San Francisco Pride is San Francisco Proud

IMG_4148See San Francisco Pride behind the scenes photos below

This year I served on the board of directors for San Francisco Pride.  I learned so much from the leadership, staff and contractors, as well as all the grand marshals and honorees and want to thank everyone who helped make the Pride weekend and run-up month the great success that it was.   This post is written in my personal capacity and not in any representative capacity.

IMG_5345San Francisco Pride was indeed San Francisco proud.   There was something for everyone: A parade of over 240 contingents with tens of thousands of marchers, 20 different stages, a main stage, vendor booths, and a political and social platform to express so many causes and issue – and at least a million participants.

Whether you were there on Parade Day or not – your voice is heard – before, during and after – and so San Francisco Pride IS your PRIDE platform.

So many people joined in this month, this week and this weekend to express, listen, feel and experience – a mix of emotions – bitter sweet in the wake of Orlando – love, grief, celebration and most especially PRIDE:

  • Pride for what we as an activist community have accomplished.
  • Pride for our unity of purpose, as we fight to win our LGBTQI quest for FULL EQUALITY.
  • Pride for how we work toward a society free of homophobia and transphobia, which promotes the violence against us.
  • Pride as we acknowledge our incremental achievements, such as marriage equality, while addressing the backlash we now experience.
  • Pride while trying to find the most robust and workable way to promote, honor and live within all our intersecting community avenues, leaving no issue that impacts us behind.
  • Pride for our hard working community activists and organizers who bring it all home.

Through our almost year long journey to Pride weekend, we were able to successfully convey and implement the theme: “For Racial and Economic Justice”.IMG_5473

San Francisco Pride’s theme was effectively embraced by Black Lives Matter, the organization that won and accepted the community’s vote for organizational grand marshal, and in effect such was the case even when it decided 48 hours before Pride Parade Day, to retain the honor of Grand Marshal, but to pull out of attending the parade and celebration itself, noting in a statement:

Alicia Garza, Black Lives Matter at San Francisco Pride and Commonwealth Club forum | Photo M. Nathan
Alicia Garza, Black Lives Matter at San Francisco Pride and Commonwealth Club forum | Photo M. Nathan

Organizational Grand Marshal Black Lives Matter withdrew their participation, citing the SFPD’s recent track record of racist scandal and killings of people of color, and noting that while first responders can be an incredible resource in crisis, they are too often the cause of harm in queer communities of color.

The Black Lives Matter network is grateful to the people of San Francisco for choosing us, we choose you too,” said Malkia Cyril, a member of Black Lives Matter. As queer people of color, we are disproportionately targeted by both vigilante and police violence. We know first hand that increasing the police presence at Pride does not increase safety for all people. ….IMG_4939

In the aftermath of the Orlando shooting that took the lives of dozens of queer people of color, many people in our community are afraid. For us, celebrating Pride this year meant choosing between the threat of homophobic and transphobic vigilante violence and the threat of police violence. We had a tough decision to make, and ultimately we chose to keep our people safe by not participating in any event that would leave our communities vulnerable to either.

And so San Francisco Pride provided the platform for this crucial statement.

Board members, Cheryl Dunye, Melanie  Nathan,  Justin Taylor,  Joey Cupcake with Sister Roma
Board members, Cheryl Dunye, Melanie Nathan, Justin Taylor, Joey Cupcake with Sister Roma

Whichever way you want to look at it, your perspective is heard, honored and valued –  some believed defying anti LGBT terror in Orlando meant attending in full force and others believed that the resulting increase in the presence of law enforcement was even more dangerous to black lives than the possible risk to safety caused by potential anti-LGBT terror.

Below is a mix of pictures – some from behind the scenes and the month preceding the Pride weekend. I encourage you to go on Pride website and the FB page of #SFPRIDE to see more – SF PRIDE and FACEBOOK.

IMG_5155Personal Highlights for me:
Working with leadership and board to help make this happen;
Meeting Alicia Garza for the first time – and what I learned from her;
Meeting the GM’s and honorees and watching them have an opportunity to be seen and heard in broader circles – and the awareness they were able to create for their extraordinary work;
Being able to participate in the award process and for me to see Sally Miller Gearhart receive a long overdue overdue honor; and
Standing on Main Stage watching the Pride attendees have an absolute blast – I had so much fun.
Thanks to all!

– Aluta Continua.

Melanie Nathan
Twitter: @Melanienathan1
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/LGBTIadvocate/

#SFPRIDE #WeAREORLANDO #SanFranciscoPRIDE #BLM

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Michelle Meow, SF Pride Board President

 

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SF PRIDE ED George Ridgley and Main Stage Boss, Jenn Stokes – an awesome job!

 

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Gary Virginia VP Of Sf Pride Board with years of Pride leadership experience

 

Michele Meow SF Pride Board president on Main Stage introducing Board of Directors. Photo: Melanie Nathan
Michele Meow SF Pride Board president on Main Stage introducing Board of Directors. Photo: Melanie Nathan

 

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Melanie Nathan, San Francisco Pride Board of Directors
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Donna Sachet and Gary Virginia at SF Pride Positive Resource Center Brunch Fundraiser
On Board of directors - John Weber at retreat
On SF PRIDE Board of directors – John Weber at retreat with Kent Anderson, Deputy ED and Gary Virginia in background

 

Preparing for Pride this year with Kent Anderson, Pride deputy ED, and partner meant remembrance tattoo for Orlando
Preparing for Pride this year with Kent Anderson, Pride deputy ED, and partner meant remembrance tattoo for Orlando

 

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#SF PRIDE PRESS PARTY – Director of MOAD speaking, and GMS and Honorees: and Janetta Johnson, ED of Transgender Variant and Intersex Justice project, Chef Melissa King,, Randy Harrison, Larry Yang and LA from Transcendent.

 

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#SF PRIDE PRESS PARTY – Director of MOAD speaking, and GMS and Honorees: and Janetta Johnson, Chef Melissa King,, Randy Harrison, Larry Yang , Transcendent, Mia Satya, Malkia Cyril, of Black Lives Matter Mike Shriver, |Photo Melanie Nathan

 

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#SF PRIDE PRESS PARTY – St James Infirmary, Fresh White – in fore ground and George Ridgley and Michele Meow.

 

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One of the many #SFPRIDE Stages preparing Saturday Afternoon festival

 

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Joanie Juster and Deana Dawn, honorees at SF PRIDE

 

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Celebrity Grand Marshal Melissa King, and Melanie Nathan, Pride Board
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Honorees Mercedes Munro and Mike Shriver at SF PRIDE Breakfast Brunch Fund Raiser for PRC.

 

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Joey Cupcake , on SF Pride Board of Directors | Photo: Melanie Nathan at Brunch

 

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PRC Fundraise Brunch set up #SF PRIDE’s Board VP, Gary Virginia and Donna Sachet organizers.

 

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For #SFPRIDE Honoree Sally Miller Gearhart.

 

 

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ED George Ridgley at Pre Pride Forum

 

Board members Justin Taylor and Cheryl Dunye at Common wealth Club for sponsor event
Board members Justin Taylor and Cheryl Dunye (left and left)  at Common wealth Club for sponsor event. Honoree Joanie Juster on right.

 

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SF Pride #BLM InForum and Sponsor Party 2016 at Commonwealth Club

 

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SF Pride InForum Black Lives Matter #BLM 2016 at Commonwealth Club

 

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#SFPride InForum Black Lives Matter #BLM 2016 at Commonwealth Club | Photo Melanie Nathan

 

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#SFPRIDE Commonwealth Club #BLM InForum sponsor gathering for Grand Marshals and honorees – Seen here – Mia “Tu Mutch” Satya, Joanie Juster, Mike Shriver http://www.sfpride.org/grand-marshals/

 

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Forum – Alicia Garza #BLM Co-Founder, Aria SA ID, Darnell Moore, and Barbara Smith

 

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Hector Fonseca – world renowned DJ had the crowd crazy with dance and fun

 

#SFPRIDE and Commonwealth Club InfoForum with Alicia Garza #BLM Co-Founder, St James Infirmary's Aria SA ID, Darnell Moore, and Barbara Smith Photo: melanie Nathan
#SFPRIDE and Commonwealth Club InForum with Alicia Garza #BLM Co-Founder,  Aria SA ID, Darnell Moore, and Barbara Smith Photo: Melanie Nathan

 

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#SFPRIDE and Commonwealth Club InForum with Alicia Garza #BLM Co-Founder, Aria SA ID, Photo: melanie Nathan

 

Intro Main Stage Sf Pride Board 2016.
Intro Main Stage Sf Pride Board 2016.

 

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Intro Main Stage Sf Pride Board 2016 | Video and Silence for Orlando

 

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Introductions on Main Stage of SF Pride Board.

 

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Fund raising  – Celebrity Grand Marshals, Transcendent, Performing at ASIASF #SFPride Fund Raiser Photo: Melanie Nathan

 

Board retreat SF Pride
Planning – SF Pride Board Retreat lunch time in Marin: Meow, Taylor, Cupcake, Sanford, Ridgley,Weber.

 

Scott IDK Pride contractor
Planning – SF Pride Board Meeting with Event Contractor Scott from IDK Presentation

 

transecendent GM SF PRIDE 2016
SF PRIDE Celebrity Grand Marshals, Transcendent, at ASIASF Kickoff Fundraiser

 

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#SFPRIDE Orlando Memorial Contingent

 

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#SFPRIDE Orlando Memorial Contingent

 

Usually behind the scenes is parade manager Marsha Levine - the most challenging of jobs and pulled it off again.
Usually behind the scenes is parade manager Marsha Levine (red shirt)  – the most challenging of jobs and pulled it off again- seen enjoying main stage.

 

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Parade participants

 

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Bill Wilson, Photographer signing Orlando memorial Flag at Press Party

 

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Peaches and her fabulous Main Stage performers | Photo: Melanie Nathan

 

sp[onsors Pride
Attendees at SF Pride and Commonwealth #BLM Pre Pride Inforum SF Pride Sponsor Cocktail
SF PRIDE BOARD FLOAT
SF PRIDE BOARD FLOAT
Larry Crickenberger, Sf Pride Board Treasurer with Gary Virginia, SF Pride Board VP, catching a rare quiet moment backstage,
Larry Crickenberger, Sf Pride Board Treasurer with Gary Virginia, SF Pride Board VP, catching a rare quiet moment backstage,
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Sister Roma, with board members Cheryl Dunye, Melanie Nathan, Justin Taylor. Joey Cupcake- #SFPRIDE 2016 |Photo Mel Nathan.
Sponsor Manager , Lisa William chatting with Gary Virginia, VP on Board just before start of Parade
Sponsor Manager , Lisa William chatting with Gary Virginia, VP on Board just before start of Parade

 

Law enforcement has its LGBT personnel and allies participate in Parade
Law enforcement has its LGBT personnel and allies participate in Parade
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Sister Roma brings her incredible talent to MC Main stage on Saturday afternoon. |Photo Melanie Nathan

 

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Performers, guests and incredible Main Stage managers

 

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Hardworking Main Stage Crew

 

STATE SENATOR MARK LENO PRESENTS PROCLAMATION to Dykes on Bikes for 40 years of leading the SF Pride parade
STATE SENATOR MARK LENO PRESENTS PROCLAMATION to Dykes on Bikes for 40 years of leading the SF Pride parade

 

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Dykes on Bikes celebrated both in the Parade and on main stage with 40 years of leading the SF Pride

 

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Dykes on Bikes celebrated both in the Parade and on main stage with 40 years of leading the SF Pride

 

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A taste of the incredible costumes at festival celebration

 

 

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Main stage performers and Rainbow Flag flying behind stage from Mayor’s balcony at City Hall, San Francisco

 

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Smirnoff guys do not miss a year!

 

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Main Stage SF Pride 2016| Photo Melanie Nathan

 

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#SFPRIDE Main stage a huge hit with the crowd Photo: Melanie Nathan

 

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#SFPRIDE Main stage 2016 Photo: Melanie Nathan

 

Bishop Yvette Flunder and her team with Melanie Nathan, San Francisco Pride Board, Secretary.
Bishop Yvette Flunder and her team with Melanie Nathan, San Francisco Pride Board, Secretary.
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SF PRIDE BRUNCH

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Peaches and her performing Vaginas- raunchy and fun
Peaches and performing Vaginas- raunchy and fun | Photo Melanie Nathan

 

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#SFPRIDE Main stage 2016 Photo: Melanie Nathan

 

Cheer SF - SF Pride Main stage Performance | photo : Melanie Nathan
Cheer SF – SF Pride Main stage Performance | photo : Melanie Nathan

 

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Main Stage performers: Photo Melanie Nathan

 

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Main Stage Performers: Photo: Melanie Nathan

 

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#SFPRIDE Main stage 2016 Photo: Melanie Nathan

 

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MC Mahogany did a fabulous job on Sunday Main Stage

 

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Board Directors Joey Cupcake and Justin Taylor with that magnificent human Sister Roma

 

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City Hall VIP Party – the faces of the 49 massacred LGBTQIA people in Orlando surroounf balconies of City Hall #SFPRIDE 2016 Photo: Melanie Nathan

 

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Melanie And that iconic VIP Party City Hall SF Pride Flag Wowa

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