Last Sunday was the big annual Pride celebration in San Francisco, and with the recent court decisions restoring and expanding marriage equality, it was the largest and most celebratory that I had seen in my five years here. It was already quite crowded when I arrived at usual perch along Market Street at 7th.
Marriage equality and the court cases were of course a common theme in signs and displays.
But there was also lots of perennial displays and entertainment. There are beauty queens, for example.
And the obligatory bare-chested men.
The above float does signify one of the big complaints about the event, that it has become very commercial and “corporate”. How should one react to a festive float like this one below, which has a positive message, but it also sponsored by one of the much-despised big banks?
In corporate displays, perhaps none was larger than Facebook, with hundreds of employees marching in colorful t-shirts, and Mark Zuckerberg doing a goofy dance on a bus (sorry, I did not get any good pictures of that). On the positive side, many community organizations were also represented, including the San Francisco SPCA:
The Contemporary Jewish Museum also had a contingent centered around their current Allen Ginsberg exhibition.
There was music, including a rolling live performance from Hedwig and the Angry Itch.
Many ethnic-based groups march in the parade. This year I managed to catch Trikone, a representing LGBT South-Asian Americans (i.e., individuals whose heritage comes from the Indian subcontinent).
Individuals from many countries were also more prominent.
This is a long all-day event. The parade always goes much longer than planned, and then there is the big festival in front of city hall. Certainly there were plenty of complaints to be heard about the crowds and slowness of things. But overall it was a very positive day.