Atlanta Pride hosts the Trans and Dyke Marches today in Piedmont Park

A march through the park

Transgender visibility goal of march through park

The second annual Pride Trans March steps off through Piedmont Park on Saturday, Oct. 9, presented with support by TransQueer Nation. The goal is to promote transgender visibility, and a separate march for the trans community is important, says JP Sheffield, executive director of Atlanta Pride.

“There are still some misconceptions out there about the trans community and why it’s to important to include within the whole community,” Sheffield says.

According to Sheffield, the 2009 event had roughly 50 people and more are expected this year. Trans allies are welcome as well.

Earlier this summer, Atlanta Pride and TransQueer Nation held an essay contest which asked any transgender or gender queer person to address the theme “Be Visible.”  The contest drew just under 100 entrants.

Picking a winner was not easy, says Tristan Skye of TransQueer Nation.  The winning essay will be read by its author, Sabrina Pandora, before the parade starts, says Skye.

This will be TransQueer Nation’s first year being an official part of Atlanta Pride. The organization began in 2007.

Assembly begins at 1 p.m. and the march kicks off at 1:30 p.m. at the Meadow Overlook (Charles Allen Gate). Immediately following the march will be a TransQueer Nation meet and greet mixer at the Bud Light tent in Piedmont Park.

Trans March
1 p.m. assembly; 1:30 step off
Meadow overlook near Charles Allen Gate
Presented with TransQueer Nation

Annual Dyke March puts women first

The annual Dyke March returns to Pride again this year, giving women of all stripes a chance to stand up and be counted.

Far more informal than Sunday’s parade, marshalling for the Dyke March starts at 5:30 p.m. today at Piedmont Park’s Charles Allen Gate near Grady High School. The route then goes west on 10th Street to Peachtree Street before turning onto 14th Street and heading back to the park.

“Anyone who wants to march all they have to do is show up. There is no formal placement or anything like that. It’s informal and that’s the same way for the trans march,” Pride Executive Director J.P. Sheffield says. “It’s definitely more grassroots than the parade because the parade has floats and all those things.”

Organizers expect between 100 to 150 women to march and say the march is open to all women, not just those who claim the title of “dyke.”

“It’s called the dyke march but its definitely open to all women of all backgrounds, all women who identify in all kinds of ways including trans women,” Sheffield says. “We’ve definitely had our femme women walk with us in the past.”

According to Pride’s website, the Dyke March “ is dedicated to the empowerment of the women of Atlanta and beyond. The Dyke March, with its focus on women, unites to create an atmosphere of inclusion and community.”

Dyke March
5:30 p.m. assembly; 6 p.m. step off
Charles Allen Gate in Piedmont Park