Long Beach 2nd Annual Dyke March and Rally May 16

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On Friday evening, May 16, 2014 Long Beach women will take to the streets in Long Beach’s 2nd Annual Rally and Dyke March.

The goal of a Dyke March is to increase lesbian visibility, but has grown to be more inclusive of all women regardless of labels, including bisexual and transgender women.  Disparities in heath care, equal pay and opportunities are some of the issues highlighted.

The earliest documented Dyke March in the United States was held in Washington, D.C., on April 24, 1993 coinciding  with the March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation. Since that time, many major cities have hosted annual Dyke Marches, including: New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, and Toronto, Canada.

Using the term “dyke” is a way to take back the slur that was used to hurt women in the past – thus taking back the pain, similar to the way that other minority groups have “taken back” labels that were originally meant to be derogatory slurs.

Long Beach is the 7th largest city in California and the 36th-largest city in the country. The city has a large LGBT community and is known for their LGBT Pride Festival.

In 2013, some community members put their heads together and decided it was time for Long Beach to have a Dyke March, as well. The brainchild of Artful Thinking Organization (ATO) a local non-profit, the first Long Beach Dyke March took place in 2013 with Marriage Equality activist Robin Tyler leading the March and over 400 attendees.

This year, author and activist Jeanne Cordova will be the keynote speaker and inspire the crowd at the rally that precedes the March. Second District Councilmember Suja Lowenthal will welcome the women to her district. Local leaders will be speaking as well including Judi Doyle and Vanessa Romain.

After the March, the women will celebrate at Ambrosia Café for a no-cover after party.  Songwriter and acclaimed drummer Michelle Mangione will take the stage from 8-10PM.

The Rally will begin at 6:30 PM at Bixby Park on Friday, May 16th, 2014. Major sponsors include Budweiser, Hot Stuff, Ambrosia, The LN, Hot Java, and Lola’s.

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