Dyke March founder slams exclusion of Jewish Pride flags at Chicago event

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

One of the founders of a Dyke March has hit out at organisers of a Chicago event which banned people carrying Jewish flags.

Three people waving the flags were asked to leave because they were making “people feel unsafe” at the parade in the La Villita neighbourhood, which is part of the city’s annual Pride festivities.

Chicago Dyke March had been accused of antisemitism for banning the flag, as the Star of David has been Jewish symbol for hundreds of years.

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Wendy Sue Biegeleisen, a founder of the Dyke March has hit back in a lengthy Facebook post criticising the move and saying that inclusion should be key at the events.

Biegeleisen said she was “extremely disappointed in the actions taken by the Chicago – Dkye March Organizaion towards the Jewish LGBQ Organization ‘A Wider Bridge’.

She went on to say that the organisation focuses on “creating Peace, Understanding, and Pride. A major priority for A Wider Bridge is creating safe space for all our LGBTQ Youth throughout the world.”

A founding member of San Diego – Dyke March and San Diego Lesbian Avengers, Biegeleisen says she is “ashamed” that the Chicago march would “embrace antisemitism”.

“With the rise of violence, bombings, torture and murder toward both Jews and LGBTQ people world wide, the actions of Chicago – Dyke March MUST be condemned.”

She adds: “Words can not describe how sad, disheartened and angry I am with Chicago Dyke March and their decision to exclude Jewish LGBTQ, especially Jewish Lesbians in this year’s Chicago Dyke March. As a Jewish, Zionist, Radical Activist, Lesbian, Feminist, Dyke; I would be excluded too. I am seeing activist groups all over the USA being taken over by the BDS movement supporters over and over again and it is getting worse.”

“Chicago – Dyke March organizers are creating the same hateful, bigoted, exclusionary events that original Lesbian Avengers and Dyke Marches were organized to fight world wide bigotry, violence and hatred toward Lesbians.”

Ending, she says that something has to be done to stamp out antisemitism within the LGBTQ community.

The full letter is available here.

Organisers have since hit back via their official Twitter account, claiming that the individuals were asked to leave for vocally expressing their support for Zionism.

Zionism is the movement that supports the establishment and continuation of a Jewish state as an expression of Jewish national self-determination.

“Chicago Dyke March was held in the La Villata neighborhood to express support for undocumented, refugee, and immigrant communities under threat of deportation,” read the statement from organisers on Twitter.