Over the course of forty years, Soni helped the organization Dykes on Bikes evolve into a 501(c)3 non-profit, spearheading the group’s mission to create a national and international community of women’s motorcyclists supporting philanthropic endeavors in LGBTQ communities.
She was a proud veteran of the United States Air Force. Soni moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1970s, never imagining she would find herself an advocate and leader in a historic movement for equality.
Over 14 years, Soni guided a team of lawyers to successfully argue, all the way to the US Supreme Court twice, that the trademark Dykes on Bikes signifies pride within our community and is protected as political speech. Dykes on Bikes’ legal strategy helped overturn an unconstitutional law, part of the Lanham Act, in what has been hailed as one of the most important Freedom of Expression cases in years (Matal vs Tam).
In 2003, the organization voted to officially recognize themselves as “Dykes on Bikes.”
“It took a lot of courage to be ok and to say, ‘This is who I am. I’m a dyke. I’m not gay, I’m not lesbian; I’m a dyke. That’s who I am,'” said Brown. “And being bold like that is something that gave inspiration to our organization. And then that resonates with people around the world.”
Convincing the Supreme Court that they had reclaimed the word “dyke” proved to be a bigger challenge as the organiztion fought to trademark their group’s name.
Testifying as an expert witness in Washington, Wolf enunciated the groups stand eloquently.
“There’s different descriptors of being gay, and what that means. But if you’re going to call me anything other than woman or a human being, call me a dyke,” said Brown, quoting from Wolfs testimony.
If you're wondering why I've posted this, you've missed the many posts about women, protestors, Harley riders, and admiration for people who fight for what they believe in. It's the effort, not the cause, that makes people stand out and get respect. It's hard work, and I admire it.