Under Pressure over Anti-Semitism, Dyke March Loses Legitimacy

June 11, 2019

Last Friday, a coalition of LGBTQ, Jewish, and Feminist organizations, leaders and communities mobilized to ensure a safe and welcoming space for Jewish Dykes and allies at the DC Dyke March. Our proudly intersectional voices stood up for LGBTQ equality, both outside the movement and within it. We also stood staunchly against antisemitism and anti-Zionism––and we prevailed.

 

We are grateful for the immense national response to our call to action last week. We applaud LGBTQ organizations -- including the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the National LGBTQ Taskforce – for disaffiliating from the Dyke March leadership, as well as civic leaders like Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, who refused to allow such discrimination to go unchecked in our nation’s Capital.

 

With only one day’s notice, more than 30 people showed up to march with Zioness, A Wider Bridge and the Jewish Community Relations Council, all proudly attending as their full, authentic selves. When confronted by Dyke March leadership at the event and barricaded from entering the march––told that the Jewish pride flags were “insensitive and harmful” and that the Star of David should be removed––we engaged respectfully but steadfastly to explain why that language was so harmful and alienating to queer Jewish women. We insisted that we should be welcomed to march without checking any piece of our identities at the door – Jewish, Israeli, LGBTQ, and otherwise. Ultimately, Jewish dykes and allies marched in the DC Dyke March with their heads held high and their Jewish pride flags waving.

 

We remain distressed that Dyke March organizers have yet to apologize for their actions, which alienated queer Jewish women and made them feel unwelcome in a space that was ostensibly (and ironically) created to provide comfort and inclusion to a long-marginalized community. However, we will continue to work with local LGBTQ and feminist partners to ensure the inclusion of Jewish members in all movements to advance diverse communities in America. We will not allow others to define our persecution, nor allow them to police the symbols and banners that represent us – including Jewish Pride flags and Israeli flags. Our intersectional coalition will continue working to protect the integrity of social justice movements and spaces from the poison of antisemitism, no matter how it manifests.

 

 

 

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