At about halfway, marchers took part in a die-in by laying on the concrete to symbolize the violence done to queer women’s bodies.
The theme of the 2017 Dyke March was to “resist” and that is exactly what thousands of queer women and their supporters did on Saturday, June 24.
As per tradition, the 21st annual march was lead by Dykes on Bikes, starting with motorcycles, followed by scoters, and then bicycles. One motorcyclist had a sign over the handlebars that read, “Fight bad cops not BLMTO.”
Radical marching band Rhythms of Resistance kept the crowd pumped and chanting; “Let’s get critical, our pride is political,” “We’re here, we’re queer, we’re fabulous, don’t fuck with us,” and “No pride on stolen land, stop pipelines now.”
Banners in the march included a message that “Refugees are welcome”, another one read “Love [HIV] positive women.”
A white-haired and bearded man stood at the corner of Carlton and Dundas with a hand-painted sign; “The end is near, Repent” which was received humorously from the marchers and their spectators.
At one point, thousands of marchers took part in a die-in by laying on the concrete to symbolize the past, current, and future violence done to queer women’s bodies.
The Dyke March is one of the most important events in the Pride calendar because it taps into the roots of Pride as a movement that has been resisting police violence and brutality. And while Toronto Police have “apologized” for the 1981 Bathhouse Raids, they have yet to apologize for the lesbian bathhouse raids in 2000 at the Pussy Palace.
The Dyke March takes space for queer women to celebrate each other and their bodies and in doing so they defy the enmeshed misogyny and patriarchal violence they face in our every day culture.