June 28, 2011
Notes from the Dyke March (NYC Edition)
1. Two women carry a banner that says “Gay Bashers Come and Get It.” Whenever the man with a “Jesus Saves from Hell” sign stops along our route, they stand next to him. Eventually, they’re joined by someone holding piece of white poster board with “Fuck This Guy” written on it, along with an arrow pointing to the Jesus guy.
2. In front of me for a few blocks is a woman, who, on her slender, sweaty back, has painted the words, “Liberation Not Assimilation.” We march past a Michael Kors store. In the window are two white wedding cakes with two brides and two grooms on top of each. This is very likely the definition of irony.
3. R asks me if I identify as straight. I panic. I tell her I like boys. She says, “I didn’t ask who you sleep with, I asked how you identify.” I consider this, feeling embarassed because I know they are different questions. I don’t know what to say, only that I hate the word straight and I don’t know if that means I have trouble owning the privilege associated with it. I am on the verge of a feminist/queer ally nervous breakdown.
4. S buys us whistles, which we blow jdelightedly and frequently. We scream and cheer and chant and watch the people watching us from the sidewalk. There are tourists taking pictures and people who yell along with us and folks who are just trying to get where they’re going. S and I find A, leaping around, a woman symbol painted on her arm. I always think she’s in charge, no matter where we go.
5. For a while, it seems like I can’t get away from the Queers Against Israeli Apartheid folks. There are other signs that say “Soldarity with Queers in Palestine,” and I feel good about this, but I can’t get over how it all makes me feel like I’m divided within myself, like a pie chart.
6. We approach Washington Square Park, and throngs are waiting for us, along with a steeply priced pretzel truck and an alarming amount of cops. I tell S that I do not want this to end. I think about conversations I’ve been having lately about movements, how you cannot have a meaningful mass mobilization without meaningful organizing, without building community. People leap into the fountain, collapse on the grass, whirl around. The sky is orange. We disperse.