San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebrates Hope
San Francisco’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) Pride parade and celebration will reflect an astonishing number of silver anniversaries this year. The accent is firmly on combining the dual traditions of civil rights and cultural diversity in a year that marks the 25th anniversary of the murder of Harvey Milk -- which prompted the community to choose Milk’s famous quote “You’ve Gotta Give Them Hope” as this year’s event theme.
Pride President Joey Cain said, “Harvey Milk was about many thingstwo important ones were LGBT visibility and hope. These also happen to be two of the core reasons for the Pride Celebration.”
This year’s Celebrity Grand Marshals are Armistead Maupin, of Tales of the City fame, and entertainer Marga Gomez. Together, they’ll join the estimated half million people at the 33rd anniversary Pride Weekend with the elected Grand Marshals Vicky Marlene, Hank Wilson, Marina Gatto, Terry Person-Harris and the Reverend Cecil Williams, who will be the Parade’s first ever Lifetime Achievement Grand Marshal.
Official festivities begin at noon on Saturday, June 28, with the “Stand Against Hate” rally organized in association with Community United Against Violence (CUAV) and the world-renowned San Francisco Mime Troupe. Working with Equality California and organization Grand Marshal, Marriage Equality California, Pride will bring special attention to several major political issues affecting the LGBT community. In particular, Saturday’s domestic partner commitment ceremony, officiated by California Board of Equalization Chairwoman Carole Migden, will focus upon AB205, the Domestic Partners Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2003. Saturday’s Main Stage entertainment features the best in Jazz and Blues with Plush Room favorites, Jacqui Naylor, Paula West, Veronica Klaus and Spencer Day.
On Sunday, June 29, the Parade starts at the slightly earlier time of 10:00 a.m. at Market and Beale streets with a special 25th Anniversary Contingent featuring a quarter-mile long Rainbow Flag, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, Theatre Rhinoceros and the Lesbian & Gay Freedom Band. The Flag, which has come to be the international flag of the LGBT Community, was born on the SF Pride Parade in 1978, the same year that the Gay Men’s Chorus and Lesbian & Gay Freedom Band (the first LGBT musical organizations in the World) first appeared. The Parade shimmies, shakes and rolls to the Civic Center where the Celebration commences at noon.
The Celebration entertainment features a record twelve stages and will present hundreds of performers, including Jennifer Holliday, June and Bonnie Pointer (formerly of the Pointer Sisters), 2002 Latin Grammy nominee Celeste Carballo, BETTY and the winner of the Pride Idol competition! Salsa, swing, soul, trance, hip-hop, hula, house, electronica, indy and country western are just a taste of the dance-theme areas. New this year is a Writer’s Village and a special alcohol-free Oasis Area.
KRON-4, the Bay Area’s News Station, will broadcast the Parade live on television between 10.30am and 12.30pm.
Free childcare and sign language interpretation will be provided. The main stage and a section of the parade route are designated for those with accessibility needs.
SF Pride’s success relies on over 1,500 volunteers, supporters including principal sponsors Bud Light and the San Francisco Chronicle, and a voluntary $3 per person gate donation from attendees.
A special recycling program is being instituted at the event for the first time this year.
The event generates approximately $100m economic impact for the City & County of San Francisco. Last year, organizers made grants of over $150,000 following the event to over 40 community organizations.
Credentialed media may register at the event, or pre-register online at www.sfpride.org/media/mediainfo.htm