Dykes on Bikes: A San Francisco Pride tradition
SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - What started out as one of the most important events in modern gender equality, has become a major attraction in this weekend's Pride Parade in San Francisco.
For 41 years, Dykes on Bikes has been and remains one of the most important, exciting and certainly loudest units in the Pride Parade.
For the last eight years, Janell Pekkain has ridden on her partner's Harley, a partner who's also a partner at their Noe Valley Olive Oil store, which has participated for two decades.
"It's for the community to come together; truly in the spirit of community integrating and having our day as supporter of women and women loving women and loving just love," said Pekkain.
Two dozen bikes were in that first parade. More than 300 will be there this Sunday.
"Dykes on Bikes has a long, long history of hard work and being overlooked and it's like 'Hey, we're here, '" said Pekkain.
Veteran riders from the early days told her, back in the mid-70s, it had to be a courageous, in-your-face, display.
"It was really brutal because there was a lot of resistance. you know. People were not accepting and hats off to the pioneers because they've had a hard road; a really hard road. And now, it's really we're all here and hats off because they had to persevere. They had to go through a lot of struggle, a lot of pain, a lot of challenge," said Pekkain.
Whatever observers may think of Dykes on Bikes, Janell Pekkain says look beyond the the bikes, the noise, the leather.
"Look deeper. It kind of gives me chills when I think about it. The first time I rode in Pride, the first time I rode with Dykes on Bikes, tears just streamed down my eyes, my face; just streamed down my face. It's beyond pride. You're exploding with the community and a sense of togetherness and and there's sense of freedom too. We represent love and community and so, I think that's a great way to start the parade," said Pekkain.
Last Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that an Asian Band could trademark Slant as their logo. Earlier, the Government disallowed Slant as essentially as unacceptable. Today Dykes on Bikes announced that it's refilling its lawsuit to trademark it's logo which was also disallowed.