Dyke March in Montreal focuses on unity of LGBTQ2S+ communities


Members of Montreal’s LBTQ2S+ community took to the streets on Sunday for the first Dyke March since 2015.

The focus of this march was unity.

“Although we like corporate pride and it’s really fun, we wanted to have something that went back to the radical roots and included all kinds of queer people,” said co-organizer Rachel Patenaude.

The march is an annual event that takes place in cities around the world.

Patenaude said the march has historically been a protest and an opportunity to increase the visibility of lesbians.

“We don't control people's identities,” said Patenaude. “They can be bisexuals, lesbians, transsexuals of all kinds.”

Celebrating unity and diversity is a message that resonated with many of the more than 200 people who took part in the march on Sunday.

At the meeting point in Jeanne Mance Park, the participants took turns to speak.

Volunteer Megan Mills Devoe said more needs to be done to protect the community.

“It's not over, we're still not safe,” she said. “We're still not being respected as much as we should be and demonstrations like this are so important because it can't go on like this.”

She added that queer women's identities are constantly devalued and lesbians are often sexualized.

“I can't tell you how many times a man has offered to change me or fix me, and that's perfectly fine in many non-lesbian spaces,” Mills told Devoe.

The event was an expression of solidarity with people with disabilities, indigenous people, black people and people with a migrant background, as well as members of the transgender community.

“This march was made possible in large part by transgender people, lesbians and dykes; people who fall under the broader term of transgender,” said transgender activist Celeste Trianon. “We have always been at the forefront of queer justice and we continue to fight for that.”