Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Posted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 10:03 pm Post subject: Dyke March 2006!
|Dyke March 2006!
By Maurice Ali, Journalist
Toronto, Canada - I think I may have witnessed the end of the original Dyke March. I made some mutterings about that last year, but still they had the wedding for the Americans that made the news. I also got some famous shots of some of the gals taking advantage of the right to go topless and such; but the writing was on the wall. I think that this year may have been the final nail in the coffin.
For one thing, I did not hear one speech of any kind with regard to discrimination of lesbians at any time in the run up to the actual march, nothing... So why were they there? The only words barking out of any megaphone were the parade officials telling everyone to stand back to let the motorcycles by. True, the placards were there but probably less than fifty all told and there were banners (less than last year but there and mostly the usual sponsors).
I stayed true to my usual method of archiving every group there by photographing the signs and banners and people. However, for the report I am just going to concentrate on the individuals for this year. The march has lost it's meaning that drew me to it many years ago. I have been at this march from almost its inception. It always seemed to be the orphan of the same-sex fight and so I took an interest. With the passage of laws and such to end formal discrimination for the group, there really seems little point for the march as a protest; perhaps they have taken on the main Pride Parade's change to "celebration."
So the march as lost the cause, so why was I there... I asked myself that question many times. So I just aimed my camera on the people who seemed genuinely interested in the event and you see them here on this news report. Mostly young women which is a refreshing change from the older crowd who were the instigators of the original protest marches. This had always worried me as I feared the young crowd would lose that spirit of the flower-power generation and simply be sheep for the whim of future governments. But look at the happy faces and interest in the cause from the kids at the event. Sure they dressed up and all for the thing, but still they are there and I went out of my way to get you the photos showing them having fun. Perhaps that is the one good thing that came from the event, the influx of new blood, that was quite refreshing...
What of the topless debate that I am always carping about. Well, apart from a handful of gals at the event; it would seem that the right to go topless is a big yawn... Gone were the fears of women going to the supermarket or library topless and such. You just do not see it anywhere anymore. All that legislation and posturing, for what? I am holding that issue over your heads ladies, what was it all for then... I had probably a count of five women or so that actually were there with just the top off and bare naked tits saying hello to the world, that was the original idea, to go in public like the guys. I think the legislation required that the display of the breasts could not be provocative for the right to stand; yet the majority painted and adorned their breasts totally against the spirit of the law, the proof is in the pictures. If there is a march next year, I expect to see even fewer topless women, that fight seemed to be a waste of time...
There went the Dyke March 2006. The biggest shock (there was no "outrage") for me was that topless girl with the flowers giving me an eyeful of her mammary glands later on in the day, perhaps she wanted me to get a better photo, we shall never know. Am I being a bit flippant with the march now, you bet! I think the "cause" left the march two years ago and what remains is an annual afterimage of the event by nostalgic fans and such. Anyway that was my take of events this time around, there really is nothing more to say - except about my handling of an equipment failure and how I archived this event...
My digital camera stopped working last week and I had to shoot the event with a Nikon F4, that is a film camera! I had my reservations but took the camera and two rolls of film to get the event archived. My impressions? Well, you are handicapped by the lack of photos you can take. I would look at some guy happily shooting like a mad man to ensure he got the photo he wanted, while I had to carefully compose and hope for the best as I have no view screen to see the results. I had to stop and change film rolls during the event and I actually hid from people when I did this. I did miss some shots because of the lack of film, as I ran out of film. Then there was the trip to the developers and the hour wait and the hassle of scanning the things and getting them into the computer. To be fair, the photos were excellent for the snapshots they were. However, look at all the above photos and the photo below and you can see the difference in the technology. Film is dead... and as for the gal below, well she was the star of last years show and provided this web site wit much needed traffic as that photo was the best shot I have ever taken to date. So I brought her back for an repeat performance. Remember ladies, if you dress up in a pirate outfit and toss the top and bra and wear some pearls and wave a sword around at the press photographers at a well publicized media event - You will have your picture taken and spread around the internet... Just like the lady in our first two pictures: If you wear pride colored hair and wear a marijuana tiara and smoke a long thin joint, and then pose for a photograph when I point my "big ass camera" at you - Don't ask to take a photo without the joint later on. Ok I did give her her wish of another photo without the joint - See how that worked out... If you go to a protest to make a point, make the point. That first shot with the joint was the best of the day!