Fresh off an eventful Juneteenth Break the Chains With Love March last Friday, the NYC Dyke March crew is back for an action-packed final Saturday of Pride Month featuring an in-person march and a range of virtual events.
The Dyke March team is joining a march centering Black trans and non-binary individuals that is being produced by Selu, a Black trans advocate who contacted Dyke March members and invited the team to support the event.
Marchers will step off at 3:30 p.m. at the Brooklyn War Memorial at Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn and continue to Fort Greene Park, where folks will gather for an uplifting picnic. The march is also being supported by The People’s Bodega NYC, a mutual aid group that will be providing assistance with items such as water and snacks. Those who attend are encouraged to wear pink or blue.
After attending other protests, Selu said they felt a desire to organize an event to create a more visible space for trans folks to be included in the Black Lives Matter movement and to inject optimism with the picnic portion of the event. Selu said the idea represents a follow-up, of sorts, to the large-scale March for Black Trans Lives earlier this month, and they are underscoring a message that Black trans lives must always matter — not just during Pride month or when somebody dies from violence/
“It’s not fair for us to be memorialized after we’re dead but there’s no protection of our lives while we’re breathing,” Selu said during a Zoom interview with Gay City News alongside members of the Dyke March Committee. “My vision was to end with a picnic to kind of just have a moment for Black trans people to rest and have the community surrounding us, celebrating us, and protecting us. Because with Black trans lives, it’s again like we are a footnote and we are forgotten until a death happens.”
Also on June 27, the Dyke March Committee is hosting a slate of digital anti-racist actions including a virtual “Dykes Defund NYPD” event during which folks are encouraged to call or email their respective city councilmembers and urge them to slash the NYPD’s budget by at least $1 billion.
“We’re setting up a sort of step-by-step tutorial on how to call up representatives, email them, and sort of rally folks,” said Stephanie Garces, a Dyke March Committee member.
As a second part of the day of digital action, the Dyke March crew is offering folks a list of local organizations so they can donate to support Black communities.
Lastly, individuals are encouraged to get involved with Black and Pink, a national prison abolitionist group that helps foster penpal communication between incarcerated folks and individuals who would like to contact them.
The NYC Dyke March team is also participating in a 24-hour “Global Dyke Day” stream featuring lesbians from around the world. There will be a protest preparation training at 5 p.m. Eastern time.
The Dyke March team is concluding the busy Saturday with a virtual movie night at 8 p.m. The group will watch “Rafiki,” a queer Kenyan romance film that focuses on two young women whose fathers are political rivals. The movie will mark the first installment of a Black dyke film series produced by the NYC Dyke March.
“This ties into Selu’s vision,” another Dyke March Committee member, Robyn Ayers, said. “We’re asking the audience and people involved in the Dyke March to not only be a voice for justice but celebrate Black queer and Black trans lives while they are still here with us.”
The following day, some members of the Dyke March crew will be joining the Revolting Lesbians contingent at the Reclaim Pride Coalition’s June 28 Queer Liberation March for Black Lives and Against Police Brutality. That march will kick off at 1 p.m. at Foley Square.
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