A massive crowd roared along Fifth Avenue on June 25 as dykes of all backgrounds marched from Bryant Park to Washington Square Park to commemorate the 30th annual NYC Dyke March.
The annual unpermitted march, which occurs just one day before the main New York City Pride festivities, tends to bring a lively, radical, and refreshing grassroots atmosphere — no corporations or police are allowed — and this year’s march was no different. Marchers denounced the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, emphasized bodily autonomy, and underscored the importance of standing up for trans rights at a time when trans and non-binary people are under siege nationwide. The SCOTUS case, which was just decided one day before the march, loomed large over the march — and that was especially evident in the sea of signs blasting justices like Clarence Thomas, who used his concurring opinion to further threaten LGBTQ rights.
The march constantly drew applause from the many spectators on the sidelines who cheered along and celebrated at every step of the way. Dogs, too, joined in on the fun — some dogs were marching themselves, while others were being carried in pouches. Numerous volunteers stepped up along the route to make sure the march went along smoothly. Some volunteers helped blocked traffic at intersections, while others raced to bring wheelchairs to those in need.
The march eventually reached an already-packed Washington Square Park, where the Dyke March banner proceeded through the arch as the sun prepared to dip below the horizon.
Kat Burleson, who was attending the Dyke March for the first time ever, held a sign saying “‘queer’ as in pissed off,” with each letter being a different color of the rainbow.
“It was amazing,” Burleson said after reaching Washington Square Park. “I grew up mostly in New York, but we moved way up north when I was in high school and there was no gay community. Every Pride since coming back, I’ve just felt so relaxed.”
The Dyke March festivities continued in the park after the rest of the marchers arrived. As the night progressed, those who marched also sprawled out across restaurants, bars, and the streets of the West Village on a warm and beautiful Pride weekend in New York City.