The San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration, usually known as San Francisco Pride, is a parade and festival held in June each year in San Francisco to celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people and their allies. It is one of the most famous and best-attended pride parades in the world. It is the largest parade of any sort in Northern California and the second largest parade in all of California after the Rose Parade.
Parade[edit | edit source]
The San Francisco Pride parade is a world-renowned LGBT pride parade. It is held on Sunday morning of the Festival. The route is usually along San Francisco's Market Street, from Beale Street to 8th Street. The parade starts nominally at 10:30 am, though it is hours before all the contingents are able to get onto the parade route, and the last contingent doesn't leave the parade route until 2-4 pm.
Contingents[edit | edit source]
The parade consists of hundreds of contingents from various groups and organizations. Some of the more well-known contingents are:
- Dykes on Bikes formerly known as Women's Motorcycle Contingent (WMC) for legal purposes has several hundred motorcycle riders, almost all women-identified although they welcome all gender-variant people. Some of the women are topless, some wear leather or fanciful costumes. The sound of hundreds of motorcycle engines gives this contingent a big impact. Part of the reason they are first in the parade is that it's difficult for motorcycles to run reliably at the walking pace of the rest of the parade, so as the first contingent they can move faster. On November 13, 2006, they won a battle to trademark the name "Dykes on Bikes", having struggled since 2003 to persuade the United States Patent and Trademark Office that "dyke" was not an offensive word.
- PFLAG, or Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Usually one of the largest contingents, featuring several hundred people. These are typically the (straight) parents or family members of LGBT people, sometimes marching together with their LGBT relatives. Many carry signs indicating where their PFLAG chapter comes from. It's common to see signs from all over Northern California. This contingent is notable for the swell in cheers (and some tears) that follow it along the route.
- Politicians frequently participate in the parade, as a way of making themselves visible to LGBT prospective voters.
- Churches of many denominations, or religious-oriented LGBT groups, contribute several dozen contingents.
- Dance clubs and LGBT-oriented entertainment businesses contribute several contingents. It's common for a dance club to decorate a flatbed truck or float, and have several people dancing on it, along with loud dance music.
Groups which are anti-gay typically do not have contingents. During the 1990s it was common to see anti-gay protestors in the spectator area along the parade route, holding large signs condemning homosexuality, often with biblical passages. In the 2000s such protestors have become less common.
Hundreds of thousands of spectators, if not over a million, line the parade route along Market Street. Some arrive hours in advance to claim a prime spot on the curb with a clear view of the street. Others climb onto bus shelters, the walls of subway station stairs, or scaffolding on buildings to get a clear view. As the parade ends, the spectators are able to pass through the barriers and march down Market street behind the parade. The end of the parade route is near the Festival location at the Civic Center.
Festival[edit | edit source]
A two-day (Saturday and Sunday) festival has grown up around the Sunday morning parade. It is a collection of booths, dance stages, and vendors around the Civic Center area near San Francisco City Hall. On the Sunday, an area of the festival called Leather Alley features fetish and BDSM oriented booths and demonstrations.
Administration[edit | edit source]
The festival is run by a non-profit organization, the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration Committee. According to their web site, their mission is "to educate the World, commemorate our heritage, celebrate our culture, and liberate our people."
The event is funded by a combination of donations, corporate advertising, San Francisco city funding, and donations collected from the participants at the festival.
Hundreds of volunteers are involved in running the festival and parade. Of particular note are:
- Safety monitors, crews of volunteers who help maintain order on the parade route and in the festival, particularly with respect to crowd control, and participant actions that might be harmful to themselves or others. Their philosophy and training is similar to the Black Rock Rangers of Burning Man.
- Medical volunteers, who provide first aid and medical assistance to participants. These volunteers are typically doctors, nurses, or other trained emergency response staff.
- Contingent monitors, members of the various contingents who maintain cohesion and safety in a their contingent. They are recruited and trained by the safety monitors.
History[edit | edit source]
The first event resembling the modern San Francisco Pride celebration was held in 1970. Since 1972, the event has been held each year. The name of the festival has changed over the years. The event organizers have selected a theme for the event, which is reflected in the logo and the event’s publicity.
The Rainbow Flag identified with the Gay community was originally created by Gilbert Baker for the 1978 San Francisco Pride Parade. (It originally had eight stripes, but was later simplified to the current six stripes. An eight-stripe Rainbow Flag flies over Harvey Milk Plaza in the Castro.)
|Year||Dates||Festival name||Theme||Estimated attendance|
|1971||No Pride festival|
|1972||Christopher Street West||54,000|
|1973||Gay Freedom Day||A Celebration of the Gay Experience||42,000|
|1974||Gay Freedom Day||Gay Freedom by ’76||60,000|
|1975||Gay Freedom Day||Join Us, The More Visible We Are, The Stronger We Become||82,000|
|1976||Gay Freedom Day||United for Freedom, Diversity is our Strength||120,000|
|1977||Gay Freedom Day||Gay Frontiers: Past Present, Future||250,000|
|1978||Gay Freedom Day||Come Out with Joy, Speak out for Justice||240,000|
|1979||June 24||Gay Freedom Day||Our Time has Come||200,000|
|1980||Gay Freedom Day||Liberty and Justice for All||250,000|
|1981||International Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day Parade||Front Line of Freedom||250,000|
|1982||International Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day Parade||Out of Many...One||200,000|
|1983||International Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day Parade||Strengthen the Ties, Break the Chains||200,000|
|1984||International Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day Parade||Unity & More in ’84||300,000|
|1985||International Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day Parade||Honor our Past, Secure our Future||350,000|
|1986||International Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day Parade||Forward Together, No Turning Back||100,000|
|1987||International Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day Parade||Proud, Strong, United||275,000|
|1988||International Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day Parade||Rightfully Proud|
|1989||International Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day Parade||Stonewall 20: A Generation of Pride|
|1990||International Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day Parade||The Future Is Ours|
|1991||International Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day Parade||Hand In Hand Together|
|1992||International Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day Parade||A Simple Matter of Justice|
|1993||International Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day Parade||Year of the Queer||400,000 - 500,000|
|1994||International Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day Parade||San Francisco to Stonewall: Pride & Protest|
|1995||San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration||A World Without Borders|
|1996||San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration||Equality & Justice For All|
|1997||San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration||One Community Many Faces|
|1998||June 27-June 28||San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration||Shakin’ It Up|
|1999||San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration||Proud Heritage, Powerful Future||700,000|
|2000||San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration||It’s About Freedom||750,000|
|2001||San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration||Queerific||1,000,000|
|2002||San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration||Be Yourself, Change the World|
|2003||San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration||You’ve Gotta Give Them Hope|
|2004||San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration||Out 4 Justice|
|2005||June 25-June 26||San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration||Stand Up, Stand Out, Stand Proud|
|2006||June 24-June 25||San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration||Commemorate, Educate, Liberate — Celebrate!||"hundreds of thousands"|
|2007||June 23-June 24||San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration||Pride Not Prejudice|
|2008||June 28-June 29||San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration||United by Pride, Bound for Equality|
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- 2005 parade route map. SF Pride Committee website. Retrieved on 2006-01-13.
- Dykes on Bikes. SF Women's Motorcycle Contingent website. Retrieved on 2006-01-13.
- Raab, Barbara (2006-04-20). "Dyke Drama: A not-so-excellent adventure through U.S. trademark law". American Sexuality magazine. National Sexuality Resource Center. Retrieved on 2007-03-17.
- National Center for Lesbian Rights (2006). "What's in a Name?". NCLR Newsletter 2006 (Winter): p. 1. “'On November 13th, the Women's Motorcycle Contingent formally won the legal right to trademark "DYKES ON BIKES."”
- About Us: Mission Statement. SFPride.org website. Retrieved on 2006-01-13.
- Sebastian, Simone; Demian Bulwa. "Huge Celebration of Pride: Hundreds of thousands fill Market Street with 'incredible' color", San Francisco Chronicle, 2006-06-26, p. A-1. Retrieved on 2006-06-26.
- San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration Committee (2007). SF Pride 2007. SF Pride Committee website. Retrieved on 2007-03-18. Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; name "SF Pride 2007 website" defined multiple times with different content
- LGBT Pride: SF Historical Timeline. KQED.org website. Retrieved on 2006-01-13.
- Our heritage. SF Pride Committee website. Retrieved on 2006-01-13.
[edit | edit source]
- sfpride.org, website of the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration Committee
- kqed.org's LGBT timeline, list of events in the LGBT history of San Francisco, as assembled by public radio and TV station KQED.
- 2007 parade photo gallery
- 2006 parade photo gallery
- 2005 parade photo gallery
- 2004 parade photo gallery
- 2003 parade photo gallery
- Shooter.net -- Photos of 2007 San Francisco Parade
- Shooter.net -- Photos of 2005 San Francisco Parade
- 2005 Pride parade photo gallery
- 2004 Pride parade photo gallery
- 2003 Pride parade photo gallery
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LGBT and Queer studies