I've always wanted to belong to a gang. The closest I ever got was back when I had a banana-seat bike and playing cards fastened to my wheel spokes with clothespins. I rode around with a bunch of other neighborhood kids and we may have possibly frightened a few squirrels.
So I was thrilled to discover that I actually do belong to a gang, and we even have our own sign.
I don't know why this took me so long to stumble upon because apparently it started back in March, when LA Streetsblog ran a feature on a Latina cycling group called the Ovarian-Pscycos Bicycle Brigade.
The all-female collective is bent on taking back the streets for women while riding over roads en masse. Members, most in their 20s, sport stickers on their bikes with the slogan "Ovaries so big, we don't need no fuc*ing balls."
When a 22-year-old woman was murdered and left on a freeway ramp in Lincoln Heights, east of downtown Los Angeles, the Ovarian-Psycos staged a ride through the neighborhood chanting, "Whose streets? Our streets!"
The group has its own sign: Both hands curved and upturned in front of the lower torso, with the tips of the thumbs and index fingers touching to form two circles where a woman's ovaries are located.
The Ovarian Gang Sign is quickly catching on, repeated in blogs, Tumblr postings and photos across the Internet, as a sign of female solidarity in a time when vaginal ultrasounds, birth control debates, slut-calling and funding attacks on Planned Parenthood are putting many women on the defensive.
I stumbled across the sign while looking at prom photos of high school girls this past weekend.
Whether you see it as a symbol of reproductive rights or simply a statement that we women need to support each other, the time has come to throw up the OGS.
As its female practitioners like to say, the Ovarian Gang Sign is a reminder that, after all, we do belong to the biggest gang ever.