Proud “dykes” come out of the woodwork to march in Minneapolis

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The Twin Cities Avengers held their annual Dyke March on Saturday. Around 200 participants chanted, danced and cheered as they celebrated their pride in an unpermitted march significantly devoid of any commercial influence. Starting at the Walker Art Center, they marched down Hennepin Avenue and around Loring Park. Participants in the march said they liked the Dyke March because it was more inclusive than the official Pride Parade that happened the next day, and didn’t have the commercial sponsorships that have come to mark the Pride Festival.

The first Dyke March—organized by the New York activist organization Lesbian Avengers and the National ACT UP Women’s Committee—was held in Washington DC in 1992. The event drew 20,000 people, according to the TC Avengers Web site. Since then, Dyke Marches have become an annual tradition in cities all around the country.

The TC Avengers are an offshoot of the original Lesbian Avengers, but changed their name to be more inclusive of all of the GLBTQ community. According to their Web site, the group aims to resist “systems of domination in ways that relate to the needs of constantly changing local and national queer and transgender communities.”

One participant, who said she had been attending Dyke Marches in the Twin Cities since 1997, said “I love the march because of all of the people coming out of the woodwork. It’s our day to just be ourselves and be proud.”

Sheila Regan is a Minneapolis theater artist and freelance writer.

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