Every June since the Stonewall riots of 1969, gays and lesbians have taken to the streets for Gay Pride Parades. Gays and lesbians marched side by side, but often the lesbians felt overshadowed by their male brethren. Then came the Lesbian Avengers.
The Lesbian Avengers were founded in 1992 in New York City as a lesbian direct-action group. The Lesbian Avengers were known for their street theater and in-your-face activism. Lesbians would often "eat fire" at their demonstrations as a symbol of taking power back from those who attempt to destroy us.
Humor is often a part of the Lesbian Avenger tactic. One chant, which is in direct response to those who claim gays and lesbians "recruit" young people went like this: Ten Percent is not enough
Recruit! Recruit! Recruit!
First Dyke March
In 1993, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force sponsored a March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian rights. The Lesbian Avengers decided to sponsor a Dyke March the night before the main march. Word spread like wildfire and more than 20,000 lesbians marched in the first Dyke March on April 24th, 1993.
Marches Pop Up All Over
Lesbians who had participated in the first Dyke March were so empowered, they returned to their home towns and cities and formed Dyke Marches of their own. San Francisco hat 10,000 dykes at their first march in 1993. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Montreal soon followed with Dyke Marches of their own. The phenomenon was begun and there could be no stopping the dykes!
Now the Dyke March is a tradition in most cities. Lesbians take to the streets, usually the night before the the Gay Pride march.
For more information about the Dyke March in your city, check out Dyke March.org