The LGBT Parade, known as the San Fransico Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Celebration, is a festival on the last weekend of June each year. The festival’s mission is to educate the world, commemorate the LGBT heritage, and celebrate the culture of the LGBT community.
The Parade is held on the Festival’s Sunday morning. Participants line up in San Francisco’s Marke Street, starting from Steuart Street to 8th Street. The parade begins at 10:30 a.m and ends at around 4:30 p.m. Participants are required to line on the parade route before the start of the parade.
History of the San Francisco Pride Parade
The first-ever gay celebration was held on the last weekend of June 1970. The San Fransico Gay Liberation Front organized the event. Around 20 to 30 people were walking on Polka Street from Aquatic Park to Civic Centre.
A similar event later took place in 1972 and has ever since been held each year. However, the event’s name keeps on changing over the years. An event theme is selected each year by the event organizers.
The LGBT Rainbow flag was created by Gilbert Baker for the 1978 Sanfrancisco Parade. initially, the flag had eight stripes but was later simplified to the present-day six-striped flag which flies on Harvey Milk Plaza in Castro
The 50th Pride parade was different from the previous years. Usually, the celebration involves people marching on the streets, accompanied by parties. In 2020, the vibrant community moved their celebrations to the virtual space due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Who Takes Part in the Parade?
The parade consists of hundreds of people marching, all from varying groups. Spectators line along the parade route to have a clear view of the participants. Some climb on bus shelters while others climb walls of the subway station stairs and buildings.
The San Francisco Pride features about 20 community-run spaces ranging from community events, music stages, an LGBT family garden, a Women’s stage, and a Queer Youth Space.
The major participating groups include;
Dykes on Bikes
This contingent consists of several motorcycle riders. The group allows all women to be members despite their gender variations. Some women wear leather costumes, while others are usually topless. According to Pre tradition, they are always the first group to run in the parade since they cannot keep walking groups’ pace.
Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
The group comprises straight families and relatives of LGBT people, marching together to support their LGBT relatives and friends. They carry signs indicating the origin of their group.
Other participating groups are politicians, LGBT supporting religions, and Non-profit Community groups.
The San Francisco Pride Parade is a very significant event for the LGBT community and their allies. The community celebrates its heritage and commemorates its culture, as well as provide education based on LGBT. Pride Parades are also held in different countries, calling for people to care for and accept the LGBT community worldwide.