• Aundre Larrow

Hundreds of self-proclaimed dykes along with transgender, queer, and bisexual people and their allies gathered in Margate Park this past Saturday for the 16th annual Chicago Dyke March. Created in 1998 as an alternative to more popular and widely endorsed Pride celebrations in Chicago, the march sought to create a safe space for those who don’t usually attend such events: youth, undocumented people, and those who feel left out of Pride Parade’s traditional image. Children with signs, dogs wrapped in rainbow scarves, scantily clad and hula-hooping women, and an Asian drum corps joined forces for an afternoon, flooding the streets of Uptown.

Dyke March and Pride Parade

Jacquelyn Carmen Guerrero, a safety marshal for the march (and also known by her stage name, Vajaqueque Brown), emphasized the march’s commitment to inclusion.

“Dyke March vs. Pride, right? Two different things. The first time I went to Pride I was like, yes, this is so awesome, this is for me. And then the second time I went I started noticing that there were a lot of corporations, a lot of politicians, and it was all about money and people getting drunk. I kind of found myself backing away from that, and then I heard about Dyke March.

“[The march] is more of a celebration of dykes, bisexual, transgendered people, in a really intentional way. Dyke March celebrates all weights, all bodies, people of color, everybody that I think the traditional Pride Parade tends to neglect. As a queer person of color, it’s superimportant to me. This is my voice and my people.”

See a slideshow and video after the jump.