I try to make it to an LGBT pride parade every year. I grew up with the Christopher Street West parade just down the block from me every June. June 2012 I was away for school for a whole month at the Institute so, I was a little sad that I wouldn’t be home to enjoy it. There was a great upside to that, though: I was going to the San Francisco LGBT pride parade for the first time. And not only that: I’d be marching with my classmates in conjunction with a group called Straights for Gay Rights. (All sexual orientations were welcome to march with this group.)
If you’ve never been to a pride parade, you really should try to check it out at least once if you have the chance. There is such an outpouring of love and support from the folks marching, as well as the people observing. Also, it’s just a very fun atmosphere!
Let’s talk History!
Many people know of the Stonewall riot. On June 28th, 1969 police raided the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in New York City. They had been targeting gay owned bars, but this was a kind of last straw. A riot broke out which led to demonstrations over the next few days. Most people think of this historical shift as the beginning of the Gay Rights Movement. Fewer people know of a development which happened four years earlier on the opposite side of the country.
On New Years of 1965 there was a gathering in San Francisco. A dance was put together by straight ministers and people in the LGBT community. I urge my readers to learn more about the history of the Last Dance Raid. It was an event that changed the landscape of the civil rights movement. If you’re feeling especially generous before July 23, 2013 consider donating to fund Lewd and Lascivious, a documentary about this milestone in LGBT and American history.
Back to Pride
I have now marched in two San Francisco Pride parades. Most recently on June 30, 2013 just days after the repeal of DOMA and Prop 8. The scene was amazing. So many people. Such an outpouring of love from the crowd. Where else can you gather thousands of people and they are all chill, peaceful, and having a fun time? Pride season is nearly over, but if you’ve never gone, try to check one out in your area or plan to attend one next summer.