Global Equality Celebrated at SF Pride
Hundreds of thousands of people filled the streets around San Francisco’s Civic Center last weekend for the city’s 42nd annual LGBT Pride Parade and celebration.
For at least one parade spectator Sunday, June 24, it seemed hard not to sound like a peacenik.
Marbie Descatamiento, 24, who lives in Seattle, was wearing an outfit that included a rainbow skirt and boa for her first San Francisco Pride. She said the atmosphere was "very welcoming and fun."
This year’s Pride theme was "Global Equality." Descatamiento talked about discrimination around the globe and said, "This world would be a better place" if people would "come together."
"I know that sounded hippy, but I kind of have that attitude," Descatamiento, who’s lesbian, said.
Deepak Tiwari, 33, of Sunnyvale, who was at the festival with his wife, Supriya Sharma, 28, described the event as "awesome."
"There are so many negative things going on in the world, but here, everybody seems happy," he said. He noted the diversity of the crowds, which seemed to include all ages, races, and orientations.
Brendan Behan, executive director of the San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee, said in a Tuesday, June 26 interview, "I think people felt really energized. We’ve heard a lot of great feedback about people’s experiences." He said people have been "raving" about main stage headliners Karmin, among other highlights.
Figures on how much money came in from this year’s two days of Pride events haven’t been finalized, Behan said.
People with the OccuPride contingent spoke out against corporate involvement in the festivities and were among those taking part in the parade.
Near Sutter, Sansome, and Market streets, not far from the beginning of the parade, some held signs such as one that read "Community not commodity." Several protesters briefly sat down in the street, prompting remarks including, "Get the fuck out of here!" from some spectators.
Among the parade’s nearly 200 contingents were Mayor Ed Lee, marching with the Golden State Warriors, and District Attorney George Gasc-n. Community organizations ranged from Glide Memorial United Methodist Church to the San Rafael-based Youth Pride Coalition. Affirmation, a group of gay Mormons and their allies, also participated for the first time.
Saturday night, June 23, thousands of people gathered in the streets of the Castro neighborhood to celebrate the annual Pink Saturday party, which is organized by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
Sister Selma Soul said organizers have been getting "lots of great feedback" on the street party. This year, 10 food trucks replaced the festival’s main stage. Soul said those vendors "were popular all night," and they seemed to help people maintain "at least some moderation in their celebration," even if not "total sobriety." (People weren’t supposed to drink alcohol inside the event.)
Final financial figures aren’t available, Soul said, but the Sisters have made a cash deposit from the gates this year of $82,075. That’s down slightly from about $85,262 in 2011.
Soul said at least $26,000 would go to beneficiaries of the event, which is the minimum commitment that was made to them. Volunteers worked at the party to help raise money for several nonprofits.
Some incidents reported
This year’s Pride and Pink Saturday events appeared to be free of major violence, but the San Francisco Police Department has reported some incidents that occurred over the weekend.
Officer Albie Esparza, an SFPD spokesman, said that at 9:20 p.m. Saturday in the 400 block of Castro Street, as the neighborhood was filled with Pink Saturday revelers, a 29-year-old woman was talking on her phone as she walked down the middle of the street.
A 16-year-old girl grabbed the woman’s phone and ran toward the sidewalk. The victim confronted the girl and asked for her phone back, but the suspect handed the phone off to someone else. That person tried to run but the victim struggled with her over the phone. The first suspect, who’s from Daly City, started punching the victim in the head.
The victim identified the girl to police, who cited her for robbery with force and released her to her parents because she’s a juvenile. Esparza said the victim, who’s from southern California, suffered non-life threatening injuries and is "fine."
The second suspect, an Asian woman, 5 feet 5 inches, weighing 120 pounds, with curly hair and of unknown age, couldn’t be located.
At about 10:40 p.m. Saturday night, also in the 400 block of Castro, two suspects - a 20-to-21-year-old man and a 12-to-13-year-old boy - approached a woman, 19, on a dance floor and took her phone from her hand, according to police. The suspects began walking away, and the victim followed. The first suspect showed the victim a gun in his waistband and the victim fled, police said in a summary of the incident.
Affirmation, a group of gay Mormons and their allies, marched for the first time in the San Francisco Pride Parade. (Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland)
It’s not clear whether the robbery occurred in a club or in the street. The only bar in that block known for dancing is QBar, and co-owner Tim Eicher indicated in a brief interview that it didn’t happen there.
Another incident occurred just after 5 p.m. Sunday at McAllister and Hyde streets. The victims reported that they were walking south on Hyde when someone from another group of people elbowed somebody in the victims’ group, Esparza said. He said it isn’t known whether the elbowing was intentional but "words were exchanged" and "a fight broke out between the two groups."
A group from Community United Against Violence was one of the contingents in the ninth annual Trans March Friday, June 22. (Photo: Rick Gerharter)
The suspect pulled out a box cutter from his Gucci bag and stabbed both victims, who are 27. One man suffered slash wounds to his scalp. The other man was slashed and stabbed in the back, Esparza said.
The suspect was described as black, 19 to 23 years old, 5 feet 10 inches, and 140 pounds, with black hair. He had on a brown Gucci shoulder bag; a white, short-sleeve buttoned shirt, blue jeans, and a bow tie. He fled the scene and blended into the crowd, Esparza said.
He said the victims, who are from the South Bay, were treated at San Francisco General Hospital and released.
Anyone with information in the incidents may contact the SFPD anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444, or text a tip to 847411 and type SFPD, then the message.