5th Annual Long Beach Dyke March will bring women to the streets

Reba Birmingham, left, and Stephanie Loftin will be recognized at the 5th Annual Long Beach Dyke March and Rally for their decades of advocacy and activism in the lesbian community. Photo: Q Voice News.

LONG BEACH — Women will be taking to the streets later this month for the 5th Annual Long Beach Dyke March and Rally.

It will take place 6:30 p.m. May 19 at Bixby Park.

The goal of the march is to increase lesbian visibility, including bisexual and transgender women.

In the past, marchers have protested disparities in health, pay and equal opportunities. Those topics are still relevant and will remain at the forefront, but marches will no doubt also voice their disapproval of President Donald Trump.

Attorneys and married couple Stephanie Loftin and Reba Birmingham will be recognized with the Jeanne Cordova Award for their decades of advocacy and activism in the lesbian community.

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The first dyke march in the United States took place in Washington, D.C. on April 24, 1993, and was attended by more than 20,000 women. It coincided with the March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation.

The march was intended as a woman-only event, organized by the Lesbian Avengers who encouraged gay, bisexual and straight men, as well as other supporters, to cheer from the sidelines.

Marches also have taken place in San Francisco, New York and West Hollywood.

Dyke marches usually take place the Friday or Saturday before LGBTQ pride parades. The Long Beach march will take place during Long Beach Pride weekend.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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