If you’ve ever snagged a spot near 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue to watch the Atlanta Pride parade, you’re familiar with the sound that signals the beginning of the festivities.
An army of women atop their beloved motorcycles simultaneously rev their engines, and the crowd roars in approval as another Pride parade begins.
Those women are in the Dykes on Bikes contingent of the parade, and a sizable share of them are part of the 200-plus-member lesbian motorcycle club Fat Bottom Girlz. It is currently the only active lesbian motorcycle club in Atlanta after Sweet Vibrations, whose members included state Rep. Simone Bell, recently ceased cruising.
East Atlanta resident Dream Gomez founded the club in 2008, and explains the makeup of the group like this: “It’s women, trans-inclusive and it’s lesbian-led and woman-centered.”
Gomez started the group shortly after she started riding and discovered very few women who were members of other riding clubs and she couldn’t find any active women groups out there.
“It’s parallel play,” Gomez says, explaining the allure of the group. “You get to be with people doing the same thing you’re doing but you’re still controlling your own ride. And it’s a way to get out and socialize.”
The number of group rides can range anywhere from once or twice a month, to six or seven times a month, and the number of riders ranges from just a couple all the way up to 30. The type of ride varies from a quick impromptu ride around the city to much longer distances.
“One of the popular rides is down to Juliet, Georgia, where ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’ was filmed,” Gomez says. “We’ve even done some vacation trips where 10 or 15 of us have rented a house and gone to the beach for a week.”
There are members of all ages in Fat Bottom Girlz but the majority range from their 30s to 60s. And the day jobs are all over the place.
“Photographer, archeologist, teacher, data entry, between jobs. I’m a computer systems engineer,” Gomez says. “If you can manage to get a bike then that’s all it takes really.”
So far around 30 of the Fat Bottom Girlz are signed up to ride with Dykes on Bikes in Sunday’s parade, so listen up for when they unleash that familiar roar.
Fat Bottom Girlz