See San Francisco Pride behind the scenes photos below
This year I served on the board of directors for San Francisco Pride. I learned so much from the leadership, staff and contractors, as well as all the grand marshals and honorees and want to thank everyone who helped make the Pride weekend and run-up month the great success that it was. This post is written in my personal capacity and not in any representative capacity.
San Francisco Pride was indeed San Francisco proud. There was something for everyone: A parade of over 240 contingents with tens of thousands of marchers, 20 different stages, a main stage, vendor booths, and a political and social platform to express so many causes and issue – and at least a million participants.
Whether you were there on Parade Day or not – your voice is heard – before, during and after – and so San Francisco Pride IS your PRIDE platform.
So many people joined in this month, this week and this weekend to express, listen, feel and experience – a mix of emotions – bitter sweet in the wake of Orlando – love, grief, celebration and most especially PRIDE:
Pride for what we as an activist community have accomplished.
Pride for our unity of purpose, as we fight to win our LGBTQI quest for FULL EQUALITY.
Pride for how we work toward a society free of homophobia and transphobia, which promotes the violence against us.
Pride as we acknowledge our incremental achievements, such as marriage equality, while addressing the backlash we now experience.
Pride while trying to find the most robust and workable way to promote, honor and live within all our intersecting community avenues, leaving no issue that impacts us behind.
Pride for our hard working community activists and organizers who bring it all home.
Through our almost year long journey to Pride weekend, we were able to successfully convey and implement the theme: “For Racial and Economic Justice”.
San Francisco Pride’s theme was effectively embraced by Black Lives Matter, the organization that won and accepted the community’s vote for organizational grand marshal, and in effect such was the case even when it decided 48 hours before Pride Parade Day, to retain the honor of Grand Marshal, but to pull out of attending the parade and celebration itself, noting in a statement:
Organizational Grand Marshal Black Lives Matter withdrew their participation, citing the SFPD’s recent track record of racist scandal and killings of people of color, and noting that while first responders can be an incredible resource in crisis, they are too often the cause of harm in queer communities of color.
The Black Lives Matter network is grateful to the people of San Francisco for choosing us, we choose you too,” said Malkia Cyril, a member of Black Lives Matter. As queer people of color, we are disproportionately targeted by both vigilante and police violence. We know first hand that increasing the police presence at Pride does not increase safety for all people. ….
In the aftermath of the Orlando shooting that took the lives of dozens of queer people of color, many people in our community are afraid. For us, celebrating Pride this year meant choosing between the threat of homophobic and transphobic vigilante violence and the threat of police violence. We had a tough decision to make, and ultimately we chose to keep our people safe by not participating in any event that would leave our communities vulnerable to either.
And so San Francisco Pride provided the platform for this crucial statement.
Whichever way you want to look at it, your perspective is heard, honored and valued – some believed defying anti LGBT terror in Orlando meant attending in full force and others believed that the resulting increase in the presence of law enforcement was even more dangerous to black lives than the possible risk to safety caused by potential anti-LGBT terror.
Below is a mix of pictures – some from behind the scenes and the month preceding the Pride weekend. I encourage you to go on Pride website and the FB page of #SFPRIDE to see more – SF PRIDE and FACEBOOK.
Personal Highlights for me: Working with leadership and board to help make this happen;
Meeting Alicia Garza for the first time – and what I learned from her;
Meeting the GM’s and honorees and watching them have an opportunity to be seen and heard in broader circles – and the awareness they were able to create for their extraordinary work;
Being able to participate in the award process and for me to see Sally Miller Gearhart receive a long overdue overdue honor; and
Standing on Main Stage watching the Pride attendees have an absolute blast – I had so much fun.
Thanks to all!