was there and it was marvelous–both the march and the outsize contingent of Autostraddlers (which promptly broke apart into several smaller groups, all of which I got separated from before long… but I still had Way Too Much Fun!). New York ‘Straddlers, it was lovely to meet y’all! :)

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    Next year. I am going to NYC dyke march next year. I officially declare it. We don’t have one in my city, and honestly I don’t care to try to organize one because trying to get the queers to do anything here is like trying to herd cats.

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    “Constantly having to explain and defend your sexuality and/or gender identity is heavy and exhausting. I like getting the chance to be gay without having to think too much about it. That’s why the spaces created in the Dyke March, Pride, and A-Camp are so wonderful and important.”

    THIS. SO IMPORTANT. I definitely got a little teared up at this. Dyke March is amazing.

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    “When you’re surrounded by so many queers celebrating queer, you feel normal by default and happy because everyone around you is happy. ” I’m so glad you got to experience this! I’m really enjoying reading about your experiences in NYC. I may never get the chance to do so myself, but it’s nice to live the big city life vicariously :)

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