The 7 June DC Dyke March faced controversy after banning pride flags featuring the Star of David from their event. Despite this, other Dyke Marches across the country want Jewish lesbians to know they are welcome.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reports that Dyke Marches in five different cities are explicitly welcoming the Jewish Pride flag.
The Dyke Marches of New York City, Buffalo, Portland, Boston, and Seattle told JTA that they have no bans on Jewish Pride flags.
New York City
‘Seeing what happened in D.C., that folks are not feeling welcome, it’s just not how we want our march to feel,’ said Nate Shalev, a Jewish organizer with NYC’s Dyke March, scheduled for 29 June.
The New York organizers are ‘not interested in creating a binary of Palestinian or Zionist,’ added Alex Tereshonkova, another Jewish organizer with the NYC Dyke March.
The Portland Dyke March is ‘completely against the banning of the Israeli flag,’ organizer Belinda Carroll told JTA. The Portland, Oregon march occurred yesterday (Saturday, 15 June).
‘I get the sense of it to a degree in that they’re trying to make people more comfortable and less triggered within their own issues. So I understand that,’ said Carroll, who is not Jewish. ‘However, I think that it really erases Israeli people and Jewish people. And I think everyone deserves to speak and be known.’
The Buffalo March, which took place earlier this month, also did not ban Jewish Pride flags. However, the organizers did not discuss any specific policy about it beforehand.
‘I fear that we could end up with this kind of unnuanced, not thoughtful conflict here because of people’s lack of education and tendency to simplify these issues,’ said Jewish organizer Karin Lowenthal. ‘I am really concerned that we could end up with the same sort of hostilities.’
Lowenthal is worried that her group could face outside pressure to ban the Jewish Pride flag in the future.
A hateful trend
When three Jewish lesbians were asked to leave the 2017 Chicago Dyke March due to their Jewish Pride flags, Carroll and the other Portland organizers thought it was ‘a one-off.’
‘Now it ends up that it’s kind of a trend,’ Carroll says. ‘We want it to not be a trend. And we want everybody to be able to fly the flag that’s closest to their faith and their nationality.’