Hey everyone! This was quite unexpected. I was hanging out at Washington Square this afternoon when I started hearing a lot of noise coming from 5th Avenue. Suddenly, the square was full of women dancing, carrying posters, waving rainbow flags and dancing. I had no idea what was going on, and I'm sure many other people neither. However, they all seemed quite happy and cheerful. At first I thought it was a demonstration for gay rights, but then why would there be only women? Well, then I read the posters and understood more about it. Even though it wasn't until I got home and looked it up when I realized it was the New York Dyke March for this year.
First, let's see what this is all about:
"Dyke March is a mostly lesbian-led and inclusive gathering and protest march much like the original gay pride parades and marches. They usually occur the Friday or Saturday before LGBT pride parades and larger metropolitan areas have related events (parties, benefits, dances) both before and after the event to further develop community often targeting specific community segments (older women, bar events, arts, parenting groups, etc.) The purpose of a Dyke March is to increase lesbian visibility and activism and they have grown to be more inclusive of all women-loving-women regardless of labels as well as bisexuals, intersex and transgender persons.
New York City's Dyke March is another beloved tradition. In the 1970s, separate Lesbian Pride marches were held, for several years, but they did not become a continuous tradition. The Dyke March was renewed by the NY Chapter of the Lesbian Avengers in June 1993 (after the success of the Dyke March in Washington).
On the Saturday before Pride, lesbians gather in Bryant Park as they prepare to march down Fifth Avenue towards Washington Square Park. The Dyke March is open to all self-identified women. Because of this, men have been asked to stand on the sidewalks and cheer on the marchers. As with the San Francisco Dyke March, the organizers do not seek out a permit, and put a high emphasis on the political. Even though there are many club nights and parties after the March, the event is not so much about entertainment as it is about highlighting the presence of self-identified women within the LGBTQI community. Each year approximately 15,000 women attend this monumental event." (Link here)
Now it makes much more sense that all those women were doing that. It was very peaceful, and most of the people were actually happy rather than angry. I think it's much more effective to demonstrate like that than using violence. That way, they got people to listen to them. Even TV cameras were around. I must say that what caught the attention of most of the people in the park was that some of the girls decided to jump inside the fountain and take their clothes off. Actually, that's when the TV cameras arrived!
This whole weekend there have been many news concerning gay rights. Not only the gay pride is taking place in the city, but also gay marriage became legal a couple of days ago! To me it's quite surprising that it took so long in such an advanced country, because it's been legal in my country for several years already. In any case, I'm glad that all these events take place in a peaceful way and, as far as I'm concerned, there haven't been any violent incidents.