15th Anniversary San Francisco Dyke March!
This year's march takes place on Saturday, June 23rd
Starting from Dolores Park, at 18th and Dolores
Rally and Stage Begins @ 3:00 p.m.
March Takes Off @ 7:00 p.m.
The San Francisco Dyke March demands Health Care for All – and by all, we mean
ALL DYKES as well as all people who are shut out, shunted aside, and shit on
when they need health care. Except for the very wealthy, everyone in the world
needs better health care, and we need it today.
You know who we’re talking about: it’s you!
And definitely it’s someone you love.
Dykes in the Bay Area probably have it as good as anywhere in the U.S. – if
we’re lucky enough to have coverage, connected enough to know where to go when
something’s wrong, brave enough to speak up for ourselves, have friends and
lovers to help with medical expenses.
But even in the Bay Area, health care delivery is too often inhumane – everyone
has experienced waiting for hours to see a harried doctor for ten minutes, who,
way too frequently, dispenses drugs with no thought of the side-effects.
Doctors, too, report being chewed up and spit out of “the system.” The system is
We all know how the criminals in the government have limited access to health
care in order to boost profits for their campaign contributors; we’ve gone
through decades of people warning us that a universal health care system would
bring about the evils of “socialized medicine.”
And we know that’s a lie. We know, in fact, almost everything that’s told to us
about our health and our health care is a lie.
What we don’t know is the truth: because women’s needs are understudied,
underserved, under-reasearched, under-funded. Because the particular health
challenges of women of color are mostly ignored. Because hardly anyone pays
attention to dykes. And if you’re working class or poor you are completely
We are sick from invisibility. We need national health care now, for everyone.
We need much more focus on all women. We need medical personal to be re-trained
to recognize that dykes exist, have different concerns than heterosexuals, and
that no one who comes into a medical office should ever be shamed, for any reason.
All people need what dykes need: respect and options appropriate to our specific
health issues. This means access to non-western treatments for everyone,
regardless of class. It means dignified, self-directed end-of-life care. If we
had universal coverage we could not to be forced into staying at a particular
job or in a particular area only because we need the health insurance. We need
health care that includes mental health treatment – for when we decide we need
it. We must never be coerced into treatments or drugs we don’t want. We need
honest health education – not fear-based distractions like the media manipulated
“war on obesity”; in fact, we need the language of war taken out of medicine
completely! We need health care for people, not for profit – flexible health
care that recognizes everybody has a different body and all bodies are equally
All women need what dykes need: an end to the misogyny around abortion and
forced sterilization. In recognition that women are 75% of the caregivers in
families, we need systemic re-evaluation and re-valuing of this crucial work,
which women are often pressed into doing on top of their other employment or
family responsibilities. You dykes whose siblings have decided you’re the one to
take care of your aging parents because you’re “unmarried” know what we’re
talking about. Because women fill more of the service sector and part time work
force jobs, we are more likely to be un- or under-insured, as well as paid less
to start with. Women need equal, complete health care coverage no matter how
many hours a week they have “traditional” employment. And the pharmaceutical
companies need to stop using women as experimental guinea pigs for their drugs.
And Dykes need what we have always needed: full recognition of our designated
partners in all aspects of the health care system – from the ways medical forms
make us invisible to the tragedies of our partners being forced out of the
decision making process during life-threatening situations. We need support for
our choices around children – whether we want them or do not. We need
sympathetic, educated providers around issues of domestic abuse, alcoholism, and
any other stresses that our social positions make us vulnerable to. We need
research into the long-term effects of testosterone use and acknowledgement of
the problems of its abuse. We need to be treated with dignity no matter what our
gender presentation is. We need a national registry of health-givers who are
trained to deal with queers, that any queer or dyke can access.
Health care in the United States is a scandal. The money that should be going to
our medical needs, our schools, our infrastructure, is instead being siphoned
off in wars of empire. The U.S. health care system is the most expensive in the
world, yet it ranks 22nd in infant mortality between Taiwan and Croatia, 46th in
life expectancy between Saint Helena and Cyprus, and 37th in health system
performance between Costa Rica and Slovenia. Canada, most of Europe, much of
South and Central America, as well as parts of Africa, the Middle East and
Australia – all have universal health care.
And even where health care is “universal,” we support world-wide organizing that
constantly seeks better delivery and support. The outrageous pricing of AIDS
drugs in South America and Africa is among hundreds of examples where corporate
interests have subverted humane care.
We need to change our country’s priorities – and we need to do it now. Bring the
troops home, dismantle the war machine. Re-envision what a healthy life means
–we need clean air, drinkable water, universal health care with dignity and
Added to the calendar on Thursday Jun 21st, 2007 11:42 AM