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  • Speech for Year of the Disabled Dyke/Dyke March and Fabled Asp. (Photo courtesy of CathyCade.com)

    Hello beautiful dyke friends. I’m Laura Rifkin and I’m the Dyke Founder of Fabled Asp: Fabulous/Activist Bay Area Lesbians with Disabilities!

    ((FA Holds up a sign that says that))

    We come out every year.  We come out and say we're here, we're queer, we're dykes, we're disabled and we're proud. We’re Proud to be dykes on scooters, using wheelchairs, crutches, service dogs, and canes.... we're proud to be all of who we are.

    This year is extraordinary! Fabled Asp declares 2010 as the Year of honoring disabled dykes. And we want to thank the Dyke March for exclaiming that and supporting us.

    Disabled dykes have shaped community, and created innovation in culture, politics, and all of our lives. Disabled dykes started Wry Crips Disabled Women’s Reader’s Theater, a disabled dyke co-founded Fat Lip, a disabled dyke directs AXIS Dance Company, disabled dykes STARTED THE ONLY LESBIAN WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL TEAM anywhere in the world, disabled dykes became internationally recognized athletes, disabled dykes developed the first comprehensive special needs access model for Gay Day--and now we have our local favorite disabled dyke- Cathy Martinez in the White House overseeing critical legislation. What I’m talking about here is all of your HERSTORY AND YOUR RIGHTFUL HERITAGE. We will not be INVISIBLE people!

    Darling disabled sisters and allies. We love you. We are fighting for your rights—to live, to love, to have support, to be included, to be recognized, to be valued. We are actively working to let people know that it was dykes who made sure that every event was sign language interpreted. It was dykes who made sure every event was wheelchair accessible. And It was dykes who insisted on scent-free events.

    And Dykes can do it again! Dykes and queer people must do it again! We need to fight for the culture of community and inclusion that we started. We need to make sure that every event is wheelchair accessible and has a sign language interpreter. We need to recognize the enormous contributions to our lives that disabled dykes bring. And we need to understand that we are all connected and important and that if we all can’t ride on the bus, then none of us should ride on the bus.

    We are calling out to you--our dear disabled sisters, deaf sisters, blind sisters, sisters with hidden disabilities, with mobility issues, with service dogs, immune problems, or chronic illness, sisters with mental disabilities and everyone else—This is the year we are Honoring you and we are so happy to see you here! When you come out to the Dyke March you are making the statement that disabled dykes are here, we count, we love, we dance, we make love, (pause)
    we’re part of you, we belong with you and we belong to you!

    So-- just about every year since the Dyke March started I'm out here marching on my scooter. I'm out here
    even if it's by myself--which some years it has been--  holding up a banner for disabled dykes.

    This year I don’t want to be the only one holding a banner. This year I want to see all of us come out in full force and march.  If you are a dyke on a scooter/wheelchair/disabled/deaf/blind/use a service dog, or whatever come on and join us in what is going to be one of the most memorable years of our lifetime!

    If you are friends with or have ever loved a disabled dyke, or have known a disabled dyke, or have cared for a disabled dyke, or care about disabled dykes—come on out and show your support. We are at the front of the march tonight.
    Come join us up front. Let us know you’re with us. Demand inclusion for all dykes. Honor the year of the disabled dyke. Wear a sticker, grab a placard,
    And be proud of your heritage!

    Thank you Dyke March Dykes for honoring the year of the disabled dyke at this wonderful occasion! We love you!


    At the count of three, I want to hear everyone scream: We Love you Disabled dykes.

    1, 2, 3


    By the way, if you want to show your love for a specific disabled dyke, I’m single.
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