San Francisco, CA – Annually, June 23-24 is marked as the Annual Gay Pride March. This year, the gay capital of the United States of America is celebrating its 42nd year to host the event. And we dare say, it was a queertastic occasion with queens, fairies, dikes, butches, transgenders and everything else marched on the streets of Frisco.
The annual parade kicked made its way through Market Street – rainbow flags, uniformed police officers (some real some not) , cheerleaders, loud sirens, politicians, and flashing lights were seen and heard. It was indeed a gay day literally and metaphorically speaking.
It was the largest gathering of the LGBT community in the nation according to organizers. One of the possible reasons maybe because Proposition 8 is still hotly being debated. Proposition 8 prohibits the marriage of same-sex couples and it was mandated by the people of California but the LGBT community, the politicians that support them and some celebrities are pushing forward with the amendment of the said law.
There were more or less 200 floats that participated, the marchers were in elaborate costumes, outfits made from balloons, and other participants were almost just wearing their birthday suits. The city’s mayor, Mayor Ed Lee is set to give a speech to the crowd at the Civic Center. Interesting fact, Mayor Ed Lee’s location for his speech is just a few steps away from where Harvey Milk addressed the participants of the gay pride parade 30 years ago. Harvey Milk was a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and first openly gay man in California that was elected in public office. He was responsible for forwarding the cause of gay rights and created gay ordinances for the city. Unfortunately, his term in office was cut short when he was assassinated by Dan White in 1978. Dan White was another city supervisor at the time who was upset because he was removed from his position by the mayor at the time, George Moscone.
The Gay Pride celebration was not confined within the city limits of San Francisco alone; in Chicago, the LGBT crowd gathered in the city’s North Side to celebrate the occasion and protest the anti-gay marriage ban. Same-sex marriages are also prohibited in Illinois and about 25 LGBT couples sued the city state to allow them to marry. According to the protesters, it is against the constitution to prohibit people from getting married (but wasn’t marriage originally between a man and a woman?).
But despite the lawsuit, it was a peaceful event and no incident of violence was noted unlike the previous year when some of the floats were vandalized before the parade.
Meanwhile in New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave a speech to the crowd by saying, “The government should get out of your personal life.”
Another interesting fact, the Gay Pride Rainbow Flag has been flown from Athens to San Francisco to Brazil this year. The Rainbow Flag was created by Gilbert Baker who is a resident of San Francisco. He is currently working on a book that will chronicle his experiences in creating the Rainbow Flag.
Some of the LGBT groups that attended the Gay Pride march were the LGBT for Obama, Out4 Immigration, Marriage Equality USA and the Gay Asian Pacific Alliance. As another Gay Pride Parade winds down, the LGBT groups are still fighting for their rights to be allowed to marriage. Whether they will be successful or not only time can tell but what is an LGBT parade without Gloria Gaynor singing “I will survive” at the end of the march?