There will be no marches (like the 2019 parade above) this year, but San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee has announced that it is proceeding with the 51st celebration of Pride and is planning some limited, in-person events to celebrate this June. The theme this year is “All in This Together.”
Because the organization’s mission is to connect the LGBTQ+ communities of the San Francisco Bay Area, Fred Lopez, the Pride committee executive director said in a statement to the press, “We’ve worked tirelessly with our partners at City Hall, the Department of Public Health, and elsewhere to ensure a number of incredible, safe experiences. SF Pride this year will be all about locals, from queer-owned small businesses to fellow nonprofits that have displayed true leadership over this past year. It’s truly a Pride for the people.”
“Pride is one of my favorite times of year, and I am so excited that we’ll have the opportunity to come together and safely celebrate our LGBTQ community this June,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed stated in a statement to the press. “While this year’s celebrations won’t look the same as they have in the past, SF Pride has done a great job creating events that will enable us to share our pride in our great City and stand united with our LGBTQ+ community.”
According to the Bay Area Reporter, the three in-person events scheduled demonstrate the local-focus of this year’s Pride. The first, honoring Black LGBTQ+ people is currently planned for Friday, June 18, the eve of Juneteenth, the holiday celebrating the end of slavery in Texas (which was the last state to act on the federal declaration) at the African American Art & Culture Complex.
“The struggles for racial justice and LGBTQ+ equality are one and the same,” Carolyn Wysinger, the president of the San Francisco Pride Board of Directors, stated. “Last year, we brought Black Lives Matter back to the forefront of the Pride movement with a Marsha P. Johnson Rally. This year, we’re working to center Black LGBTQ voices and culture even more strongly. I know how badly our communities want to be together after more than a year apart.”
Melonie Green and Melorra Green, twin sisters who are the co-executive directors of the African American Art & Culture Complex, said in the press release that the arts and cultural organization “is proud to partner with San Francisco Pride, as we create space to celebrate and honor the collective freedom of our Black LGBTQIA sisters, brothers, and sibs. We are committed to activating and strengthening our relationship by being a safe space for our collective LGBTQ+ voices through visibility and community building. Last year in June, we proudly hosted the Marsha P. Johnson Black Trans Lives Matter Rally in our open-air gallery. It was a beautiful and much-needed beginning! It is our desire that our community embrace all our individual and collective displays of freedom!”
The second event is a series of queer film screenings at Oracle Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants major league baseball team in the city’s South Beach neighborhood June 11-12, in cooperation with Frameline, producers of San Francisco’s legendary LGBTQ+ film festival.
“This socially distanced and ticketed event, subject to state-mandated capacity limits, grows out of SF Pride’s long-standing relationship with the nation’s longest-running LGBTQ+ film festival,” the press release noted.
James Woolley, the executive director of Frameline, said that this would be “the largest film screenings in our 45-year history. We cannot wait to wow the audience by showing some great films on a jumbotron screen. Films are best enjoyed with an audience, and we are thrilled to be presenting a communal, but safe, event for the local community to enjoy.”
The third event is a Pride Expo, billed as “a modified version of the annual celebration in Civic Center.” But, “Instead of featuring entertainment on community-programmed stages and venues, the expo will have the look and feel of a resource fair,” the press release explains. “Queer-run businesses and organizations have borne the brunt of the pandemic, and it is vital for an institution such as SF Pride to establish a safe forum for LGBTQ+ vendors, merchants, and nonprofits to reconnect with the community.”
More details will be released in the coming weeks. The press statement stressed that all events will follow public health guidelines in San Francisco, where vaccination rates continue to climb.