San Francisco Pride
Civic Center, San Francisco
Market and Polk Streets
Price: A $5 minimum donation is requested of all attendees who are able to pay, and will be donated to local charities.
Dates: Saturday, June 23 – 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, June 24 – 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
San Francisco has long been a center of gay culture and activism, first as a busy port city during the era of maritime trade and later as an embarkation point for military troops. Since its founding as a boomtown during the California Gold Rush, San Francisco was known as a “wide open town” that tolerated many, at the time, illegal and socially-sanctioned behaviors. San Francisco’s relative tolerance meant that many gay and lesbian people chose to settle in the city. After World War II, the beatnik movement centered in San Francisco. By the 1960s, the growing gay rights movement, spurred by discrimination and police harassment, found one of its centers in the Bay area. The first Pride march was held in San Francisco, and other major American cities in 1970, as a response to the one-year anniversary of the police raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York City. San Francisco Pride, in its various guises throughout the years, became a seminal experience for many GLBT people.
By the 1970s, San Francisco and neighborhoods like the Castro became a gay mecca. The AIDS crisis, and more recently the debate over marriage rights, has kept many members of the GLBT community focused on activism and awareness. This is illustrated by the theme of the 2012 San Francisco Pride: Global Awareness. Ugandan Bishop Christopher Senyonjo will be speaking during the event on the issues that face GLBT people in Uganda and throughout Africa.
But Pride is foremost a celebration of diversity, taking place June 23-24 in San Francisco’s Civic Center. Thousands of visitors will travel to the city in order to participate. A parade, held Sunday June 24 starting at 10:30 a.m., will feature a promenade of pride supporters along Market Street from Beale Street to Eighth Street. The weekend includes over 200 groups entered for the parade, exhibitors selling wares and nineteen stages for music and entertainment. The Main Stage features both world-famous singers and up-and-coming performers. The 2012 lineup has not yet been announced, but past Pride stars have included Lady Gaga and Kat Graham.
Get involved in what’s important to this city and attend the weekend’s activities!