The San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade: one of the few places on earth where a dizzying array of organizations and proclivities come together to celebrate a shared appreciation of diversity - Comcast, Levi-Strauss, Bank of America, the leather contingent, Wells Fargo Bank, pole dancers from the (worker-owned!) Lusty Lady strip club, Kaiser Permanente, Virgin Records, the police, firefighters, grandmothers, (lots and lots of) bare-chested hawt guys, Google, and just about every race, color and sexual orientation.
(Looking down the parade route on Market - Ferry Building in the background; PFLAG in foreground.)
Around 9:30a.m., the press gathered on an elevated MUNI platform in the center of Market Street. One, who shall remain unnamed, fired up a joint in full view of San Francisco’s finest. Why? Because it’s San Francisco, that’s why.
Celebrants roped off areas along the sidewalk for picnics. Here Steve Stapleton of Sacramento erected a tent and reception area. On hand was a real minister ready to marry anyone who could produce a marriage license.
The mood was especially jubilant, mostly because of the recent California Supreme Court decision giving gays and lesbians the right to marry. The parade’s emphasis was naturally on partnership, family, children, marriage and equality. BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) dressed up a little train in a wedding veil and played strains of "Love Train." Police and firefighters marched with their long-time partners. (Police and firefighters always march but the joy was palpable.) Partners pushed their children in strollers.
Cyndi Lauper was the grand celebrity marshall (or whatever), but the crowds seemed more enthused about the marching brand band playing "Chapel of Love."
(Cyndi - who didn’t really seem all that happy…)
SFPD and her partner:
Parents and children:
San Francisco Zen Center monks led a flatbed of meditating followers. My own neighborhood synagogue, Rodef Shalom, represented. The beloved Reverend Cecil Williams of Glide Memorial accompanied a truckload of congregants, some carrying signs saying "Glide Loves You."
There was lots of Obama-love, of course.
Then, for a change of pace, the "Mama Mia" float rolled by and the press jokingly referred to this one as the "money shot."
Here’s the marching band playing "Chapel of Love."