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. During the anniversary year of the Summer of Love, the Pride Parade celebrates diversity.
Every year, when we line up the motorcycles in the shadow of the Ferry Building, I meet women from all around the world. We exchange stories, brag about our bikes and give tips for newbies. The floats around the corner are finishing up final details and the cheerleaders practice amazing performance maneuvers. You have to pre-register though. The days of just showing up and riding are long gone.
The Parade is 9 blocks long running from Beale to 8th Streets. You need to get there early to get a good spot in front or pay for a seat in the bleachers.
June is full of sponsored events and celebrations for Pride. It’s still about living free and fearless. We’re all from the same rainbow.