San Francisco Pride: 40 and Fabulous
By Noah Michelson
Pride, which to many is merely considered a weekend party, has become a fluid mixture of politics and rambunctious fun. However, it seems the essence of Pride has strayed from organized events and has instead become more focused on personal traditions and stay-at-home brunches. As Executive Director for Pride SF, Amy Andre said, “To me, the true embodiment of our mission is to commemorate our heritage and our culture and to educate people about our community.” This statement is best represented through the clusters of gay best friends that huddle on Twin Peaks overlooking Saturday night’s Pink Celebration in The Castro or the overhearing of popping champagne bottles emanating from second story Victorian apartments. Pride has become an (positive) excuse to shelve day-to-day realities and share in commonalities that are not typically fully expressed.
Nighttime celebratory parties included a Big Top vs. Tranyshack event at Club 8 on Folsom. Hosted by Drag Diva Superstars Heklina and Joshua J, the after-hours “Homo Drag Disco Circus” featured a fortuneteller, brawny go-go boys and of course, all the wigs one could ever hope for. For those in the San Francisco area, this monthly affair occurs every last Saturday of the month. To the many who refuse to partake in guest lists, San Francisco was also beaming with hidden parties in bars and hotels alike. And for those who simply craved an opportune location to sit and gawk, the infamous pink triangle was always available. San Francisco’s 40th anniversary celebration of Pride was a monumental occasion for California and abroad. As shocked tourists stared at naked bodies roaming the streets and relished in snapshots rather than homophobic slurs, it was apparent the worlds have almost converged. In Mikayla Connell’s words, “It is amazing how much change there has been and it is also daunting how much further we have to go.”
-- COURTNEY NICHOLS
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