|Note: If you are in a wheelchair, you will have to get there very early to get close to the street.|
The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Pride ParadeThe Parade starts every year on the last Sunday in June. The parade starts at 10:30 a.m. down by the Embarcadero then travels along Market Street to the Civic Center. The parade will last over four hours so plan on spending the day. It is one of the largest events to take place in San Francisco and everyone is invited. The celebration is meant to bring the community closer together and everyone is there. People come from all around the world to see or participate in this Gala Event.
(Everyone means everyone including you)
Below there are some photos from past years, but the same theme carries on year after year.
The largest entry in the parade comes first and it's the Dykes on Bikes. You may not believe it but they come from all across the United States to ride in this parade. The roar of their engines helps to liven up the crowd.
These people could be your neighbors or fellow workers and you'd never know they were gay or lesbian. They just keep on rolling by, there are dyke's on large choppers and on motor bikes, there must be over a thousand of them. After that comes the dykes on bicycles. After they all pass by there is a small break in the parade and a chance for you to get something to drink. The weather for the parade is usually very hot and you need plenty of sun screen or you will be burnt up by the end of the day.
I am not saying that these police officers are lesbians, but there are many men and women in San Francisco that are gay and they are police and fire fighters. The percentage of gay people in San Francisco is greater than most city's in the United States.
You might wonder who are all these people? They are doctors, lawyers, nurses and every profession you can think of. You may see them every day and not know they are gay. Some of the people in the parade are friends of gays, mothers and fathers of gays, and even the Mayor is in the parade.
Look at the photo above and the one below, there are men in both photos. The men above are dressed in drag or like women. Everyone is not the same they all have their own preference. The lesbians are the same way and some are more masculine than others.
The float above is sponsored by one of the leather bars here in the city. There are many more floats and it gives you the appearance of a Mardigras Parade.
These guys dress as nuns and I belive they have their own church here in San Francisco. The reason you see all the colors of a rainbow is because it is a symbol of gay pride and you can see it everywhere on parade day.
This is my only warning: You need to come early or you will be stuck in the rear of a large crowd and wont be able to see much of the parade. It is also a good idea to bring a fold up stool to sit on. I usually take a small three step ladder to sit on and I can stand on it to get above the crowd.
Anyone or should I say anything can participate in the celebration even dogs. You can see many people with their pets because they didn't want to leave them at home all day alone.
After the end of the parade passes by everyone joins in and heads for the Civic Center for the party there. A good place to view the parade is at the beginning down by the Embarcadero. Then after you see the end of the parade catch the subway to the Civic Center to beat the large crowd walking there.
This is the Civic Center where the celebration continues after the parade is over. From this flag all the way to City Hall is where you will find lots of entertainment until the evening hours.
It is a large party with food and entertainment and things you can buy. All along the parade route you can buy beer, it is cheaper to buy a small cooler and buy beer at a corner store off the parade route. (Don't get caught drinking beer over a block away from from the parade, it is illegal). In the back ground you see San Francisco City Hall and in front of it there is a large stage. I hope you enjoy it if you are ever here for the parade.
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Photographed and created by David T. Smith