April 14, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Dyke Day LA Draws 1,500+ ‘Dykes of All Genders’

June 11 event draws NY Times coverage

By Susan Payne

More than 1,500 people descended on Sycamore Grove Park for an annual Pride gathering known as Dyke Day LA on June 11. 

In a month packed with corporate-sponsored parties, parades and concerts, “dykes of all genders” gathered for an essential — if unofficial — event, according to the New York Times.

The name, Dyke Day, spins a widely misogynistic and homophobic slur as a positive, liberating label, but many attendees were split on its meaning. 

While labels like “nonbinary” and “genderqueer” are used to affirm identities that are more fluid, Melanie Marx, 31, told the New York Times that “dyke is not our generation’s name to reclaim … I feel like we’ve reclaimed ‘queer’ and it’s far more inclusive.”

Conversely, several people from ages 40-60, including Tristan Taormino, 51, a feminist author and sex educator, affectionately spoke of the word. 

“I’ve always identified as a dyke. To me it’s a politicized identity. It’s not just about who I love and have sex with, but my culture, my point of view, my politics. It’s an absolute reclamation,” Taormino said. 

Leole Davis, 37, an aesthetician in Sherman Oaks who specializes in post-operation treatments for people recovering from mastectomies or top surgery, said she was excited to be back in-person for the celebration, according to The New York Times. 

“There are no events in Los Angeles where you can see this many queer people at once, so it’s amazing for cruising,” she said.

A 27-year-old comedian, Hannah Einbinder said, ““There are very few centralized areas or bars or restaurants that are dedicated to queer femmes or non-cis male queers, so it’s nice to be here.” 

A 25-year-old researcher, Mekleit Dix commented on the contrast of Dyke Day versus the celebrations in West Hollywood, “I think the sense of programming there is like: ‘It gets better, that’s why we’re partnering with JPMorgan Chase,’” she said.

Known to be anti-corporate, Dyke Day hosts workshops on B.D.S.M and other forms of kinks, demonstrations of how to administer Narcan to reverse an opioid overdose and resources for gender-inclusive healthcare and follows a lineage of grass-roots Pride gatherings that have aimed to center people who identify as femme, according to The New York Times. 

“I’m just happy to be here with all my girls,” said musician Lana Del Rey. “We have the best girls in town right here.”

This year, Marissa Marqusee, a nurse who manages the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Audre Lorde Health Program and sits on Dyke Day’s planning committee, told The New York Times it was important to the organizers to create an inclusive environment.

“We wanted the committee to be representative of the people who attend Dyke Day,” said Mx. Marqusee, who is transgender and nonbinary. “That means Black, brown, Indigenous, people of color. Queer and trans people. Service providers of all different backgrounds.”

“It’s like dyke Christmas,” said Lynn Ballen, a Dyke Day LA organizer and board member. She also explained that “traditionally, Pride events come out of a history that is more gay men, more cis, more white.” She and her fellow organizers were looking to foster a more diverse and inclusive environment.

“I think there’s sort of a safety and joy in what we create at Dyke Day that refuels us to go back out into the straight world for the rest of the year,” Ms. Ballen said. 

States seeking to restrict discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools and to limit the rights of transgender youth, the overturn of Roe v. Wade, and the expansion of gender identities have shaped some people’s feelings about the word “dyke,” according to The New York Times. 

“I’m a dyke, and in the ’90s, when I was a teenager, I was closeted,” said Romy Hoffman, a 41-year-old musician from Sydney, Australia. “I was into grunge, the Riot Grrrl stuff. I was discovering queer cinema. The word ‘dyke’ definitely represents that period of time, but I don’t know if it has been adapted to the age of queerness.”

“I’m kind of old school and identify with ‘lesbian,’ personally,” said Ann Engel, 59, a therapist in Palm Springs.

“I grew up hearing people call women ‘marimacha.’ I understood it to mean, like, ‘butch woman,’” said Salvador de La Torre, 32, who is transgender and grew up on the Texas border. “It’s definitely derogatory and can be used as an insult, depending on the context.”

They told The New York Times that the term continued to resonate with them. “Even though now I’m not a woman — I was socialized as one and I was assigned female at birth — I’ll always be fond of that association, and love the word ‘dyke,’” they said.

in NEWS
Related Posts

Registration Now Open for Summer at New Roads

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

New Roads School is accepting registration for its summer program, a vibrant selection of classes and camps curated to meet...

CodeREV Inspires Kids to Code

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

Budding coders, robotics engineers, game developers, animators and STEM campers are invited to join CodeREV this summer for a memorable...

YMCA Santa Monica: When School Is Out, Camp Is In

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

As the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District nears its end,  YMCA Santa Monica is setting up for its popular Summer...

Top 4 Party Boat Rentals in San Diego

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

Here’s a rundown of the top 4 party boat rentals that will elevate any event to an unforgettable experience: Alana...

Accents Owner Steven Hanna Reflects on Decades Long Legacy

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

For 37 years, Accents Jewelry has transcended mere commerce, evolving into a vibrant community, a crucible of creativity, and a...

Discover the Untold Story of Folk-Rock Icon Judee Sill in “Lost Angel” Documentary

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

Directors Share Insights into the Life and Legacy of the Enigmatic Musician By Dolores Quintana Have you ever heard of...

O.J. Simpson, Infamous Football Star Accused of Murder, Dies at 76

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

Controversial Figure Succumbs to Cancer Shortly After Diagnosis Orenthal James Simpson, a former football player who is best known for...

Lyft Driver Faces Felony Sexual Assault Charges, Passenger Was Traveling Between Weho and Santa Monica

April 11, 2024

April 11, 2024

District Attorney Files Charges Following Allegations by Female Passenger On April 10, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced...

Los Angeles General Medical Center Seeks Public’s Help to Identify Patient Found in West LA

April 11, 2024

April 11, 2024

Hospital Appeals for Assistance in Reuniting Unknown Patient with Family The Los Angeles General Medical Center, a public hospital operated...

Get Jokerfied with The People’s Joker Director Vera Drew’s Interview; Film Opens on Friday

April 11, 2024

April 11, 2024

Vera Drew on Crafting a Trans Supervillain and Creating Comedy Chaos By Dolores Quintana The People’s Joker is an explosive...

(Video) The New Menu Experience at Cassia Restaurant in Santa Monica is Delicious

April 11, 2024

April 11, 2024

The Southeast Asian dishes satisfy. Friendly ambiance, flavorful food, subtle cocktails, beer and wine, and scrumptious desserts. @smmirrornews The New...

Woman Shares Apocalyptic Messages On Social Media Before Woodland Hills/Culver City Murder-Suicide

April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

Social Media Posts Precede Tragic Events at Family’s Home and on the 405 Freeway Reports have surfaced that a 34-year-old...

SB 1509 Advances: Malibu Officials Rally Behind Negligent Operator Treatment Bill

April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

Senator Stern’s Legislation Gains Momentum in Effort to Curb Reckless Driving SB 1509, the Negligent Operator Treatment bill spearheaded by...

Indigo Girls Documentary Premieres Nationwide: A Deep Dive into Folk Duo’s Journey

April 9, 2024

April 9, 2024

Directed by Alexandria Bombach, Film Explores the Lives, Legacy of Amy and Emily By Dolores Quintana The music documentary Indigo...

LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn Proposes Aid Package for Workers Amidst Closure of 99 Cents Only Stores

April 9, 2024

April 9, 2024

Former Pic N’ Save CEO Also Steps Up to Try and Save 99 Cents Stores Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice...