Karina Ventura, Liz Rodriguez, Vanessa Ramos and Raymann Bermudez attended Saturday's Dyke March in Dolores Park. Photo by Leslie Nguyen-Okwu

Dolores Park filled with thousands of lesbians, women and allied men on Saturday as San Francisco celebrated the annual Dyke March or what one visitor called “the greatest show on earth.”

“…Better than the circus,” said Julie Nichols who was traveled from Alameda to spend the day in the park with visitors wearing rainbow flags, tutus and body paint.

The march began at Dolores and 18th Street and ended at the Castro Pink Saturday Party at Market and 16 Street. Griffin B., who declined to give her full name, makes a point of attending the annual Dyke March, but avoids the main parade on Sunday, calling it “too corporate.”

“The Dyke March is an organic gathering of people,” said Griffin who has celebrated Pride weekend since she moved to the Bay Area six years ago from Texas.

Brenda Schumacher who traveled from Chicago to celebrate Pride in San Francisco, agreed that the Dyke March was not to be missed.

“This pride in particular still has a real sense of authenticity, harkening back to the liberation movement,” said Schumacher. “This is a special dyke march.”

Lauren Arnold who lives in Saint Francis Wood had only been in the park for five minutes, but was stopped by several people keen on complimenting her outfit of rainbow fairy wings, a fuzzy pink tiara, a gold-studded bra and a Human Rights Campaign equality logo stamped on her right cheek.

“I’m an equality fairy and a drama queen,” said Arnold. “I go all out because my parents are gay.”

In black and blue marker, she wrote “Free Hugs and Kisses” on her belly. Everyone deserves them, she added.

Julie Henry from France was initially afraid of standing out from the crowd. She had hand-sewed her unicorn horn headband and put glitter all over her face.

“At first, I felt silly but now I just feel underdressed,” said Henry as a man dressed as a robot danced the Cha Cha Slide nearby.

For some, there was more to celebrate than just Pride Weekend. It was the first anniversary for Liz Rodriguez and Vanessa Ramos.

“Two birds with one stone,” said Ramos as she wrapped her arm around Rodriguez. “It’s amazing to be here around the same people. It’s nice to have people who support, because some family members don’t support.”

Next to them, a longtime couple from the Northeast tied the knot in front of dozens of cheering witnesses. The pair, who dated for eight years, planned to get married in Mexico, where their marriage won’t be legal, so they figured “Why not have it at Pride too?” explained a friend who attended the wedding.

On the other side of the park, Trisha Ouchi perched in a grassy area sporting rainbow wings and an equally colorful fedora hat from Evangeline’s Costume Mansion in Sacramento. She beamed at the burgeoning crowd in front of her.

“It’s my first Dyke March,” she said. “It’s liberating. It’s just a comforting feeling being around so many supporters.

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  1. Am I the only one who finds it really offensive that a hetero couple chose to get married at a Dyke March? Over the years more and more “allies” have joined the march to the point the power, politics, and solidarity of lesbians is all but lost in the drunken crowd. My wife and I stayed home this year and I’m glad we did. If I’d seen a hetero man and woman hogging the spotlight with their rude street wedding, I would have booed them.

    1. I have to agree. I’m an ally, and this was foolish. Hetero folks can have any other day. It was stealing the attention away from the March, and didn’t make any sense.

      1. Not that I think it matters anyway but the article didn’t say anything about a “hetero couple” marrying.

        It talked about a female couple (Liz and Vanessa) celebrating their anniversary. And the marrying couple were described only as ” a longtime couple from the Northeast”.

        Either way, if the aim of this parade is tolerance of differences and acceptance of diversity, then this would be a good place for you to start.

    2. Did I miss the language in this article where the “longtime couple” was determined to be hetero?

        1. I might have inferred the same thing but then I felt sure that someone would accuse me of stereotyping people’s gender based only on superficial appearance.

          With the widespread availability of hormone treatments for gender transition, it cannot be assumed that a person with a beard is a guy or a person with breasts is a woman.

          Who wants to be the first person to assume the gender of anyone during a Pride event? That is highly dismissive of our trans friends.

          This happy couple should be allowed to “identify” however they wish without the folks at ML, or anyone else, imposing their own CIS-gendered stereotypical blinkers on a person’s right to gender determination.

          Sam could be Samuel or Samantha. Glen or Glenda? Let he who is prejudiced throw the first epithet.

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