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    A Dyke pride banner listing different examples of those who identify as Dykes, displayed at a Dyke March
    The first dyke flag by ari-the-demigod.
    The dyke flag by r00
    The dyke flag by plantbutch

    Dyke, sometimes spelled as Dike or censored as "D*ke", is a pejorative word that commonly refers to lesbians and Queer women, particularly those with masculine, androgynous, Gender Non-Conforming (GNC), or "Butch" presentation and/or traits.[1]

    While there are a range of different definitions and related terms, in general slang "Dyke" is most often used to refer negatively to one who is (or is perceived as being) a "mannish woman" or an "aggressive, masculine lesbian".[2]

    The word is commonly considered a derogatory slur, but has been reclaimed and used positively by some individuals, organizations, and activist groups. Some examples include various "Dyke March" protests, "Dykes on Bikes", and the comic "Dykes to Watch Out For" by Alison Bechdel.[3][4][5]

    While commonly associated with the Lesbian community, Dyke is often used against and reclaimed by various non-Lesbian individuals such as some Sapphic, M-spec, Trans, Intersex, and other Queer individuals.[6][7]

    Many organizations and and activists groups who reclaim Dyke have an open or broad definition of who the term may include, and who can reclaim it if they choose to. Some examples include:

    • The San Francisco Dyke March, which welcomes "all dykes" with the statement of "We understand dyke identity to include those of us who are questioning and challenging gender constructs and the social definitions of women: transdyke, MTF, transfeminine, transmasculine, genderqueer, and gender fluid dykes.".[6]
    • DYKE+ ArtHaus, a Lesbian and Feminist art and activist collective with a policy of "If you consider yourself a Dyke, then you’re a Dyke."[8]
    • The New York City Dyke March which welcomes, "Any person who identifies as a dyke... regardless of gender expression or identity, sex assigned at birth, sexual orientation, race, age, political affiliation, religious identity, ability, class, or immigration status."[9]
    A four striped flag. From top to bottom, the stripes are black, purple, hot pink, and grey.
    The Dyke pride flag by @sol_v_diaz on Twitter

    Besides its reclaimed use, it should not be used to refer to any individual who has not reclaimed it, especially those who express discomfort or distress.

    Related terms include bull dyke/bulldyke[10][11], diesel dyke[11][12], "baby dyke"[13], fagdyke[14], and transdyke[15] or trannydyke[16]. Some related terms (such as trannydyke and fagdyke), should be used with care as they contain other slurs that those comfortable with "dyke" may not have or want to reclaim.


    A Dyke pride flag was created in August 2018 or possibly earlier, by a (now deactivated) deviantart user named ari-the-demigod. It was reposted by tumblr user beyond-mogai-pride-flags on Monday, 27 August 2018 with a (now dead) link to the original post. There are no known meanings.[17]

    A Dyke flag "for when you’re whole sexuality and gender identity can just be summed up as just “Dyke” by Tumblr user r00 was posted February 15, 2019. There are no known color meanings.[18]

    Another Dyke pride flag was created by Tumblr user plantbutch on or before February 21, 2020.[19]

    • Black represents power, strength, and freedom that comes with reclaiming dyke. It also represents black WLW and black non-binary sapphics who identify as dykes.
    • Purple represents the reclamation of dyke.
    • Magenta represents unapologetic love of women. Pink represents acceptance of trans women and inner peace. The white labrys axe represents empowerment, justice, and intolerance of bigotry.

    Another flag was created by Twitter user sol_v_diaz on or before May 28, 2021[20]. This flag was explicitly designed to capture dyke as a multifaceted identity including but not limited to Dykegender people, Transmasculine individuals, people whose only identity is Dyke, and all kinds of Lesbians.

    • Black represents alienation, rebellion, lack of gender, the Aro/Ace spectrums, stone dykes, butches, and dykes of color.
    • Purple represents mixed or masculine gender, masculinity and femininity, nonbinary & trans dykes, M-spec dykes, and futches.
    • Pink represents queerness, feminine gender, femininity (including non-female femininity), womanhood, love, WLW, and femmes.
    • Gray is for confusion, blurred identity, disconnect, Grayro/Gray ace spectrums, and those who identify with no or multiple gender presentations.


    The origin of Dyke is unknown, however there are many possible theories on where it originated:[21][22]

    • A shortened version of the Intersexist slur "hermaphrodite.", coming from "morphodyke"/"morphadike".[23][24]
    • Boudica or Boudicca (pronounced "Bou-dyke-ah"), a Celtic queen who organized a revolt against the Roman Empire in 67 AD.
    • The slang term "get diked out" meaning "dress up".
    • In the 19th century, "dike" was a slang term for the vulva.
    • From the terms "bulldicker" or "bulldick", meaning "fake penis" or "fake man", describing the idea of "a woman with a clitoris extended enough to serve as a penis in lesbian relationships" (which is Intersexist - as well as transphobic - towards those with clitoromegaly.)


    1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyke_(slang)
    2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/454909
    3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyke_march
    4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dykes_on_Bikes
    5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dykes_to_Watch_Out_For
    6. 6.0 6.1 https://www.thedykemarch.org/dyke-identity
    7. https://transdyke.livejournal.com/23061.html
    8. https://dykearthaus.org/what-it-is
    9. https://www.nycdykemarch.com/
    10. https://weareher.com/dyke-meaning/
    11. 11.0 11.1 https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/13/t-magazine/butch-stud-lesbian.html
    12. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/diesel_dyke
    13. https://holaafrica.org/stud-femme-stem-dyke-butch-what-means-what/
    14. https://www.lesflicks.com/programs/fagdyke-cruising-2019
    15. https://transdyke.livejournal.com/
    16. https://trannydykes.livejournal.com/
    17. https://web.archive.org/web/20230923004437/https://beyond-mogai-pride-flags.tumblr.com/post/177449357405/dyke-an-identity-adopted-by-lesbian-and-sapphic
    18. https://web.archive.org/web/https://web.archive.org/web/20230928203625/https://lesbianoodle-moved.tumblr.com/post/182832030248/r00-the-dyke-flag-for-when-youre-whole
    19. https://archive.is/MhVDe
    20. https://web.archive.org/web/https://twitter.com/sol_v_diaz/status/1398301454675415042
    21. https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.liveabout.com/what-is-the-origin-of-the-word-dyke-2171262
    22. https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.etymonline.com/word/dyke
    23. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/morphodyke
    24. https://www.etymonline.com/word/dyke
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