This PRIDE month, I headed to Dyke Day on Saturday for the first time, and it was spectacular! Hordes of LGBTQ+ folx and allies swarmed Sycamore Grove Park in Los Feliz for an afternoon focused on community, identity, and solidarity. There were informational booths, picnic blankets, and food trucks galore, with no shortage of activities to keep participants occupied. People brought their kids and dogs, which made for an even more festive atmosphere. There was a main stage for performers, plenty of merch tents, a few kink events, a quiet tent, and a kid’s tent among others. 

Speakers and performers at the main stage included J. Carter and Jyvonne Haskin with a land acknowledgment and welcoming remarks, DJ Sol + Amandita, a puppy parade, an honoring ceremony featuring blessings by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence that honored the founding members with host Provvidenza, the Jack Doff Drag Show, the Adrian Valencia Dance Crew, and a Lusty Kitten Show. 

The kink tent hosted the Creature Games, a Bingo Scavenger Hunt, and a leg wrestling tournament. 

The kid’s tent hosted two drag story hours, face painting, a balloon toss, and a bouncy house. 

Dyke Day LA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit volunteer organization whose vision is to create community gatherings that center on inclusivity. Most notably, they host an annual day in the park for dykes, queers, and allies that is meant to celebrate queers of all genders and ages. They are sponsor-free and rely on funds raised solely from the community.  

While there, I spoke to a few fairgoers about their experience at Dyke Day and the need for continued visibility in the public sphere. 

Daniel Ford came to Dyke Day in service of his Dominant. He was helping at a kink booth called SILK (Sisters in Leather and Kink), which hosts an event among other supportive community activities. 

“Dyke Day is a celebration of diversity,” Ford said. “PRIDE means standing up for who you are and protecting each other.” 

Dr. Tracey Samko was there helping out at a booth focused on healthcare in the community. At her booth, there were free samples of condoms and dental dams as well as Narcan doses with information packets informing users how to use Narcan if witnessing an overdose. 

“We’re here talking about our clinical care programs as well as being here in community with our fellow LGBTQ+ folx,” Dr. Samko said. She added that Dyke Day presents a chance to be in a community of dykes. “PRIDE month provides a chance to celebrate, think about the people that came before us, and honor our truth,” Dr. Samko said. 

Katherine Zenteno was there because it is her favorite event of PRIDE month. “Dyke Day allows people to feel comfortable in their own skin,” Zenteno said. “PRIDE month is a celebration of community.” 

Josanna Kiggins was there for the sense of community. Dyke Day for her is a celebration of an identity. Regarding PRIDE month, Kiggins said, “You don’t usually get a month to celebrate identity unless you’ve gone through some hardship. Only minorities end up getting a whole month because they face so much adversity the rest of the time. There is no straight pride month because it’s not needed, every month is straight pride month. Pride is about taking power over something that has had an unfortunate and discriminatory experience in existence and turning it into power for the individual.” 

All of my interviewees shared a similar sentiment regarding the necessity of PRIDE celebrations considering the general politics facing the nation. 

“In some ways, I think it’s more important than ever to be open and authentic,” Dr. Samko said. “I’m a physician and to be able to provide gender-affirming care when it’s restricted in so many places feels extra important during PRIDE.” 

“We could always do more,” Zenteno said. “It’s a time where we can feel safe, especially with everything that is happening across the country.” 

Kiggins agreed, noting that it continues to be an important issue that all people are equal and treated equally, no matter whom they love or how they identify. 

The only downside of Dyke Day that I could think of was the parking situation. It does clearly warn you on their site that parking is limited, and carpooling is recommended, but I didn’t get the chance to coordinate that so I had to walk a mile each way from my car to the park and back. 

The Dyke Day LA linktree with all their important informational links can be found here. Their general site can be found here.

Photo courtesy of the Dyke Day L.A. Website. 

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