NYC Dyke March 2012: Cathy Brennan Targeted, Attacked by Transgender Activists
June 25, 2012
Participants in the 20th anniversary NYC Dyke March on Saturday were treated to a frightening surprise when groups of transgender activists surrounded lesbians who carried signs in support of feminists who challenge stereotypical gender roles – and those who speak out on preserving lesbian community and events from the incursion of anti-feminist practices. Once surrounded, the transgender bullies screamed, yelled and threatened the women, who the mob felt were “disrespecting” non-lesbians and non-feminists.
This is the first time in the history of the NYC Dyke March that lesbians have been accosted, attacked and threatened with violence. Unbelievably, one of the attack instigators was a trans activist calling himself “Ida Hammer” who actually claims to serve on the official NYC Dyke March organizing committee! Like “Hammer” , several of the other anti-lesbian bigots had strolled along the march route among the lesbians, some carrying signs saying “free blow jobs”, “free [convicted transgender murderer] CeCe” and chanting “We’re Here, We’re “Holes”, We’re Fabulous”.
The pack of anti-lesbian protesters focused most of their homophobic rage against lesbian feminist activist Cathy Brennan, who was marching with a few friends. The mob surged towards her, backing her up and surrounding her, screaming and cursing into her face as close as they could get where they had pinned her. The transgender and hetersexual protesters tightened around her to ensure that she could not move or escape.
Lesbian bystanders called for the mob to back up and give Cathy space and let her move: and to cease the harassment, the verbal abuse and the physical threats but the pack would not let her move and continued to terrorize and hurl abuse and profanity while threatening to violently assault her.
Many of the attackers were apparently enraged by Cathy’s public statements asserting that biology (reproductive sex) is not the same thing as social gender roles and internal gendered self-concepts. Also, her definition of lesbians as females (who are sexually oriented to other females) and her belief that lesbians should not be sexually coerced or labeled “transphobic” for rejecting sexual relations with males. Some were angry that she has verbalized support for the right of females and lesbians to have gatherings and support services that exclude males.
Ultimately Cathy was able to break away but the harassers continued to stalk her and the other lesbians at a restaurant.
Not only did the Dyke March Marshal‘s fail to intervene and protect the safety of Cathy Brennan and the other lesbians present but according to photos recording the incident posted on Cathy’s website HERE, several of those assaulting her were actually wearing red t-shirts identifying them as March Marshals. Details on the perpetrators of the 2012 NYC Dyke March attack are being posted on Cathy’s site as they become known. Video of the attack will (hopefully) be posted on GenderTrender shortly, as well as updates on the investigation and the organizing committee response to the Transgender Anti-Dyke Attacks of NYC Dyke March 2012.
Other posts with more information on the incident are here:
[More links will be posted shortly- please contact me with updates-GM]
CALL FOR ACTION: Please contact NYC Dyke March Organizers and request a public statement denouncing this incident and demanding that Dyke March co-organizer Ida Hammer, seen in photos physically threatening and preventing Lesbian Feminist Cathy Brennan from her right to free movement- be removed from official position IMMEDIATELY.
You may reach them here:
“Kelly Cogswell is an independent journalist and columnist for New York’s Gay City News whose work has been recognized by the New York Press Association. She was co-founder and editor of The Gully online magazine, one of the first online LGBT publications and the only to offer “queer views on everything.” A founding member of the Lesbian Avengers, she was co-organizer of the first Dyke March in Washington, D.C. in 1993 that mobilized 20,000 lesbians to march to the White House. Afterwards, the Avengers turned into a national and international movement, with more than 60 chapters worldwide. In 2009, she created the Lesbian Avenger Documentary Project.
Gabrielle Korn is a freelance writer, activist, and organizer. She received her B.A. in queer and feminist theory from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in May of 2011. She is the former editorial assistant at On The Issues magazine. Currently, she’s a member of the New York City Dyke March committee and a coordinator at the Lesbian Herstory Archives.”