This is the original draft of an article I wrote for LOTL magazine earlier this year. LOTL are great supporters of Dykes On Bikes. Here is the complete article not fully published before. It’s a story that I think shows the true spirit of the Dykes on Bikes Queensland Chapter and should be heard.
The mention of Dykes on Bikes (DOB) has become synonymous with leading Pride parades around the world. I am sure most of us, when we hear Dykes on Bikes mentioned, can either recall seeing the highly polished chrome and black leather supplemented by the rainbow colours roaring ahead to champion Pride at Sydney Mardi Gras or at countless Pride marches across Australia or around the world. When I sat down with Julz Raven, President of the Queensland Chapter of Dykes on Bikes I found out so much more. As I listened Julz took me on a journey of understanding the history and the evolution of DOB across the world and in Queensland.
The first group of the Women’s Motorcycle Contingent (WMC) – later to become Dykes on Bikes, started in San Francisco at the head of the Pride Parade in 1976 with the motto “Ride with Pride”. Those 20 – 25 women surely had no idea what their group was to start around the globe. They and others attended for about 10 years until it became necessary to formalise their group and they became the WMC. In the early days the term Dykes on Bikes came internally from the group and as years went on the press and LGBT culture embraced the term. Interestingly though it took until 2003 until DOB was added to the name and then a further three years of trademark wars to progress before the trademark of Dykes on Bikes was officially granted to the San Francisco group and there is an appeal ongoing.
The Queensland Chapter
Once the DOB movement came to Australia, the mid-nineties saw the establishment of a Queensland chapter overseen by the mother club, the “San Francisco Dykes on Bikes Women’s Motorcycle Contingent”. The past 3 years has been a period of change for the Queensland chapter. The membership has increased dramatically; an extra line has been added to the motto – “Respect One Another” and the group have added social events and are now embarking on adopting an annual charity, in addition to their existing monthly rides.
The Queensland Chapter is the only state-wide chapter of Dykes on Bikes in the world. The members are fiercely committed to supporting one and another and promote a positive, healthy, family friendly community of belonging. The members range from their 20’s to their 60’s and all bring a wide range of personal history to their shared interest of riding motorbikes.
There is so much to say and the story doesn’t end here. Listening to Julz showed me just how passionate she is about the club and how valued current members and future members are. The group is flexible and responds to the voice of its members. I couldn’t put the responsibility of the presidency better than Julz did herself, “It’s not my club I just look after it for now”.
This year charity funds raised by the Queensland DOB chapter will be going to Open Doors. http://www.opendoors.net.au/?page_id=306
For more information on DOB Queensland and membership see http://www.dykesonbikesqld.org/
It’s an international first. With the OK given by the San Francisco DOB the Queensland chapter have embarked on the first ever DOB Calendar. The girls and the bikes look amazing! We have the calendar proudly displayed at our place; it’s a July 2014 – June 2015 calendar so now is the time to buy.
There is another story – about how each of the photos, in their unique and sometimes challenging settings, just fell into place for these amazing women and they are some excellent stories. I’m hoping they might share some of these stories in the comments. Yes girls I’m talking to you and hoping you might feel like sharing. 😉
(from the Queensland DOB website)
Its official – the first ever Dykes On Bikes calendar has arrived and is now for sale!! This 12 month July 2014 to June 2015 calendar will keep you drooling all year and give you plenty of gay pages to write those special dates on. International purchases welcome – just email us to make these arrangements via firstname.lastname@example.org
Great photos of some amazing bikes, hot dykes and a bit of leather! $20 from our members at local events, or $25 online via Ebay – either way get yourself this amazing calendar and help us raise some funds for our deserving charity (Open Doors Youth Services).