Women » Features

Long Beach Holds 2nd Annual Dyke March and Rally

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Wednesday May 7, 2014

On Friday evening, May 16, Long Beach women will take to the streets in the city's 2nd Annual Rally and Dyke March. Author and activist Jeanne Cordova will serve as the keynote speaker, and Second District Council member Suja Lowenthal will welcome the women in attendance.

"Last year was our first march and we had several hundred women; it was exciting because once we started marching up Broadway, women would run over and join the march spontaneously. By the time we were through it had doubled in size," said organizer Denise Penn.

Long Beach, the seventh largest city in California, is known for its large LGBT community and vibrant Pride festival. Last year, local women decided to hold a Dyke March to increase lesbian visibility, and to address disparities in heath care, equal pay and opportunities.

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 more than 400 attendees.

"Women were thrilled to have their own protest march in Long Beach," said Penn. "Many women spontaneously ran into the street, joining the march. It is very important to the women in the LGBT community because this is their opportunity to join together in solidarity and express themselves."

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. Major sponsors include Budweiser, Hot Stuff, Ambrosia, The LN, Hot Java and Lola’s.

Lynda Montgomery will return this year with her megaphone to call cadence during the March. Afterwards, the women will celebrate at Ambrosia Café for a no-cover after party. Songwriter and acclaimed drummer Michelle Mangione will take the stage from 8-10 p.m.

"The wonderful thing about dyke marches is they tend to be spontaneous," said Penn. "The planning is in advance, but women can make their own signs and choose an issue important to them. It gives people a chance to express themselves in an individual way."

Long Beach’s 2nd Annual Rally and Dyke March will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 16 at Bixby Park. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/LongBeachDykeMarch

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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