Wednesday, July 18, 2012

City Life: 2012 LGBT Pride Weekend

LGBT Pride Weekend is a major deal in San Francisco as you might imagine.  June is Pride month which culminates in the two day celebration Pink Saturday/Pride Parade on the last full weekend in June.  The Parade takes place on Sunday morning/early afternoon.

Usually I only have time to attend Pink Saturday but this year I was able to attend both.  I went with a couple of friends who moved here not too long ago.  I don't think they had any idea of the scale of the festivities even though I told them it would be really crowded.

Dolores Park (that's Mission Dolores in the background)

For me, Pride Weekend starts at the Dyke March in Dolores Park in the Mission.  As you can see many, many people gather here until we line up at 18th and Dolores for a nice stroll to The Castro.  Usually there's a stage in the park but there wasn't one this year.  Lots of people watch us from the sidelines and cheer us on.

Pink Saturday in the Castro.  It's still early so the crowds really haven't begun to arrive.

I look pretty damn happy, don't I?  I always feel that way when "in community."

My friends made these lovely shirts for us to wear which said "Pink Saturday" and had a rainbow on them.  They also made a white shirt for Parade day.  We ended up in a wine bar (to my left in the picture) for most of the evening.  It was a nice way to spend the celebration though I'm usually jumping around to all the thumping DJ music and fighting my way through the vast crowds on street.

Parade Day!  I managed to secure a front row vantage point at Market and Jones.  A good portion of Market Street is closed off, from the Financial District to Civic Center.

The Dyke March, Pink Saturday, and the Parade allow for outstanding people watching including some scantily clad men and women and amazing costumes.  Tutus on both men and women figure prominently as do wings.  And bright colors, of course.

Don't ask me what contingent these guys are from.  There was a long delay between contingents so these guys took a nice stroll down the entire parade route

Every local politician and many corporations and non-profits take part in the parade.  From Willie Brown to our Public Defender's office and their infamous "Getting you off since 1921" t-shirts to Dykes on Bikes (who always lead the parade) to Genentech, Google, Safeway, many elementary schools, PFLAG, churches, banks (and their protestors), animal rescue groups, dance groups, and the Leather Contingent with its iconic flag, all of them have a place in the Parade line-up.

Marvelous dancing and costumes are expected.

The Glide Memorial Church float (preceded by the Rev. Cecil Williams in a separate car).  Glide is one of the most prominent liberal churches in the country, considers itself "radically inclusive," and is known for its wonderful Gospel Choir.  Attending a church service there can be moving experience.

I managed to get a decent shot of Celebrity Grand Marshal Sarah Silverman

It was a cool day in San Francisco which was nice if you're standing for hours in the sun.  By the time I left at 2:30 pm, the parade was still going on.  After the Parade everyone convenes at Civic Center for a massive festival/party.  There are stages, music, booths, demonstrations, food, etc.

It was good to see the Parade after many years of not being able to go.  Hopefully, I'll be able to go again next year.


Jo Jardin said...

Thank you thank you thank you for posting the pictures, love the glimpse into San Francisco, and I completely understand your happiness in your portrait. :)

Mock Turtle said...

You're welcome! It was a beautiful weekend for a parade.