Letter to the Chicago Dyke March Community

Dear Community,

The Chicago Dyke March Collective is honored that the Chicago Dyke March will take place in Humboldt Park for a second year. We look forward to again celebrating dyke, queer, bisexual, and transgender resilience in a place with a deep history of resistance to oppression by communities in the neighborhood, particularly Puerto Rican, other Latin@, and Black communities. We seek to celebrate the existence, resistance, and history of dyke, queer, bi, and trans folks who have lived and organized in the neighborhood. We are especially grateful and excited to partner with the Puerto Rican Cultural Center (PRCC) and the Chicago Chapter of the Trans-Latin@ Coalition.

The PRCC is an organization based in the Humboldt Park area with a strong history of LGBTQIA organizers and organizing to meet the needs of people in the community, including LGBTQIA folks. People organized into PRCC following the 1966 Division street riots, in order to meet the needs of the Puerto Rican and other Latin@ communities in Humboldt Park, Logan Square, and Hermosa. PRCC was founded on the principles of self-determination, self-actualization and self-sufficiency, and works to provide access to education, healthcare, and affordable housing, and seeks to address issues such as LGBTQ youth homelessness. The Trans-Latin@ Coalition is dedicated to organizing and advocating around the issues and needs of trans Latin@ immigrants who are living in the U.S. Many of its Chicago Chapter members have organized in Humboldt Park for a long time. By working together, we hope to build relationships of support and solidarity between communities in the neighborhood, and the Chicago Dyke March community.

Humboldt Park, like so many majority people of color neighborhoods in Chicago and in cities across the U.S., is the site of gentrification, and we recognize and strive to stand in solidarity with those working to reclaim Paseo Boricua in the face of economic forced relocation. For those in our Chicago Dyke March community who live in, or have family and community ties and history in Humboldt Park, it is our intention that this Dyke March particularly honor you and your histories. We ask our entire beautiful Chicago Dyke March community to join us in holding this intention.

We also recognize those fighting against systemic state violence against Black people, including those who have pushed the reality of police violence against Black people into a public consciousness that goes beyond those directly affected by it. We particularly want to uplift the work of queer Black women in this resistance, including the queer black women who started the BlackLivesMatter hashtag and the organizing around it. We recognize that although the mainstream media often finds police violence against Black women unworthy of their attention, Black women, including Black trans women, face extraordinary levels of police and state violence. The Chicago Dyke March Collective urges the non-Black members of our community to consider what it means to support and stand in solidarity with BlackLivesMatter, and to not limit responses to outrage at the police, but also to challenge anti-Black racism within yourselves and your communities. As a collective, we have much work to do in this regard as well.

To all of our Chicago Dyke March community, we thank you for your beauty in existing, and for resisting a system that says that we as dyke, queer, bi, and trans people, deserve less. Seeing you each year warms our hearts, inspires our actions, and gives us hope for a world in which people relate to each other through love.

We look forward to seeing you on June 27th!.

In Love and Solidarity,

The Chicago Dyke March Collective

The Chicago Dyke March collective continues to evolve and exist as a grassroots mobilization and celebration of dyke, queer, bisexual, and transgender resilience. It is an anti-racist, anti-violent, volunteer-led, grassroots effort with a goal to bridge together communities across race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, size, gender identity, gender expression, sexuality, culture, immigrant status, spirituality, and ability. We challenge fatphobia and are body positive.

to create visibility
to honor our histories and identities
to disrupt oppression and dominance
to challenge silence and fear
because we are everywhere
because we must survive”
– Chicago Dyke March Collective 2008


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