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7 things you should know about San Francisco Pride 2018

7 things you should know about San Francisco Pride 2018

Floats at Pride Parade with the clock tower in the background

San Francisco Pride Parade will take place this Sunday 24 June, kicking off at 10:30am from Embarcadero Station. Walking groups and floats will then parade through Market Street, finishing off in Civic Centre.

One of the largest and most famous LGBTI celebrations in the US, San Francisco Pride Parade is held every year since 1972. Here are a few things to know before Pride 2018.

This year’s theme is Generations of Strength

More than 280 contingents and 100,000 spectators are expected to take part in this 47th edition, whose theme is Generations of Strength.

Marchers will be ready to wave the rainbow flag in the very place where it was invented. The late LGBTI activist Gilbert Baker created the flag, which originally had eight stripes, in 1978 specifically for Pride.

Transparent writer Our Lady J is one of the Grand Marshals

Transgender rights advocate and Pose and Transparent screenwriter Our Lady J will be one of this year’s Grand Marshals.

She will be joined by voguing legends Jose Xtravaganza and Luis Camacho, recruited by Madonna for her 1990 Vogue video and Blonde Ambition Tour.

Kehlani will perform on the main stage

A still from You Should Be Here video by Kehlani
Californian singer Kehlani will perform on the main stage | Photo: You Should Be Here video YouTube

A diverse set of acts will perform on the main stage, located at the steps of City Hall in Civic Center Plaza, for a two-day festival of music, speeches, and entertainment.

RuPaul’s Honey Mahogany, voted San Francisco Best Drag by SF Weekly, and Sister Roma will host the concert on 24 June.

Singer Kehlani, who identifies as queer, will be the headliner. The Californian artist headlined LA Pride earlier this month when ticket-holders were denied entry due to overcapacity.

Various talents will join her on stage, such as Korean-American electro artist Yaeji.

Planned Parenthood will give a speech

Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Cynthia Gomez will give a speech on the importance of healthcare for people of all genders and sexual orientations.

Dr. Karyn Skultety of Openhouse, an organization providing accommodations and services to LGBTI seniors will also take the stage.

There will be more than 15 community stages

San Francisco Pride Parade in 2010 | Photo: Nader Khouri via San Francisco Travel Association

Alongside the main stage, there will be other community stages to entertain the most diverse crowd, such as:

  • Cheer San Francisco Stage, raising money for those living with HIV and other life-threatening conditions (23-24 June)
  • Deaf & hard-of-hearing Gathering Space (23-24 June)
  • Faerie Freedom Village (23-24 June)
  • Seniors Tell All, a space for LGBTI seniors and youth to talk (23 June)
  • Queer Youth Space (23/24 June)
  • Homo Hip Hop Stage (24 June)
  • Indie Oasis Stage (24 June)
  • Leather Alley (24 June)
  • Women’s Stage (24 June)

Find the complete list here.

Asexual contingents will be in the parade

Asexuality SF will be among the contingents parading on 24 June.

San Francisco Pride was the first march to include an asexual entry in 2009. Asexual contingents have taken part in other parades ever since.

In memory of Soni Wolf

This year’s Pride will commemorate Soni Wolf, the legendary founder of Dykes on Bikes. Wolf, who fought to trademark the group using the term ‘dyke’, considered derogatory, died of natural causes earlier this year at the age of 69.

Notably, her lesbian motorcycling group is among the historical contingents in the parade and led the march in 1976.

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