With chants and cheers, the Trans March and Dyke March at Atlanta Pride always bring a more political, edgy feel to the weekend celebration of being out and proud.
This year marks the fifth year of the Trans March that started with a just a few dozen people and has grown to include some 200. The mission of the Trans March is to ensure visibility of the “T” in LGBT and takes participants through the park and marketplace where people can actually see them rather than around the outside of the park. But because of its growing size and importance, there are already plans to take it to the streets next year.
“Based on community feedback, the Trans March route has been expanded to cover more of the park and we will take it to the streets starting in 2014,” says Laura Barton, events manager for Atlanta Pride. Last year approximately 200 people participated in the Trans March, she says.
Twenty-one years ago, in 1993, the first Dyke March was held, organized by activists including members of the Lesbian Avengers, as part of Atlanta Pride at Piedmont Park. There was an earlier version of the Dyke March in the mid-1980s when the Atlanta Lesbian Feminist Alliance held a Candlelight Lesbian Pride March from Candler Park to Little Five Points, according to a history recorded by Lesbian Avenger co-founder Sara Luce Look, co-owner of Charis Books & More.
Atlanta Pride became the official sponsor of the Dyke March and this year the Lloyd Russell Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides resources and funding to numerous LGBTQ causes and organizations, is an official supporter of both the Trans March and Dyke March.
“This year Atlanta Pride took the planning process for the Dyke and Trans Marches to Charis Books & More. We felt that community input and ownership of the marches is integral to making them fulfilling experience for those who participate,” Barton says.
“The Lloyd Russell Foundation is a supporter of Atlanta Pride and their contribution allowed us to purchase poster boards and art supplies for march-goers to decorate at the Pre-March Social and Sign Making Parties. Additionally, this funding pays for magnets, banners, a trolley for the Dyke March, and city permits,” she says.
The Dyke March and Trans March attract a diverse group of people who chant and cheer messages about their communities.
The Dyke March’s path starts at the park’s Charles Allen gate and travels up 10th Street and back into the park from the 14th Street entrance.
Both marches are inclusive to all people who identify as dykes or trans or even simply as gay or want to march to show support and be allies to both communities.
Saturday, Oct. 12
11:30 to 1 p.m. ― Pre-Trans March Social and Sign-Making Party at Piedmont Park Dock
(behind the Kaiser Permanente VIP Hospitality Center near 12th Street Gate)
1:15 p.m. ― Begin assembling p.m. Visitor’s Center near 12th Street Gate
1:45 p.m. ― Step off
Saturday, Oct. 12
3 to 5 p.m. ― Pre-Dyke March Social and Sign-making Party at Piedmont Park Dock (behind the Kaiser Permanente VIP Hospitality Center near 12th Street Gate)
5:30 p.m. ― Assembly begins at Charles Allen Gate
6 p.m. ― Step off