Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Grand 40th Pride Weekend in San Francisco

Mikes on Bikes getting ready to ride in the Parade.

The build-up to the annual San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade on June 27 was a series of events that included film screenings, parties, marches, a concert, stage shows, a brunch and a breakfast.

"Deep Red," an Israeli short screened at the Castro Theatre on June 24, was about a thieving pair of hustlers who were almost likable, and they were so handsome and earthy that it was distracting. It was matched with "Gently," a joyous outburst of celluloid that had what a lot of film viewers value highly — unpredictability. Writer/director Rikki Beadle-Blair achieved the almost impossible goal of an original coming-out script.

Writer/director Rikki Beadle-Blair at the Castro Theatre.

For the party types, June 24 at the Clift Hotel was heaven on earth. The Pride Committee’s media party was on the mezzanine, and PR consultant Mark Rhoades’ Pride extravaganza was nearby in the famous Redwood Room.

Cheer SF members Ryan Allen, Nguyen Win Pham, and Anthony Alston with their Grand Marshal trophy.

The Parade grand marshals received their trophies at the Pride Committee party. Recipients included:
Philanthropist James Hormel — Lifetime Achievement Grand Marshal
Lieut. Zoe Dunning (DADT-repeal activist) — Celebrity Grand Marshal
Pam Peniston (Queer Cultural Center) — Heritage of Pride Award
Kim Corsaro (SF Bay Times) — Heritage of Pride Award
and Cheer SF — Organizational Community Grand Marshal.

Ruth Herring and her partner Pam Peniston with Peniston's state proclamation and Grand Marshal trophy.

The party at some level alleviated the concern over the cancellation of the rainbow flag-raising reception at City Hall that was blamed on lack of assertiveness and resourcefulness. The annual event is the first opportunity to promote Pride events in the daily papers and on TV.

Lifetime Achievement Grand Marshal James Hormel, his partner Michael Nguyen, host Mark Rhoades, and Seth Kilbourn at Rhoades' Pride party.

Hormel made his way to Rhoades’ party with his partner Michael Nguyen, who is a new member of the library commission. Wilkes Bashford held court in one corner, and non-profit executive directors and political candidates worked the crush of swells heavily.

Kenya Fister and Landa Lakes at the Brush Arbor Gurlz show.

The Trans March in Dolores Park preceded the Pride Concert at nearby Mission High School on June 25. The concert had some ultra eye-catching numbers, and the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco’s stage histrionics and revealing outfits surprised and thrilled the audience. The LGBT Native Americans presented one of their most outrageous drag shows yet with their Brush Arbor Gurlz on stage at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, before a throng of Indians and friends.

Donna Sachet and Gary Virginia again made it clear why they are among our community’s most accomplished hosts and fundraisers with their 12th Annual Pride Brunch held at the Hotel Whitcomb on June 26. A happy sold-out crowd table-hopped, cruised, and provided much needed help to the beneficiary, the Positive Resource Center.

Dancers at the Pride Celebration's International Stage on Saturday.

The Pride Celebration on Saturday at the Civic Center was a chance to see and meet the booth organizations and the goods and service providers without the crush on Sunday of one million people coming and going. Magic moments like the sight of sleek lst Gear underwear models and a chance to meet and photograph them were certainly crowd-pleasers.

Jeff and Justin promoting sexy lst Gear men's underwear at the Pride Celebration on Saturday.

The Dyke March, some of the most fun was at the end of the procession.

The Dyke March appeared to be way over 5,000 women in a partly political and partly social procession of assertive female dominance on the streets of the Mission. While mostly lesbians, many straight women were able to be free of the men in their lives for an evening The Dykes on Bikes and Sistah Boom enhanced the march.

Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence manning the gates at Pink Saturday.

Pink Saturday in the Castro, which was hosted by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to benefit their 26 charities, drew a large crowd and a large number of them engaged the theme and wore pink clothing. The evening was marred by a tragic murder that was the result evidently of people bringing outside conflicts to the Castro.

San Francisco Assessor Phil Ting, openly-gay Treasurer Jose Cisnersos, openly-gay Supervisor David Campos, Supervisors Shawn Elsbernd, Sophie Maxwell, Carmen Chu, and David Chiu at the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club Breakfast.

Pride Day on Sunday was kicked off by the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club breakfast at Yank Sing Restaurant. Gourmet Philz Coffee and dim sum were a terrific treat at 8:00 AM and the massed elected and appointed officials enjoyed meeting and greeting each other and their constituents.

State Senator Mark Leno's sister Jamie Zimron gives a salute as the Dykes on Bikes lead off the Pride Parade.

The Pride Parade was the biggest ever, and this journalist has been to every Pride celebration since the lesbian and gay love-in in Golden Gate Park in 1970, so each late June event can be compared.

The Backstreet Boys headlining at the Pride Celebration Main Stage.

Few stage entertainers have worked up a Pride audience to the level that the Backstreet Boys did this year. Their performance, along with the Pride VIP Party at City Hall, and Assemblyman Tom Ammiano’s and State Senator Mark Leno’s parties for supporters were high points of the day.

Colorful guests at the VIP Pride Party at City Hall.

Unfortunately a large squad of police were needed to quell a riot near the Main Library at the end of the celebration. There is an annual teen riot at the California State Fair, and hopefully this kind of physical vandalism will not become a tradition on Pride Day.

The Pride Committee deserves a lot of credit for all of their time and effort for the last couple months to make the events a success.

The view of the Pride Celebration in the Civic Center Plaza from Tom Ammiano's office.

More photos can be seen at

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