Long Beach Pride 2018: Dyke March and Rally takes place Friday

Women will be taking to the streets later this week for the 6th Annual Long Beach Dyke March and Rally. Photo: Yvette Jessica.

LONG BEACH — Women will be taking to the streets for the 6th Annual Long Beach Dyke March and Rally.

The rally will take place 7 p.m. Friday at Bixby Park, and the march will start at 7:30 p.m.

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. Don’t be surprised if marchers also voice their disapproval of President Donald Trump.

Pat Crosby and Ellen Ward will be recognized with the Jeanne Cordova Award for their decades of advocacy and activism in the lesbian community.

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Crosby and Ward started in 1994 and married in 2008. Ward, a former Signal Hill city councilwoman, died in 2015. Ward was the original owner of the iconic Seventh Street lesbian bar Que Sera, a founding member of the Long Beach Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and a proficient LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS advocate in Long Beach and Signal Hill. Ward received a Community Icon Award from the Center at its 2015 gala.

Crosby, a former president of Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride, also worked closely with her wife as an activist on lesbian issues.

Attorneys and married couple Stephanie Loftin and Reba Birmingham, who received the Jeanne Cordova Award last year, will introduce Crosby at the Dyke March and Rally.

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 pride parades. The Long Beach march and rally 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.