June 17, 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

West Hollywood Resident Robbed at Gunpoint Near Sheriff’s Station After Pride

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Victim Recounts Harrowing Early Morning Encounter in Rainbow District A West Hollywood resident and his friends were heading home in...

Michelin-Starred Chef James Kent Passes Away, Saga Hospitality Group Announces

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Chef Kent Is Remembered for His Culinary Excellence and Charity Work The Saga Hospitality Group announced the death of Michelin-starred...

Film Review: Longlegs

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

LONGLEGS is pure poetic eldritch terror. From the very beginning, director Osgood Perkins uses the actors’ performances, cinematography, and even...

Two Men Arrested After Injuring Elderly Woman in Road Rage Incident at LAX

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Violent Altercation Hospitalized Elderly Passenger  Los Angeles Police Department detectives from the Pacific-LAX Division have arrested two men involved in...

Judge Rules in Favor of Tenants in Historic West Los Angeles Eviction Case

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Landlord’s Eviction Plan Under Ellis Act Rejected, Tenants Can Stay After a lengthy legal battle that spanned over a year,...

Marina del Rey Sportfishing: A Great Day on the Water

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Fishing is a pastime like no other. You can experience the nostalgia of that pastime in real time at Marina...

Culver City Police Collaborate with VA and LASD to Aid Unhoused Veteran

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Joint Efforts Lead to Successful Assistance for a Veteran in Need The Culver City Police Mental Evaluation Team collaborated with...

University of Miami President to Replace Gene Block Amid Controversy

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Julio Frenk Named New UCLA Chancellor at UC Regents Meeting The search for a new chancellor at UCLA is over....

West Hollywood Kicks Off WeHo Pride Arts Festival This Weekend

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Celebration Features Diverse LGBTQ+ Events From June 14-16 Each year, the City of West Hollywood celebrates the artistic contributions of...

30th Anniversary of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman Murders Commemorated with Virtual Vigil

June 13, 2024

June 13, 2024

Family Honors Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in Virtual Candlelight Vigil This week marks the 30th anniversary of the...

Los Angeles County Launches Historic LGBTQ+ Commission with Inaugural Meeting

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

Supervisor Hilda Solis Leads Ceremony Marking Milestone for LGBTQ+ Advocacy Los Angeles County Supervisors convened Tuesday to inaugurate the county’s...

Students for Justice in Palestine Establish Third Encampment on the UCLA Campus on June 10

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

UCLA Administration Calls in Four Police Groups Within Two Hours, Arrests 27 Pro-Palestinian protesters briefly established a third encampment on...

Los Angeles City Council Postpones Vote on Marilyn Monroe’s Former Home

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

Decision on Historic Monument Status Rescheduled for June 26  After Judge James Chalfant issued a preliminary decision on the motion...

AMC Theatres Unveils Eight Money-Saving Deals for Summer Movie Season

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

Enjoy Discounted Tickets, Special Promotions, and Fan Favorites at AMC If you are a movie lover who has not been...

Hang-Ten Therapeutics-Surf Therapy for Kids: Catching Waves and Finding your Calm

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

A different type of therapy is making waves in Los Angeles. Hang-Ten Therapeutics, founded by Naomi Matanick, a licensed pediatric...