by An Anonymous Dyke
Friday, June 7th, 2019. The Boston Dyke March. Before it began, an anonymous group of lesbians dispersed stickers throughout the Boston Common and surrounding area, site of the Boston Dyke March.
Going to the Dyke March again since I went for the first time a number of years ago, all the memories of the experience of lesbian erasure flooded back. It is obvious (to me, at least, as a lesbian who is indigenous to this continent) that the playbook of colonialism is being used on lesbians. I won’t say it’s 100% the same, but I can’t unsee the parallels. I saw a sign that said “all white people are immigrants”, which was a relief to see and is true: all europeans are colonizers, invaders — “immigrants” is only a euphemism, if only they were immigrants it would be so much easier. But the invaders run the show. They tell indigenous people south of the colonial border that they’re the outsiders. That the europeans are the true “natives”. This is a settler colonial state that tells indigenous people that we are foreigners on our own land, and works hard to erase indigenous people through many different means that I won’t get into here. The irony of having anti-capitalist, anti-corporate, pro-brown and pro-black signs, while promoting the colonization of lesbians by heteropatriarchy, is lost on the organizers of the Boston Dyke March. Do they think that black, brown, and indigenous lesbians don’t know what sexual dimorphism is, what female biology is? Do they want to tell us that the dinosaurs aren’t real and humanity is only 2,000 years old, too? Do they not realize that they (like many others) drive a wedge into the communities of the most marginalized lesbians? The colonization of a people (lesbians) who have existed here for thousands of years and since the beginning of time, by separating the youth from their elders and indoctrinating the youth with self-hating beliefs that promote our own eradication, encouragement of the appropriation of our cultural space and customs by straight people, enabling the rape of lesbians through compulsory heterosexuality with males “identifying” as lesbians, turning our selves against our selves, and losing touch with our selves. Gay conversion therapy in colonial form — tools of the patriarchy. Because if the patriarchy can’t convince us to stop loving women, then patriarchy does everything they can to keep us from saying no to men even if we say yes to women.
This is plainly visible when taking in my surroundings of what is supposed to be Lesbian Cultural Space. All the straights are taking over. Straight men are appropriating in the most blatant and offensive ways, but straight women are doing it too. Actual lesbians don’t feel welcome at Dyke Marches and other Pride related events. Having signs at an anti-corporate “grassroots” march that is supposed to be for you while people carry signs like “gender =/= genitals” and “terfs are lame” etc, is DEEPLY troubling for lesbians who should otherwise expect to be welcomed into that space. In reality, the word “lesbian” is rarely mentioned if at all (IT WAS NOT the first time I went!). Young lesbians coming to terms with themselves find this erasure re-traumatizing, on top of the emotional process of coming out, as this so-called “Dyke March” stigmatizes the core of what makes us lesbians: our exclusive same-sex attraction, our exclusive desire for females. I know that simply being there brought back a lot of anger and pain for me. This is supposed to be a LESBIAN march!
The Boston Dyke March reacted quickly to Boston FIST members stickering up the Boston Common and surrounding area. Calling it “graffiti”, they claimed that FIST is a “known transphobic group”, and well, I’ll let them speak for themselves:
“Hey Friends! We’re already setting up for our 24th March! As we’re getting ready for all of you on the Common, some TERF graffiti has been popping up. We are doing our best to remove any stickers and signs from FIST, a known transphobic group. If you find anything while attending The March, please inform one of our volunteers. We unequivocally believe that trans women are women. If any TERF harassment happens at the March, find a volunteer immediately and we will deal with it with the ferocity of a thousand burning suns.”
FIST — Feminists in Struggle — is a group that has lesbians as some of its primary organizers. It was lesbians who planned this intervention of our own march. We had no plans to “harass” anyone. Contrary to the Boston Dyke March’s accusations, it’s worth noting that at no point have Boston FIST members (who proudly claim responsibility for this action and hope that more new members will join us) EVER mentioned anything about trans people, at any point! Our stickers simply said: “Don’t Disappear the L! Lesbians are XX-female-symbol who love XX-female-symbol”! Two things:
- Our principles of unity clearly state that we want human rights for all people, including trans and gender nonconforming people! Everyone deserves basic human rights. But we want to say that lesbians matter. Do they think that we don’t love gender nonconforming lesbians, all lesbians, for existing? Do they not realize that many lesbians are gender nonconforming, aside from the fact that simply existing as a lesbian is inherently at odds with gender roles?
- We were talking about LESBIANS. A lesbian is a female human being with exclusive same sex attraction (to other female human beings). THIS is what the so-called “Dyke March” of Boston has claimed is “transphobia”. They want us to think it’s wrong to be a lesbian. They’re also afraid to admit this fact, and have their followers see that they took down these shamelessly pro-lesbian stickers, which is why they never specified what was on the stickers nor did they include photographs. They had to deceive their followers into thinking that what they took down was “anti-trans” instead of pro-lesbian. Their response only confirms what we already know, which is that Boston Dyke March is a HOMOPHOBIC, LESBIAN-HATING astroturf group that needs to cut out the bullshit and let real lesbians exist. Maybe even fucking celebrate our own existence, for once? Hence the need for intervention — and maybe the start of some accountability within the lesbian community. We need lesbians who are brave enough to live and love as out lesbians, in the full meaning of that word.
Where is your warrior spirit, lesbians? Are we going to let straight people take our march? Or will you join us and co-create? You can start by downloading and printing these stickers to distribute and place everywhere.