Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Walking Tour of the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade 2010

You meant to show up, but you were watching Argentina beat Mexico in the World Cup knock-out round. Or perhaps your kids took too long to get their stuff together and get in the car. Or you hate crowds and figured you would rather watch it on television tonight. So you didn't go to San Francisco's annual gay pride parade.

Well, here's a short video of what it was like:



And here's a guided tour of the people who walked through at least part of the umpteen-hours long parade.

A view of the crowd on Market Street between Fourth and Third streets.  Lotta people.
Gay marriage remains a hot topic. People also had signs tweaking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about fulfilling promises to end legal discrimination against gay and lesbian employees.
The Backstreet Boys were grand marshalls of the parade, but there are so many of the boy banders that they had to put them in two different convertibles:
The gay pride parade is always a place where young men seem to forget to wear their shirts and long pants. Perhaps because the colors clash with their angel/flower/flamingo costume. Who knows? Who's complaining, anyway?
I'm not sure what group he was marching with, but he took long pauses to allow people to take pictures of him in his underwear.
Perhaps this young man supports a vigorous U.S. space program, you thought? Then you read the other side of his sign, and you realized he was interested in exploring something completely different. And you just said, "Oh."
Really, I don't know.
The local art school pimped out its young students.
This float above, believe it or not, was put together by a local college. What it has to do with college, I don't know, unless it's a classics-only institution. Still.
One of the warmest receptions of any gay pride parade is always reserved for PFLAG, the Parents, Friends, Family of Lesbians and Gays.

I have marched in exactly two gay pride parades. In Chicago in 1997 or 1998, I marched with PFLAG, and it was a very emotional experience (partly because Chicago's parade goes through narrower streets with residential buildings along both sides, so the crowd is both thicker and higher). The second time, I marched with a now-defunct San Francisco group seeking equal immigration rights for gays and lesbians. The sucessor to that group is still around, and still marching (above).
(Above:) I don't know. I really don't know.
Gold's Gym often has the best-organized float and marchers. Certainly, matching their reason for existing, Gold's has some of the nicest-looking marchers.
They just kept coming. I couldn't do anything. I had to keep photographing ...
What's this? More people without shirts? How could this happen???

All in all, if you missed the parade, you'll live. I might not be a big fan of parades in general, but I take some small pleasure in knowing that some people in the crazy Right will be upset by this parade.
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