Sunday, June 28, 2009

My First Dyke March

June 2001:

Pride was approaching and I thought I should participate. Shobi-wan and I had participated in the Pride Parade in Portland, and I had marched in the Portland and Seattle Pride Parades in the flag corps of the Rose City Gay Freedom Band (a story to be told later), but San Francisco is a lot bigger, a lot crazier, and a lot more formal than the Portland parade was when Shobi-wan and I went.

The Dyke March is traditionally anti-establishment, eschewing corporate sponsorship and march permit applications, but always follows the same route the evening before the Pride Parade. I thought it would be good to go a women's event, and who knows, maybe I would actually talk to someone. I had just recently started attending the Bi Women's Group and hadn't made real friends there yet, so I had to go alone. Which I told myself would be okay; there would be 50,000 people there and I could blend into some group.

I stood on a small rise in the center of the park, looking over thousands of women of all ages, colors, shapes, in costume or without clothing, on blankets drinking and snacking, making out, sunbathing, dancing, cheering, and greeting others with "Happy Pride!" I watched everything with some trepidation, wishing I knew some people so I could join the eating, drinking, dancing, cheering, and maybe even the making out.

A woman came up on the rise next to me, shading her hand while she was looking for her friends (this is so much easier now that texting is a common feature on cell phones!). She told me she was from Minnesota, and I said I was from here. She asked me, "How many times have you been to the Dyke March?" and I replied, "This is my first time."

"Your first time? What kind of a Dyke are you?" she teased.

"About half of one," I smiled.

1 comment:

Saipan Writer said...

Have you stopped blogging?