Having been a Community Grand Marshal for San Francisco Pride in 2014 and also having served on the San Francisco Pride Board as vice president, I find it very sad but absolutely necessary to support the following Statement from the executive director of San Francisco Pride￼, considering the dangers we face as a result of COVID-19, the CoronaVirus. No, as a community, we are not defeated. We are in tandem with the City and State when considering all of our best interests.
If anything we may find that while nurturing our sadness, this 50th SF Pride will serve always as a reminder of the bounds of our equality, as we are all equally responsible for how we conduct ourselves to protect each other.
This serves as an opportunity to connect globally and in many different ways.
We may find a connectedness that we never could have imagined. In doing our celebration, however, we must also note that at this moment in time 20,000 plus of our fellow Americans have been killed tragically by a virus that may have been thwarted but for the dilatoriness of a corrupt President and his inept administration. We must note that while the virus attacks us all equally, racial disparities play into survival. Let our Pride bear witness to ALL that lends fuel to what we as a LGBTQI community must bring to this year’s Pride Season.
Be safe my friends…. Mel!
SF PRIDE’s Announcement:
After thorough discussions with our Board, staff, and partners at City Hall; SF Pride has concluded that in light of the risks the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic poses to public health, we must cancel Pride 50’s planned Parade and Celebration, scheduled for Saturday & Sunday, June 27-28.
Public health and the well-being of the Bay Area’s LGBTQ communities will always be our number one priority, and they became the main reason for this cancellation. This was not a decision we arrived at lightly, and we wanted to communicate with our membership about this decision as this information becomes public. We hope you understand.
However, just because we are cancelling the physical element of Pride 50 does not mean we are giving up. Quite the contrary! We are already working with an association of Pride organizations worldwide on “Global Pride,” a performance-filled virtual commemoration on Pride Weekend, all the while forging ahead with a full program of LGBTQ content on our own — starting with a series of four high-profile “Lavender Talks” in May and June, held in concert with S.F.’s lauded Commonwealth Club. We will be announcing more soon, as we plan with our partners, and we hope you can join us.
Without the participation of our entire community, SF Pride would not be what it has been for five decades now: the city’s largest and most visible outdoor event and a symbol of San Francisco itself.
Our movement was founded by individuals who refused to give in to adversity — and we intend to keep that spirit alive. This year is still a major anniversary for SF Pride, and while we know you share our disappointment at the overall circumstances, we vow to highlight the Bay Area’s loud and proud LGBTQ culture just when people need it most. With your continued support, Market Street will be decorated with rainbow flags for the entire month of June, but Pride 50 will last all year.
Fred Lopez Executive Director
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Refugee / Asylum Advocacy:www.africanHRC.org