The city starts to buzz in June. Although the Gay Rights Movement started with Stonewall in New York, San Francisco has made LGBT Pride Month something special.
As a kid, I would go the the Parade with my mom. It was magical. Seeing friends of the family dressed in drag blowing kisses at the crowds along Market Street was very cool. As a teen, in those awkward years searching for my identity, I went on my own. It felt comfortable. The scene wasn’t about being gay or straight. It was about being yourself with pride and without fear. This year’s theme, Generations of Strength, celebrates the history and future of struggle for equality.
When the motorcycles line up in the shadow of the Ferry Building, you can meet women from all around the world. The floats around the corner are finishing up final details and the cheerleaders practice amazing performance maneuvers. You have to pre-register to ride though. The days of just showing up and joining are long gone.
The Parade is 9 blocks long running from Beale to 8th Streets. You need to get there early to get a spot in front or pay for a seat in the bleachers.
The party is more controlled today. There are barriers, police and security screening. A $1 donation is suggested to help the non-profit continue their work throughout the year.
June is full of sponsored events and celebrations for Pride. It’s about living free and fearless. We’re all from the same rainbow.