This past weekend was San Francisco Pride 2010. It was my first Pride experience in San Francisco. It was amazing.
As listed on sfpride.org, “The mission of the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration Committee is to educate the world, commemorate our heritage, celebrate our culture, and liberate our people.”
And that is exactly what it was — a celebration of unique and different cultures in an incredibly liberated manner.
My Pride festivities began at Dolores Park on Saturday.
The park was totally packed — the most crowded I’ve ever seen Dolores Park. There were costumes and kissing and the feeling of sheer freedom emanating from the crowd.
Next was the Dykes on Bikes parade. The parade itself was much like any other parade except it was kicked off by a group of women on motorcycles. The streets of the Mission were crowded with spectators. Even the homes along the route celebrated with funny signs.
After the parade, we made our way down to Pink Saturday. Pink Saturday takes place in the Castro (it’s where the Dyke March ends). Basically, it’s about 10 blocks of Market Street are shut down and are turned into a block party housing more than half a million people. It. Was. Insane.
From Pink Saturday in the Castro, you can see the tippy top of Twin Peaks where there is a brightly lit Pink Triangle. The Pink Triangle is the annual commemoration of the gay victims of the Holocaust and a reminder of the on-going inhumanity to repressed minorities going on now around the world. The Twin Peaks, in San Francisco, are transformed into a memorial that can be seen from miles away.
We managed to leave before the shooting (Mom, don’t worry, I’m fine).
On our walk back to our side of town, we stumbled upon some truly beautiful window art in the Castro. Pride is bigger than just this weekend — it’s displayed for weeks in advance.
And these are 100 percent made of chocolate. Yum.
The San Francisco Gay Pride Parade began at 10:30 Sunday morning. Casi, Greg and I began our journey to Market Street around 11.
It was hard to get a good spot to see the parade so we walked down to Civic Center to camp out for the Backstreet Boys. Turns out, the Backstreet Boys weren’t playing until after 4 p.m. and we were in the smoldering heat waiting for about three hours. I managed to finally meet Geoff despite the AT&T reception in large crowds.
And then, beneath the beaming sun rays and amidst the clouds of cigarette smoke, the Backstreet Boys made their grand entrance onstage. We couldn’t really see them, but we were able to sing along to “I Want It That Way” (I won’t torture you with the video). And yes, they still performed their incredibly cheesy choreography and horribly awesome songs that bring me back to adolescence. Fact of the matter is, they’re actually getting old!
Overall, Pride was a very fun experience. It’s a great way to celebrate diversity and it’s amazing that San Francisco cultivates all diversity and encourages its celebration.
Did you go to Pride in San Francisco this year? Have you been to other Pride celebrations? What do you think?