Tuesday, July 08, 2014

of bikes, country and a cherry bomb!

Continuing with the WorldPride theme, now it's the ladies' turn!   And since a good friend of mine was visiting, and she's very much into ladies, I made sure she saw aaaaall the ladies humanly possible. [GRIN]  But first, the serious stuff:  the Dyke March.  And before someone might complain about the term Dyke, let me remind you that's the official name of the march, and that it's part of the politics of reappropriation of slurs by queer communities.  So there.   

Anyhow, like the Trans* March (see this post), the Dyke March is really interesting because it conveys a wide number of messages relating to feminism, gender, sexual politics...  It is both a celebration and a march of a community with very valid demands.   Plus, it's got quite some history, starting in the mid-nineties.  Among other things, people march against prostitution laws that'll leave sex-workers more vulnerable, they march because women are still paid less than men, they march because acceptance of diversity and respect for all genders starts in safe and embracing schools, they march against slut-shaming, they march because being queer is still illegal and dangerous in most countries, they march for inclusion of transgender women in women's movements and fights.   Like I said, this is no empty-messaged march at all.  Respect to the Dyke March for that!

Like the Trans* March, the Dyke March was not just about clear and bold political statements and demands.  It's about community, and of celebrating together.  And for that the crowds gathered at the South Stage for the "Gay Ole Opry" country / trad showcase, and one of the showcase stars was... Chely Wright! Now, I'm no country boy.  But I recognize the importance of this woman for the movement, as she was deep, deep in the closet at some point.  And she was very well know in her genre.  And she was (and is) super feminine and completely passed as straight.  So coming out as a lesbian was a big step for her, launched her as an activist, and was pretty darn meaningful to a number of girls and women (sort of like Michael Sam's - the American football player - coming out as gay was very meaningful to quite a number of men).   

The icing on the Dyke Cake was the official Dyke March party: Cherry Bomb!   600+ women from all around (remember - WorldPride!) dancing to fierce music by female DJ's.   Though I did face some slight opposition to using the gender neutral washrooms (a couple of girls insisted I went to the "gents" washroom; I insisted on pointing to the huge "gender neutral" sign between both), at least one woman was intrigued enough by my "pansexual" sticker on my T-shirt to ask a few interesting questions and I even found a couple of female admirers of my beard! LOL Anyhow, the music was brilliant and the crowd one of a kind (you don't find parties with hundreds of lesbians and bi women around every corner, OK?).

So, the lesbian part of my WorldPride - including making my friend be as surrounded by women as possible - was a total success.  Hurray!

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