People taking part in the second annual Surrey Dyke March were heard promoting inclusion for all as they walked along University Drive Saturday (Aug. 19).
“Hey hey ho ho, transphobia got to go. Hey hey ho ho, homophobia got to go,” they chanted.
The goal of the march is to provide a safe space for the queer community to stand up and express their rights, said Che Baines, a march organizer.
It is also to let people know queer people exist in Surrey — “that we are wanted, we are welcome and that we’re not going away,” Baines said.
As a few dozen marchers walked from Surrey City Hall toward Holland Park they chanted, “Out of the closets and into the streets.”
Baines said some queer individuals are scared to speak out, so this event provides a safe space for them to express themselves fully.
While there have been several protests at Pride events across Canada in recent months, Baines said such marches will continue to be held in Surrey and other cities.
“We’re not scared, and we’re not going away because of this,” Baines said.
Thank you to @surreydykemarch for taking space today in a beautifully intersectional way.— Annie Ohana (@ohana_annie) August 20, 2023
Cannot wait to help this burgeoning march of joy, protest, love and solidarity grow even more.
Much love from @shervansociety and @SurreyPrideBC pic.twitter.com/rtPZJxMvRp
The term ‘dyke’ was originally used as a homophobic slur for a lesbian and is still considered offensive to some.
“Some of us do identify with that word, some of us don’t,” Baines added. “(We are) taking a word that has been used to hurt and giving it power back to the community.”
The march also honoured those who have been organizing dyke marches since the 1980s.
The first documented lesbian pride march in North America took place in Vancouver in May 1981. The first official self-proclaimed dyke march did not happen until over 10 years later, in 1993, in Washington DC.
Visit @Surreydykemarch on Instagram to learn more.