2013 Rally Speakers Revealed!

With only two days until Dyke March, we are so excited to reveal the line-up for this year’s Rally. With such an incredible host of speakers, it’s been difficult to keep it under wraps, but the moment is finally here! You won’t want to miss this.

Welcoming us into Allan Gardens this year is: Raging Asian Women!

Raging Asian Women Taiko Drummers is a community arts collective of East and Southeast Asian Women in Toronto. They are a Taiko drumming group that exists as a critical response and challenge to both systemic and internalized oppressions. Through performance, education, and community outreach, they seek to challenge, redefine and represent themselves, and to inspire. Overall, RAW carves an important space for self-expression, authentic engagement, community, and healing.

Our first speaker is: Awasis!

Awasis is from the Métis Nation. She is a Two-Spirited writer, queer exciter, and community organizer based out of so called London, Ontario. Her work embraces the harmony and chaos of our relations, and she revels in rap, revolt, and removing her clothes.

Up next: Chanelle Gallant!

Chanelle Gallant is an activist, writer, educator and settler on Indigenous lands known as Toronto. Raised poor and blessed to be a queer femme, she got her start in activism over a decade ago when the women and trans bathhouse she was helping organize was infiltrated and raided by toronto police. Now a staff member at Maggie’s: Toronto Sex Workers Action Project, she is a fierce advocate for queer and sex working communities as well as prison abolition and decolonization.

Up next: Monica Forrester!

Monica Forrester is a 2-spirit black queer trans femme. Monica has spent the past 25 years as a part of the trans community and is presently working at Maggie’s Toronto as their Engagement Coordinator, working toward awareness, inclusion, and accessibility for all sex workers.

Monica Forrester

Monica Forrester

Up next: Marcela Romero!

Marcela Romero is this year’s International Grand Marshall. She is an Argentinean activist and human rights defender for the transgender population in Latin America and the Caribbean. She serves at the Regional Coordinator for the Latin American and Caribbean Network for Transgender People, and as the Director of the Argentinean Association of Transvestites, Transsexuals and Transgender People. Her work includes developing strategies to tackle stigma, hate crimes, discrimination and human rights abuse against the trans population in Latin America.

Up next: Kristyn Wong-Tam!

City Councillor for Ward 27, Kristyn Wong-Tam was born in Hong Kong, came out at the age of 16, and is a strong supporter for Toronto’s queer communities. Councillor Wong-Tam was the co-founder of Asian Canadians For Equal Marriage and helped LGBT YouthLine establish The Spirit of Will Munro award for queer youth leaders in the arts. At City Hall, Councillor Wong-Tam is passionate, innovative, and, with a mayor like ours, admirably diplomatic.

Up next: Naomi Abiola!

Naomi is a teacher, performer, and fearless poetic warrior. She hails from the Islands of Trinidad and Tobago, where homosexuality is still illegal today. Naomi’s work portrays her daily experiences of life as a black woman and drives toward change through truth, pride, and passion.

Naomi Abiola

Naomi Abiola

Up next: Paola Solorzano!

This year’s Honoured Dyke is Paola Solorzano. Born in Jalisco, Mexico, Paola moved to Canada 10 years ago, choosing Toronto as her new home. She served as the President of Latino Group Hola for two years, where she made it her mission to create a cohesive LGBTIQQ Latin-American community, and to provide a space for feminine empowerment. Paola works as a life coach, volunteers for Nellie’s Women’s Shelter, and runs Santo Pecado, a cultural gastronomy initiative that celebrates Mexican culture through its culinary heritage.

2013 Honoured Dyke: Paola Solorzano

2013 Honoured Dyke: Paola Solorzano

Up next: From Shape Your Life, we welcome Savoy Howe!

Our 2013 Honoured Dyke March Group is Shape Your Life. Shape Your Life is a recreational boxing program for women and trans people who self-identify as survivors of violence. This project is a partnership between The Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Club, Opportunity for Advancement, and Brock University.  Since 2007, Shape Your Life has helped our bodies and minds heal from the impacts of violence and abuse. We are delighted that Shape Your Life is our Honoured Groups this year.  Please welcome one of the Shape Your Life founders and all around badass, Savoy Howe.

And finally: Eagle Woman Singerz!

Eagle Woman Singerz is a female hand drum group based in Toronto. Their lead drummer is aboriginal from Piikani Reserve, Alberta. She a 2-spirited Blackfoot and has been singing, dancing, and performing since she was old enough to walk.

We hope you will join us for this exciting and inspiring set of speakers!

Some reminders on how Dyke Day will unfold:

1:00 – Line Up (Church St. & Hayden St.)
2:00 – Dyke March (route below)
3:00 – Rally at Allan Gardens (Carlton St. & Jarvis St.)

Saturday, June 29, 2:00PM
Come celebrate the diversity of dykes and demonstrate the beliefs, desires, and public presence of dykes! Demonstrate your passions and your issues. March, strut, scream, sign, chant, roll and dance your way through city streets. Take up space. Take a stand. Come share the truly awesome energy of thousands of other queer women and dykes. All queer women and self-identified dykes (including lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, questioning, trans, genderqueer, intersex, 2 Spirit and all other dykes) are invited to march.

MARCH ROUTE: The 2013 Dyke March will travel south on Yonge St. and east on Carlton St. to end at Allan Gardens for a rally.

Come and revel in the continued energy of the March. Celebrate the triumphs of the past year and remind ourselves of how much work we have left to do. The rally will include speeches and performances. Let’s remind ourselves why we march – to be out and proud, to take a stand and revel in queer space, to disrupt, to defy, and to make a riot of a good time!

If you are unable to join the March, you are welcome to come to Allan Gardens to welcome the Marchers to the park and enjoy the rally.

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