San Francisco Dykes on Bikes co-founder Soni Wolf has passed away, aged 69.
She has been remembered by the San Francisco Pride community as a trailblazer and LGBTI advocate.
“Soni challenged us all to be a little braver, to live as loud as the motorcycles that lead the Pride Parade every year.”
Wolf will be honoured on June 24 at a public memorial after the city’s Pride Parade, KQED News has reported.
A memorial fund has also been established in her honour.
San Francisco Pride executive director George F. Ridgely Jr remembered Wolf as a crucial member of the community.
“Soni was chosen to be one of our Community Grand Marshals in this year’s Parade, and we look forward to celebrating her life by continuing the tradition she was so instrumental in establishing over 40 years ago,” he said.
“Soni was an integral member of the San Francisco Pride family, and she will be missed.”
Wolf was instrumental in reclaiming the word ‘dyke’ from homophobes.
“She figured that riding down Market Street on her motorcycle with 20 or 25 women rumbling down would make an impression, and it did,” said friend Brooke Oliver.
“Her message was simple: We’re proud of being dykes. We’re out and loud and proud and they rumbled down Market Street and started an international movement.”
A committed activist, Wolf led Dykes on Bikes in philanthropic work for LGBTI groups around the world.
The Australian chapters of Dykes on Bikes have been riding for more than 30 years.
The group leads the Sydney Mardi Gras parade each year, and is among the most recognisable LGBTI groups and symbols of empowerment.
Earlier this year we caught up with a few of them to find out why they’ve been such a vital part of our LGBTI community.