Dykes on Bikes Fundraiser a Hit!

Last night, Ledcat and I stopped by Cattivo for a fundraising event to benefit the formation of Pittsburgh's official chapter of Dykes on Bikes (www.pittsburghdykesonbikes.org).  We stayed for about 45 minutes and it seemed to be a really fun event.  Proceeds from the door and various internal activities will help cover the start up costs (forming a 501c3 legal expenses) and the event organizer told me that they pretty much met their goal.


We aren't really jello shot consumers, but Ledcat did enjoy getting her leather Doc Martens shined up … and we caught up with some friends we haven't seen in awhile.  I took two photos that I can publish.  One is so blurry you can't see who is actually in them, but the silhouettes look like they are having fun.  This shot is facing the stage, but the crowd behind me is huge.  The crowd was at least 125 people. 

Here's a Blackberry photo of event organizer, Dyke of Bikes chapter founder and my friend, Miranda with DJ Adele who played a whole host of my favorite tunes while we were there.


I'm glad we stopped by.  Miranda reports to me that the chapter will focus on fundraising to support other local groups and hopes to hold another event in March.

On an interesting note, she commented to me that a lot of attendees identified as bisexual women and had actually contacted her in advance to see if they were welcome “I'd like to come, but my girlfriend is bi … is that okay?” sort of thing.  And more than a few women identifying as bisexual brought their boyfriends along!  So that's a really different vibe than events I typically attend.  Miranda hopes that the Dykes on Bikes chapter will cut across some of this cultural divide and help people unite around the things that they have in common such as being part of the larger queer community. 

Of course, the real payoff will be seeing the growth of the Dykes on Bikes contingent at PrideFest this year.  That will be awesome.  Kudos on a great event!


For 18+ years,  snowflakes, social justice warriors, and the politically correct have built this blog. Follow us on Twitter @Pghlesbian24

We need your ongoing support to maintain this archive and continue the work. Please consider becoming a patron of this blog with a recurring monthly donation or make a one-time donation.

Venmo @PghLesbian  CashApp $PghLesbian



This post and/or others may contain affiliate links. Your purchase through these links support our work. You are under no obligation to make a purchase.

  • It makes me so angry when bisexual women want to have fun with women, but have relationships with men. I think bisexual people are part of the community, but at least be honest and call yourself bisexual when you date men. Give us single women a fighting chance and be honest. Hell, maybe I just want to hook up, too, but playing games with our heads just sucks.
    The party makes me want to buy a motorcycle. We went to Cattivo just like a normal night. That DJ is a hottie and the little boot boi was too cute.

  • The sad thing is that most of the time it is their straight partners who are making them lie to themselves and the world. Why would you stay with someone who is repulsed by part of who you are? That's the ultimate in self-loathing. I feel sorry for them.
    Do you know anyone who is openly bisexual and a leader in the gay community? No one.

  • The sad thing is that most of the time it is their straight partners who are making them lie to themselves and the world. Why would you stay with someone who is repulsed by part of who you are? That's the ultimate in self-loathing. I feel sorry for them.
    Do you know anyone who is openly bisexual and a leader in the gay community? No one.

  • It is great to see even more new groups and things to do in Pittsburgh for women. Dykes, lesbians, queers, bis, whatever you call yourself. Claim the name, sisters!

  • Friends, hey, slow down!
    This is one of the first times I've read this blog and I'm really bummed that readers are picking up on differences between the L, the G, the B, and the T instead of what binds us together. Pretty damned stupid to get mad because some girls are lucky enough to have twice as large a dating pool. Twice as much trouble, if you ask me- lesbians won't date you and most guys just think it's kinky or else won't affirm your lesbian relationships.
    We all see relationships differently- some as monogamous, some as transient, some as fluid among the sexes. Just because it's not for you doesn't mean it's wrong! (Umm, none of you ever told your lesbianism was just a phase? You just haven't met the right man yet, clearly.)
    Bisexuals are on the periphery because we keep them there, same with trans-folk. If we won't let them in the club house they can't join the club, and that's our loss.

  • Kudos to you, LizLemon!
    I'm a proud bisexual woman in a loving relationship with a trans woman. I've encountered many gays and lesbians who refuse to grant the the same acceptance to the Bs & Ts as they demand from the straight community. We're all in this together. It's a shame we haven't all figured that out yet.

  • This bias runs much deeper than anti-bi and anti-trans. It cuts straight through a class/race continuum leaving white middle and upper middle class gay men and lesbians on one side with a whole set of issues of their own and access to the power. Sure a few are conscious of it, if read this blog regularly you'll see what I mean. For the most part of it, those with the power just refuse to see how the privileges they do get might just have a little something to do with the access and acceptance they have. What's worse is that they fail to use that privilege to help the whole community.
    Pick any board of the big gay groups and identify the openly bisexual, transgender, black or blue collar men and women who identify as part of the gay community. GLCC, Lambda, Delta, GLENDA, PATF, PERSAD. They serve us, but they aren't led by us and they sure don't let us near the money or the power.
    What we need are leaders like Jessi Seams who stood up to the powers that be to demand fair treatment and was literally spat upon by the old school lesbian community. Where were Betty Hill and Kathi Boyle and Dr. Kathy Homrock during that battle? Nowhere. They stood quietly by and allowed injustice and hate to hit the front page because they didn't want to upset their donor base. That's some kind of leadership in the name of social injustice.
    We need leaders like Miranda Vey who got this group up and running. I heard the folks who ran the rally refused to pass out her flyers and handed them back to her even though she drove an hour in the snow to speak about being a trans lesbian. Nice leadership, Sue Kerr and Kris Rust and Bruce Kraus. Way to use her to promote your agenda and then diss her.
    The only good news is that now that the economy is going to hurt middle class white lesbians and gay men, some of our leaders might utter the word “poverty” once in awhile. They might start realizing that some of us aren't poor because we are disabled by AIDS, but we are poor in spite of the fact that we work two or three jobs. I work my my fucking ass off and can't find one job that will feed my family, but I never hear my leaders talking about jobs until it becomes legislation. How about Dana Elmendorf or “Judge” Hugh McGough making a strong public statement that they won't sacrifice the trans protections?
    It seems that the dykes in this community, such as the Dykes on Bikes and the Dyke March, are the folks who really practice what they preach. I'm curious about who will serve on the board of Dykes on Bikes. Will there by any openly bisexual women? Any working class lesbians? The Dyke March is one woman and her friends, but when they form a board will they include women who don't traditionally have power?
    Sue Kerr, you really let me down when you handed those flyers back to Miranda. You are usually one against the grain middle class white dyke. I know you got the emcee to talk about it, but WTF? People give you shit on this blog all of the time and you don't back down. So WTF? And yes I was there and I saw all of this with my own two eyes. I saw you hand the flyers back to Miranda and I saw you whispering to the emcee before she talked about the march — you sold us out!)
    Truth be told, we need to get some of these mighty middle whites talking about poverty and health care and race and gender bias and hate and intolerance. But while Kathi Boyle and Gary Van Horn and Bruce Kraus will go public to defend two rich white men who brought on their own misery with their stupid sex club, I see none of them speak out against injustice against poor people.
    What a fucking waste of opportunity.
    Don't worry, LizLemon, the women writing this crap are just as much victims of poor leadership as the bisexuals. We are being pitted against each other to keep from creating a collective identity around our shared lack of power and privilege. Imagine what a mighty force we would be if we rose up together and took over just one of these groups. Imagine if we could get 2,000 poor queer people to chip in $5.00 for their own good instead of sucking ass to get one donation.
    Man, I am clearly fucking pissed. I hope the Dykes on Bikes do at least one small thing to chip away at this crap.

  • Nancy,
    You are a little rough on some of these folks, but you make great points. I have no idea why Sue Kerr would refuse to hand out Dykes on Bike flyers nor do I understand why Kathi Boyle would defend the sex kings, but ignore unfair treatment of a trans woman. But they are both great ladies so maybe they were just backed into a corner. There has to be more to the story. Maybe you should ask Miranda what happened with the flyers.
    It would be good to see disenfranchised women rally, but as you so vigorously say — we need a leader. I see Miranda as a potential leader, but everything works against us now. We are disorganized, have no power, no money and a group of well-organized afluent people with a stranglehold on those community resources. Don't forget they have cultivated a lot of loyalty among the lower ranks so this will be an uphill battle.
    The only thing we do have is the truth. There can be no real social justice movement in the queer community if the gays and lesbians forget the queers. Don't let them get you down, sister.

  • Great discussion. I think LizLemon and Phil are most on to something.
    At the personal and macro-levels, clearly there is a benefit to solidarity, but clearly there is also a benefit to a frank airing of longstanding cultural (and structural?) grievances. FWIW on the personal front, I think the L's and G's have to cut the B's a lot of slack — but politically the B's have to take more ownership that part of themselves. And we haven't even really mentioned T's yet.

  • What strikes me as odd is that Sue had a feminist aneurysm about a cupcake eating contest and doesn't bat an eye at the wet T-shirt contest at this event.

  • Oh dear Lord, not the fucking cupcakes again. I mean seriously, Anonymous, you couldn't just bring up the feminist analysis of the wet tee shirt contest, could you? You have to wedge in the little knife to attack Sue. How transparent!

  • Are you freaking kidding me? What sort of social change has the cupcake king brought about? Fatter lesbians? No wonder the B and T folks don't want to be part of the community — you. Who would would want to be in solidarity with you and if they did, what could they accomplish? Claw sharpening skills?
    You illustrate Phil's point beautifully. The so called leaders in our community did nothing when your friends were ripping Sue apart for having an unpopular opinion. They were silently complicit, especially the lady in charge of Persad who let her own employee openly mock Sue using mental health slurs. Then they fall all over themselves to defend rich white gay men. What the hell kind of leadership is that?
    Thank you for pointing out so clearly that our leaders are moral cowards who are happy to have Sue blog about their little events and projects, but terrified to say anything when people attack her.

  • Frank airings are not the strong suit of our community, Bram. As you can see, people rush to defend the rich and persecuted but remain silent when it comes to anything that pushes too far into their comfort zone. Your analysis is pretty solid, but our institutions are grounded in the long-standing dominance of a white gay male power structure — the bars. We don't even have a lesbian bar in Pittsburgh, much less the kind of comparable institutions that can challenge the status quo when it comes to resource allocation. Our two strongest woman leaders are both deeply indebted to the sex kings and unlikely to stray too far out on a limb while that situation remains unresolved.
    There is no mechanism for the kind of frank deconstruction you are proposing as the investment in the way things are is much too strong, especially when people are coping with the double whammy of discrimination and a crappy economy.
    I don't think a lesbian bar is the way to go, but someone needs to get a vehicle off the ground that can keep enough momentum to gain traction. Dykes on Bikes might be that kind of vehicle (pardon the pun) because it does cut across the lines of gender identity, class and race. It is fresh, but grounded in a decades old legacy.
    More importantly, the Dykes on Bikes women want to move forward and open themselves up to the queer community as it is now, including people who identify as bi or trans. Compare that with Celebrate the Night organizers who want to impose a skirt lifting rule in defining women. Who has more staying power to effect change or even a conversation about change?
    I say we give Sue an award for creating a place for the dialogue. Maybe a gold-plated cupcake? Just kidding, Sue.

  • It wasn't Sue who pulled those flyers. It was the women who volunteered to organize the advocacy table. They made the decision and didn't have the consideration to ask anyone else what they thought. They just took them off the table. They decided what information was appropriate for a public event based on their own values. Don't blame Sue. She made the best of an awkward situation. She and Miranda put the needs of the event ahead of their own personal beliefs.
    I just thought you should know.
    ps: Jake Kaskey, next time you organize an advocacy training, be sure to cover this sort of thing.

  • Acceptance and power, Gypsi. They want us to donate to their events, but then people like Gary Van Horn makes jokes about bisexual people at public meetings and folks like Kat Carrick and Rick Allison don't call him on it. That's the leadership we have. We are a joke to be told to break the ice before the real business begins.

  • Cupcakes and flyers and women named Miranda, oh my!
    Apparently there's a lot to learn about the LGBT community in Pittsburgh. I wish it was more about what was being accomplished and less about past scandals. I came here from a newly developing LGBT activist community (of course the bars were long standing) and we hadn't been around long enough to have that much interpersonal conflict yet. It was pretty exciting- losing an anti-DOMA campaign, finding solidarity in uniting against James Dobson's missionaries from hell, and meeting others who cared enough about our community to put many, many hours of unpaid labor into building a place for us where many people would rather we weren't at all. It was uplifting, it was painful, and it changed my life, my career path, and my beliefs about humankind.
    I honor you and your partner, Gypsi, and hope your pride in your identities will bring more bisexual and transgendered people to the table along with supportive lesbian women and gay men, who are willing to face up to the challenges within and without the community in Pittsburgh.
    As an aside, if you're ever wondering if anti-bi/anti-trans sentiment really should be equated with sexism and racism in our community, check out some online personals ads (there's a first time for everything 😉 and count how many describe themselves as white (looking for a white date) and how many explicitly exclude bisexual and transgendered people.

  • Welcome to Pittsburgh, LizLemon.
    I like what Bram said about accountability. People with the power have to a better job making room at the table and people on the outside have to push a little harder for a place. Some of that momentum comes from these types of conversations, which typically take place in less public forums. So you could say that the dialogue itself, catty shots aside, is part of the accomplishments you seek.
    Consider this. Here we have a white yuppie lesbian who starts conversations about gender identity, sexual orientation, gender equality, race and class. Plus, she admits her own hopes, fears, weaknesses and failings around those issues. Also, she gives us an opportunity to be part of the dialogue, even when we say some pretty nasty things about her personally. Isn't that exactly what you are asking for in a micro sense?
    Be assured, LizLemon, that the powers that be read this blog simply because no one else is writing one. Be assured, LizLemon, that someone is emailing this link to the LGBT leaders referenced in the comments. Be assured, LizLemon, that most people read this and say nothing here, but do buzz about it elsewhere. Be assured, LizLemon, that your voice here will resonate elsewhere and contribute to the change you seek to be in this world.
    The truth is that Sue could write about these issue until the end of time and it would still be just one lesbian's opinion. Good for her that she actually tries to practice what she preaches, but she isn't by any stretch positioning herself as the leader we seek. She's more John the Baptist than Jesus. ACT UP than HRC. PETA than Humane Society.
    The breakdown comes at the next step in the continuum. The political people get these issues and try to make inroads, but the organizations with power and money are very far behind. So we need to keep the pressure tight and hard here on this end. We need to keep generating dialogue that snakes it way, link by link, to the inboxes of the GLCC and the Delta Foundation and Persad leaders. They need to read that we acknowledge their contributions, but insist on more, more, more NOW rather than later.
    Confession: I went thought the same MSW Community Organizing program as Sue so perhaps I get her worldview a little more clearly than it necesssarily translates into her writing. I also work near her in the real world so I see that she is genuinely trying to make a positive impact and I see her real life weak spots. I know her as a real person which gives me a distinct advantage over many of you. Still, I hope you will have some sense of accomplishment that you have contributed to a blog moving into its 4th year of existence, especially since so many other blogs are closing up shop. This is just another community organizing tool and, with the no censorship policy, an opportunity to be part of the dialogue.
    Keep the comments coming, LizLemon.

  • My God. People are talking about bisexuality and transgender issues in a constructive way for the most part. On the Queer Events list, these conversations deteriorate into insultfests when the second wavers jump into feminist critique mode so let's just be happy with what we got.
    Dykes on Bikes and their silly little wet tee shirt contest led to a more interesting conversation than any lesbian event in recent memory.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.