By Carly Pildis
This past Friday, just before Shabbat began, I attended the D.C. Dyke March with a group of queer Jewish women. I came because I stand with my sisters and with the LGBTQ community, but also because I never thought I’d have to stand with queer Jewish women in order to ensure they were safe from anti-Semitism in their own community.
On Wednesday, June 5, I got a series of emails about the march, informing me of an offensive policy of banning the Jewish Pride flag. I was asked to help, along with several Jewish organizations, including Zioness, A Wider Bridge, the Jewish Democratic Council of America, and the JCRC. Immediately, I worked to amplify the voices of directly affected women, including A.J. Campbell, one of the queer Jewish women who had reached out looking for solidarity, and make sure that all queer women attending the Dyke March could attend as their full authentic self, with whatever Jewish iconography they wished. The march responded with an inflammatory statement to the Washington Blade, in which they attempted to police how Jewish women can show up in queer spaces in ways that were as ahistorical as they were anti-Semitic. The march’s leaders made no attempt, private or public, to engage with those they had hurt. Where did that leave queer Jews? And where did it leave those of us who wanted to stand with them?