New York Dyke March

Chances are that you’ve never heard of it, but for a small, dedicated group, it has become an annual tradition. The occurrence? The New York Dyke March.

Although it has taken place in Manhattan every year since 1993, I never saw this highly-political event until today.

The organizers carefully stress that it is a protest march to promote lesbian rights and visibility, not a parade, and that — unlike tomorrow’s enormous Pride Parade — it takes place without city permits or corporate sponsorship.

Marchers gathered in midtown at Bryant Park, then headed down Fifth Avenue to Greenwich Village’s Washington Square, carrying banners, beating drums and gathering more women along the way.

While the Pride Parade attracts international news coverage, the New York Dyke March receives scant attention in the major media. Nevertheless, it always manages to draw thousands of participants and spectators in New York and similar marches are now held in major cities across the United States and around the world.  

The March begins at Bryant Park
The March begins at Bryant Park

4 Queer Womyn's Rights
4 Queer Womyn’s Rights

Queer Justice League
Queer Justice League

A pair of spectators

Rainbow lei
Woman with rainbow lei

Temporary tattoo
Temporary tattoo

Couple in straw hats
Couple in straw hats

Unsponsored. Unpermitted.
Unsponsored. Unpermitted.

Woman from GO magazine
Woman from GO magazine

Orange shirt
Orange shirt

Pink lipstick and bandanna
Pink lipstick and bandanna

Woman with rainbows
Woman with rainbows

Let my mommies marry
Let my mommies marry

Three women
Three friends

Little feminist
Her shirt says “Little Feminist”

New Orleans needs stronger dikes
New Orleans needs stronger dikes

Sunglasses on her head
Sunglasses on her head

Red hoodie and bike
Red hoodie and bike

Pink hair & pink bike
Pink hair & pink bike

T-shirt with heart
T-shirt with heart

Happy Pride
Happy Pride

I love vegan dykes
I love vegan dykes

Not your grandmother's lesbian
Not your grandmother’s lesbian

NYC Dyke March
Lesbian Avengers
MySpace: Queer Justice League
Queer Justice League

20 Responses to New York Dyke March

  1. What an interesting and colourful protest!! Great photos :o)

  2. martin says:

    Hello Annulla!!!

    Thank you for your comment and I must say I love your blog, I love photos and if I can just say ‘You take a mighty fine photo’

    Like your Dyke March photos and good for them, one day I will visit the Big Apple if I am lucky!

    Have a good Sunday and greetings from wet old England!


  3. martin says:

    Gosh!!!! How terribly rude of me to comment twice!

    You know I am very busy it the moment (Supposed to be cooking a Sunday roast) but I was going to come back and look at your blog again later but decided to have just one more peek at your archives and let me just say I cannot wait, it really does look like you have a great blog here, can you smell burning? SHIT The beef……………….

  4. avanta7 says:

    Hi annulla! Another great blog entry. You shoot the most amazing photos!

    I’m curious about the topless women. Isn’t this considered indecent exposure? Did they get arrested? (I can promise you they’d be arrested in my Northern California town. Not that any such protest march would even take place here. This place is so conservative, even the closets have closets.) Or is this a normal sight on the streets of Manhattan?

  5. I have never heard of it. And I’m surprised at the number of breasts at the event (based on your photos). How did the police react to the topless women at the event? I can imagine Rudy Guiliani developing ulcers (or another prostate inflammation) over this. :-)

    Good job on the photos. Cool event.

  6. Olivier says:

    je suis impressionné par le monde de personns (j’adore ta photo avec le bebe). j’en avais jamais entendu parle. merci pour ce reportage.

    I am impressed by the world of personns (I adore your photograph with the baby). I had ever heard some speaks. thank you for this report.

  7. Sandra says:

    Hi Anulla,
    This is so cool that you published our picture, I am the doggie with the do collar on the leash ;-)

    I am from Germany and it would AWESOME if you could send me all pictures, even the other ones, so I can show my friends, PLEASE.

    Your blog and the other pics are also GREAT.

    Keep going and Lesbians rule


  8. Eileen says:

    Without the knowledge of the organizers, the police department has secretly granted a parade permit to the Dyke March. I’ve written about it on the I-Witness Video blog at

    Your pictures of the Dyke March are great.

    Would it be possible to get your permission to use your photo of the Dyke March marshal in the yellow t-shirt printed with “Unsponsored” “Unpermitted” to use on our website?

  9. annulla says:

    Avanta7: No, women don’t usually run around without shirts on the streets of New York, but I have photographed topless women at other events; check my archive for pictures from the Mermaid and Pride Parades.

    MingtheMerciless: Your question (and Avanta7′s) made me curious enough to look into whether it is illegal for women to go out in public without shirts, since the only reaction I’ve witnessed from the police is ignoring the sight or just grinning. Turns out that in 1992, a New York Appeals court ruled that women have same right as men to go topless. In fact, earlier this month New York City had to pay $29,000 to a woman named Jill Coccaro who had been arrested for being topless a couple of years ago. Here’s a link to the story on

    Sandra: Thanks for posing for the photos! I’m glad you like them. It may be difficult to send you the rest because they are large; I have experienced problems trying to e-mail them before, but I will try. I will also post the rest on Flickr tonight. You can feel free to download or send them from there.

    Eileen: Sure, you have my permission to use any of these photos. I ask only for a photo credit.

  10. Eileen says:

    I can’t manage to download that photo from the Flickr site. Would you mind e-mailing it to me?

  11. North says:

    Great photos. Looks like everyone was happy and having a grand time. You should check out the gay pride festival in Toronto, Ontario sometime. I have gone to the parade and festival in the past and everyone had a fantastic time.

  12. moi says:

    I’m yet to see a gay-parade in South here. Guess, world is a little different here.

  13. Literanista says: you’ve been tagged, great pics by the way although with you I’m not surprised!

  14. grannyfiddler says:

    thanks for visiting my bleak little post. no sign of a camera yet… love your choice of subjects… all those fabulous PEOPLE, this post and previous… NY is a far cry from backwater northern Alberta. one day i’ll see the real thing! no chance of gays even opening closet doors here in red-neck central oil country though, but some things are the same everywhere, aren’t they? the upstaging dancing kids in a previous post are twins to our local sweeties, who can’t hear great music w/o leaping up and letting their hearts move their feet.

  15. Bart says:

    Lovely portraits!

  16. Shannon says:

    I was so happy to come across some quality photos of the ’07 Dyke March. I was out there, sweating like crazy, screaming until my voice was gone, and joining the groups of topless women abound … but I forgot my camera at home, and was so disappointed! So thank you, for remembering your camera, and providing me with some visual memories of my first ever NYC Dyke March – I even recognize a good number of the women in your shots. Fantastic work!

  17. avril lavigne i’m with you


  18. fluffmuppet says:

    It is legal to be topless in NYC state. You cannot be arrested for being topless!

  19. Guy Branch says:

    If I had a dime for every time I came to Great post!

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