Chosen family, keeping homeland: Dyke March returns to Paseo Boricua


by Erika Abad, Puerto Rican Cultural Center

This past Saturday, June 25, the Chicago Dyke March Collective returned to Paseo Boricua. The chants, signs and diversity of the marchers demonstrated support and solidarity with Orlando. The Chicago Dyke March Collective has prioritized making queers of color visible by prioritizing showing a presence in our neighborhoods every two years. It was important to ask them why they chose to celebrate their 20th anniversary on Paseo Boricua. One of the collective members explains: “Chicago Dyke March wanted to return to Humboldt Park for a third year because we wanted to continue the work we had begun in Humboldt Park. We have partnered with Orgullo en Acción, the TransLatin@ Coalition and PRCC.” They explained that the support of community leaders like DSBDA’s Eduardo Arocho and Maritxa Vidal exemplified encouragement and support.
They vocalize support for Oscar López Rivera, a keen interest in learning more and wanting to get more involved. Mayadet Patitucci Cruz, collective member who designated themselves to report on behalf of the collective shares their personal story:
“I joined the collective almost 5 years ago with the dream of being able to bring Dyke March to Humboldt Park. It has been so powerful to march side by side with the queer and trans youth of color and organizations from the neighborhood down Paseo Boricua, to celebrate the love and resistance in all the communities I’m a part of.  I’m marching in Dyke March not only for myself, but for my chosen family, for my ancestors, and for Puerto Rican Independence.  The desire for my motherland to get free is connected to all of us getting free.”
As the Orlando-Pulse tragedy and the United States’ Congress and Supreme Court’s treatment of Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis remind us, there is a great deal more work to do before we can all be free.


The National Boricua Human Rights Network and the Chicago Puerto Rican Agenda will be mobilizing a bus to the Democratic National Convention to help with voter registration, attend a rally sponsored by the Campaign to Free Oscar López and other Pan-Latino issues. For more information, please contact Jessie Fuentes at [email protected] or Cristina Pacione-Zayas, co-chair, the Chicago Puerto Rican Agenda at [email protected]
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