Pride parade shows 'remarkable diversity'

Tens of thousands of people of all stripes took to the streets Sunday for the 37th annual LGBT Pride Celebration and Parade, billed as the biggest gay-pride event in the nation. Gay couples, straight couples and families with kids — and, in many cases, parents and grandparents— lined Market Street in San Francisco to catch glimpses of floats and presentations from 200 different groups.

The weekend-long event draws people from all across the Bay Area, the country and even the world, who spend roughly $150 million in San Francisco while they’re here, according to Lindsay Jones, Pride’s executive director.

“It just gets better and better every year,” said Brett Anderson, a San Francisco resident who has attended the parade annually since 1989. He and Bernard Venter stood on the sidelines, both wearing Carmen Miranda headdresses, strings of rainbow beads and Hawaiian shirts.

Watch a slideshow: U.S. Gay Pride celebrations
View a Pride Parade photo gallery: San Francisco in Pictures 

Sunny weather, cool temperatures and a well-oiled team of volunteers kept the event running smoothly, Jones said. Police made a few arrests for marijuana possession and stopped some fights, but the crowd was predominantly well-behaved, San Francisco police Sgt. Steve Mannina said.

For old-timers such as Anderson and Venter, the festival can be a get-away: “We’re both funeral directors. We take our work very seriously, but we play seriously, too,” Anderson said, sipping a cocktail from a red plastic tumbler.

The event was nothing if not star-studded. George Takei, the actor who played Mr. Sulu on the original “Star Trek” series and who revealed his homosexuality in 2005, rode with the Google contingent in Sunday’s parade.

Nikki Blonksky, who plays Tracy Turnblad in the new musical “Hairspray” with John Travolta, rocked the festival’s main stage Sunday afternoon, according to Jones.

“She had the entire crowd eating out of the palm of her hand,” Jones said.

Pride is an event where fun and politics mingle. It’s also an opportunity to hold San Francisco up as a model city, according to Mayor Gavin Newsom.

“This is a city of remarkable diversity. We take it for granted, and we shouldn’t,” Newsom said during a news conference Sunday. “People are looking to us to show that you can live together.”

Pride breaks ground because it makes the LGBT community more visible, according to San Francisco film critic Jan Wahl, who has appeared in the parade for the last 15 years.

“If you meet them, if you see their faces, you can’t hate,” Wahl said.

bwinegarner@examiner.com


Did you attend Sunday’s LGBT Pride Celebration?

Share your comments below.

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Deputy public defender Chris Garcia outside the Hall of Justice on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
As pandemic wanes, SF public defender hopes clients will get ‘their day in court’

Like other attorneys in San Francisco, Deputy Public Defender Chris Garcia has… Continue reading

Hyphen hosts a group show at Space Gallery in San Francisco in 2010. (Photo courtesy of Albert Law/Pork Belly Studio)
What’s in a name? Asian American magazine fights to keep its identity

An investor-backed media group laid claim to the moniker of SF’s long-running Hyphen magazine, sparking a conversation about writing over community history

A warning notice sits under the windshield wiper of a recreational vehicle belonging to a homeless man named David as it sits parked on De Wolf Street near Alemany Boulevard on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. A proposed SF Municipal Transportation Agency law would make it illegal for overnight parking on the side street for vehicles taller than seven feet or longer than 22 feet. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Fight over ‘poverty tows’ heats up

‘What can we do to ensure the vehicle stays in the hands of the owner?’

Crab fisherman Skip Ward of Marysville casts his crab net out off a pier near Fort Point. (Craig Lee/Special to The	Examiner)
San Francisco came back to life, and we captured it all

Last spring, in the early days of the pandemic, the bestselling authors… Continue reading

Revelers at Madrone Art Bar in the early hours of June 15, 2021 (Courtesy Power Quevedo).
No social distancing at Motown-themed dance party

‘I don’t care how anyone feels, I just want to dance!’

Most Read