Dyke, also known as Dike, and censored as D*ke, is a reclaimed slur for lesbians, particularly those who are masculine presenting women/butch lesbians. The word is commonly considered a derogatory slur, but has been reclaimed and used positively by some lesbians. It is used mostly by lesbians, particularly butch lesbians, though it is also used by m-spec sapphic women and non-binary people who identify as lesbian, sapphic, and/or sometimes NBLW/trixic, in addition to AFAB or fem trans people.
Bulldyke, while also often used alongside dyke, is a term exclusive to black people, and should not be used by non-black lesbians. However, people of all races may reclaim dyke on its own.
Besides its reclaimed use, it should not be used on any individual, especially those who have not reclaimed this term. The term is usually considered to only be reclaimable by sapphic/wlw individuals, some non-binary people who are attracted to women/trixic, and transmascs.
The most used dyke pride flag was created by Tumblr user plantbutch on or before February 21, 2020. 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.
A second flag was created by Twitter user sol_v_diaz on or before May 28, 2021. 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. The 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, mspec dykes, and futches. Pink represents queerness, feminine gender, femininity (including non-female femininity), womanhood, love, WLW, and femmes. Finally, gray is for confusion, blurred identity, disconnect, grayro/gray ace spectrums, and those who identify with no or multiple gender presentations.
The first findable dyke flag was coined by a now deactivated user, and was reposted on Tumblr user beyond-mogai-pride-flags account on August 27th of 2018. It has no confirmed meaning.
The flag by Tumblr user r00 was posted February 15, 2019.
- A shortened version of the slur "hermaphrodite."
- Boudicca (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.)