Some thoughts on skipping Pride this year

I’ve been going to Pride for many years and really loving it. Sure, the festival has become more corporate-sponsored and less political all the time, but I still enjoyed being in a group of gay people announcing to the world that we are proud of who we are. This year I didn’t go, because Pride is no longer about gay and lesbian people. Pride is about trans people and the gays and lesbians are secondary.

For the last couple of years I’ve been reading blog posts by lesbians in different cities, in different countries, who are actually bullied by Pride organizers. We are told we have to accept trans women in lesbian spaces, and if we don’t, we are bigots. When we protest our comments are deleted and we are harassed. It’s gotten to the point now where I don’t believe that Dyke Marches are actually for dykes anymore, and I have no real interest in the main Pride parades since they were always mostly about men anyway. Essentially, the entire Pride festival is about men.

I knew something was wrong when I read about the misogynist heterosexual male who was the keynote speaker at London’s Dyke March last year. Then I saw a screenshot recently where a woman told another woman that if she objected to trans women marching in Toronto’s Dyke march she should go someplace else. That was the last straw. What kind of dystopia do I live in that actual lesbians are told to go somewhere else if they object to the presence of men in a march that is supposed to be for lesbians? Now that the Dyke marches in every city are explicitly anti-lesbian, I really do not feel I can attend.

Older lesbians are boycotting Dyke marches or protesting the inclusion of males but younger women are showing up and seeing this situation as normal and “inclusive.” I really feel bad for these young women who are being gas-lighted and forced to accept men in their lesbian community. I feel as though I should do something, maybe show up and protest, show younger women that they don’t need to put up with this shit, but I’m scared because I know if I protest I will be harassed and probably filmed and put on Youtube. I know I have to be prepared for that to happen before I plan something. I am a non-confrontational and sensitive person and I don’t know if I’ll ever have it in me to accomplish that.

There are trans marches in many cities now, and I’m okay with that. I see nothing wrong with trans people having a march to show their pride in being who they are. And I respect that space enough not to insert myself in it. I wouldn’t march in a trans march because I’m not trans. I think trans people should show lesbians the same respect. Lesbians are women attracted to other women, and we have the right to our own march. We have the right to our own spaces without being told we’re bigots. This is all about men getting to do whatever they want. Men do not respect women and they cannot respect boundaries and stay out of spaces where they are not invited. Even a group that is explicitly MRA marched in an Ontario pride parade this year. Pride is no longer about gay and lesbian pride, it’s about penis pride.

This year when my city had our Pride festival I did not go. Instead I hosted a small group of feminist women and we had a lovely meal and visit together. We actually spent a lot of time talking about the politics and biology of transition, because transgenderism is all over the news and all over everything right now. We feminists understand transgenderism very well. We are constantly told to “educate ourselves” by internet trolls but we are very highly educated on it and that is why we object. One of us had actually watched videos of sex change surgery and she explained to us in detail how surgeons invert a penis to form a fuck-hole and how they mutilate the vulva to create a fake phallis. She knew the approximate cost of different surgeries. I think feminists know way more about transgenderism than the trans activists do. Feminists also understand  PTSD very well. We talked about how the body remembers trauma and when people wake up from surgery their bodies know they have been mutilated. Trans people are often in situations where they are unhappy with who they are the instead of providing therapy they are put under the knife, a process which is itself traumatic. No holistic healing is given to these people. Several female-to-male detransitioners have stated that they were abused as children and their doctors were willing to perform surgery on them without ever dealing with the emotional impact of their abuse. We want more for these people, we want real healing, and when we say we want more for them we are told we’re bigots. That’s the world we’re living in.

It is powerful when feminists come together as a group. It is powerful speaking openly without fear and supporting each other. It is very healing when we laugh together. We are not allowed to say that the penis is male in public anymore but when you get a group of women together who can laugh together about the concept of a female penis, that is powerful. We laughed, and it was healing. There is also a lack of power we are experiencing though because we have to meet in secret. We cannot advertise for new members, we cannot meet in public venues. When women do that we get harassed. So we meet in each other’s living rooms. Trans activists like to imagine that feminists are their oppressors and taking away their rights. Meanwhile, we are meeting in secret, crowding into small apartments for our events, and they have taken over the public spaces that used to be ours. It is we who have been excluded.

If any young lesbians or feminists are reading this, please understand that it has not always been this way and it doesn’t need to stay this way. Women used to advertise women-only events without being called bigoted or exclusionary. What’s happening right now is not right and it needs to change. It is a backlash against feminism. It is ancient, thousand-year-old misogyny dressed in a new outfit and pretending to be new.

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29 thoughts on “Some thoughts on skipping Pride this year

  1. Reblogged this on anywomans humanity and commented:
    It use to be dyke march,
    now it is Dick march. It is a complete sausage fest.

    I would not be surprised if Bruce Jenner camera-whored his way there and made an appearance to pick up an award..

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I think lesbians starting their own marches is the only way to solve this. Just start all over again and exclude male bodied people. This way also you show younger lesbians its ok to have marches for lesbians only and that transwomen dont have to be included. Start a new revolution 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Yes, women need to come together, whatever their sexual orientation. Hetrosexual women and lesbians together. Women, who have been used and abused by men, had their boundaries and spaces violated by men, had to fight for their rights to say NO. Women who want to define themselves as women because that is their biological sex, not their identity. Women who want to say that they are attracted to biological men, or that they are attracted to biological women and will not have anyone redefine for them what man and woman means. Women who will not use the suffix ‘cis’. Women who understand one another because of a shared experience of being brought up in a patriarchal society that seeks to control our every thought and action. Women of all ages, sharing experiences and standing strong together. That is true pride.

    Liked by 8 people

  4. I read today that the Girl Scouts refused (or returned) a 100k donation because it stipulated that the money was for girls born girls and not boys who want to be girls. On the advocate they are all praising the Girl Scouts. But who are the losers here? Women, girls and female bodied persons. It’s all very well to rejoice with glee that ONE boy who wants to be a girl has been allowed to join the Girl Scouts, but that means 500 girls WON’T be able to go to camp. Trans activism effects women born women, whether is our bathrooms or in the Girl Scouts, it’s women that are expected to move aside and accommodate men, not gay or straight men (and the gay ones are the most most applauding it). They don’t have to give anything up (as usual).

    Another problem is the “diagnosis” that tomboys are trans boys. So all our toughest girls are being identified as male, sends a clear message that a girl who likes sports or excels is really a “boy”. Meanwhile we get the freaking dregs of men, fetishist, murderers, rapists, violent men who now think they are women. It’s not a fair trade off (Joke).

    Being an out lesbian for 40 years, I used to go to Pride marches, but I don’t anymore. There is nothing to be proud of. I see women getting squashed down like grapes under the heavy feet of lady men. Thing is they think they are so justified in doing this, they are so self absorbed they could NEVER create their own movement because they don’t understand collectivism – which mean a little give and take and compromise at times. They are riding high on OUR backs (as usual) and a lot of women don’t seem to notice this.

    Women’s studies are now gender studies, I was a mature aged student having taken a gender class recently and my face was permanently fixed in that “what the fuck” expression as I heard this gender crap spouted. And if you don’t toe the line, you get a C. They punish you for having a female empowering opinion.

    I feel like I am on another planet sometimes. As a feminist and lesbian from the late 1970s I feel women have built a strong house, albeit we argued, but it’s our house – I feel like it’s been bulldozed, burglarized, all the ornate trim stripped off it and sold at a junk yard.

    Liked by 9 people

  5. Well put. It is very difficult for older lesbians to show younger lesbians what it was like to be in a dyke march that was just for women, with our male allies on the sidewalks cheering us on. It was about love and power and survival.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. The Dyke March in our university town (Halifax, NS) is now the “Dyke and Trans March”. I think I’ll skip it. It’s wasn’t enough to let anyone who “identifies as” lesbian attend, they needed us to change the name too..

    Same as our women’s centre. It was already trans inclusive, for crying out loud. But the term “women” is apparently triggering??? Oy vey.

    So sick of lesbians being erased, and women being lumped into a general “other” that can line up with all the transsexuals of any and all types.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dyke and trans together is an uneasy mix. So the trans “identify” as lesbians? So what we have is a dyke and het man March. Funny how men effortlessly inject themselves into all things exclusively female. If I was my radical younger self I would get all the dykes to wear dyke born woman T shirts, we are D not T.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. If a MtF trans person is attracted to women which community’s space should they share? Obviously, they wouldn’t have a shared experience or place in communities of men or women attracted to men. In a community of men attracted to women, they would be told they don’t belong. They would look like a woman, to some degree, and certainly dress and talk like a woman. They would face social pressure to behave “as a man” if they wanted to share that community’s space. They would even face having to deal with men being attracted to them, because of their appearance of personality. And many of the hetero men may object to what seems like a woman not even attracted to them invading their space.

    However, you’ve made a case that they also should not belong in or share a lesbian community’s space. Would you then say there is no gender/sexual-orientation combination whose community would provide a safe space for these people?

    Like

  8. I have to respond to this. How long can I hold my tongue at all the young 20 or 30 somethings with their breasts bound tightly to their chests if they have them at all?? Taking on male names and pronouns? Going on about bathroom access for all and “gender identity”?

    The last year I attended SF Dyke March there were mtfs with young genderqueers or ftms, “Dyke with Penis”and I am NOT talking dildos, and “tranny lover ” on womens backs, young ftms with furry faces and breastless chests…so many. And gay.men and bi womens boyfriends marching. Lesbians have LOST our territories..and when we speak up we are shouted down.

    This article acknowledged very likely we will have to organize under ground. We are one or two steps away from our Feminist and Lesbian sisters in 3rd world and Arab countries who have acid spilled on their faces, “correctively raped” or outright murdered. It is a chill so cold sweeping over the ENTIRE world silencing ALL activist Feminist women who dont confirm.to the party line and ESPECIALLY womon centered Lesbians.

    When you spoke of this it reminded me that THIS is what Arab women face who are Feminist or Lesbian or both. The backlash is in full swing and the saddest thing is ITS OUR OWN COMMUNITY WHO HAS TURNED ON US!!!Our own community of young Lesbian, Queer and Genderqueer women who hate us and what we stood for so THEY could have their rights and be free as Lesbians.

    Who created spaces BY AND FOR US, that have so systemically been destroyed. They have been brainwashed.

    Whats a Dyke to do who ONLY TRULY FEELS FREE AMONGST HER OWN IN WBW SPACE???

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I’ve only just seen this blog post but wanted to post that as a het woman my heart goes out to you. You convey very clearly the anger and the grief of losing hard won lesbian spaces, and the harm being done to young lesbians.

    I think a lot of het women came to peak trans through the cotton ceiling. We care about you, our sisters. When I can speak up I will.

    Liked by 3 people

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