by WorldTribune Staff, June 26, 2017
The “Dyke March” is not as “inclusive” as it claims to be.
During LGBT Pride festivities in Chicago over the weekend, three women were booted from the march because their rainbow flags featured a Jewish Star of David.
The Dyke March, which is separate from Chicago’s main Pride Parade, is described by organizers as being “more inclusive” and “more social justice-oriented” than the main event.
The Chicago Windy Times, the city’s LGBT paper, reported that the women were told that they could not take part in the city’s Dyke March because their flags “made people feel unsafe.”
Laurie Grauer, one of the women told to leave the march, said her Jewish Pride flag was “from my congregation which celebrates my queer, Jewish identity which I have done for over a decade marching in the Dyke March with the same flag.
“They were telling me to leave because my flag was a trigger to people that they found offensive,” Grauer said. “Prior to this, I had never been harassed or asked to leave and I had always carried the flag with me.”
American Jewish Committee Chicago Director Amy Stoken said of the decision to exclude the women: “An annual march celebrating inclusion and acceptance was hijacked … by those who believe Jews do not belong to the LGBTQ community. Shame on the organizers of the Dyke March for not ensuring Jewish marchers can participate as freely as any other participant.
“Where is the collective outrage over this despicable targeting of Jews?”
In a June 25 tweet, Dyke March organizers said the women were told to leave “after they repeatedly expressed support for Zionism.” The statement went on to say that the organizers are “explicitly not anti-Semitic, we are anti-Zionist” and “support the liberation of Palestine and oppressed people everywhere.”
Grauer told the Windy Times that “people asked me if I was a Zionist and I said ‘Yes, I do care about the state of Israel but I also believe in a two-state solution and an independent Palestine.’ It’s hard to swallow the idea of inclusion when you are excluding people from that. People are saying ‘You can be gay but not in this way.’ We do not feel welcomed. We do not feel included.”
Grauer is listed as the Midwest Manager of Programs and Operations for A Wider Bridge, an organization supporting the LGBT community in Israel. The Dyke March statement condemned A Wider Bridge for allegedly “using Israel’s supposed ‘LGBTQ tolerance’ to pinkwash the violent occupation of Palestine.”