The San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Celebration and Parade has announced the slate of nominees for public vote for the event’s 2017 Community Grand Marshals. Annually, the general public votes for both an individual and an organization to be honored at the parade and celebration, which is held on the last weekend in June. Voting is live and will continue until Noon on Tuesday, March 7.
The nominees for Community Grand Marshal in 2017 represent an impressive group of individuals and organizations that have, through their work, art, and advocacy, contributed to the strength, beauty, and complex fabric of the LGBTQ communities in the Bay Area.
The 2017 San Francisco Pride Celebration & Parade is scheduled for the weekend of June 24th and 25th—in the heart of citywide events commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love. The theme for this year’s Pride event is A Celebration of Diversity.
“Our theme of inclusion, and the significant anniversary of the Summer of Love, could not come at more critical time,” according to George Ridgely, Executive Director of the San Francisco Pride Committee. “As our communities face an uncertain future at the hands of the new Presidential administration, it is more important than ever to reaffirm our core values of inclusion, diversity, and equality, and resist intolerance in any form. San Francisco has always been a beacon of these values.”
For years, the San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade has attracted more than one million attendees and participants, making it one of the largest gatherings of LGBTQ people and their allies in the entire world. San Francisco Pride is part of a larger network of global Pride events that play a crucial role in illuminating LGBTQ visibility, building community, and giving voice during times of both struggle and celebration.
The San Francisco Pride Parade/March will take place in downtown San Francisco on Sunday, June 25, along Market Street. The Celebration, a rally and festival at Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco, will take place on Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25. The Celebration features keynote speakers addressing pressing issues facing LGBTQ communities; along with performance, live entertainment, and more than twenty community-produced stages and venues. There is no mandatory admission fee for the Celebration; however, organizers are requesting a $1 donation from everyone who attends.
Organizers also anticipate record participation in this year’s event and encourage groups and organizations to register early. Registration is available at register.sfpride.org
Updates and complete event information can be found at sfpride.org
How to Cast Your Ballot for Community Grand Marshal
There are two ways that you can cast your ballot for Community Grand Marshal before the deadline on March 7 at Noon:
Dr. Marcy Adelman, a San Francisco Bay Times columnist, is a widely respected psychotherapist and pioneer in the field of lesbian and gay aging. In 1998, many couldn’t afford rising rents or were evicted and senior housing and service providers didn’t know how to welcome LGBT elders and assure their safety. With few housing options, LGBT elders had to go back into the closet to access housing and services or were forced to leave the city. Marcy and her late partner, Jeannette Gurevitch, founded Openhouse to address the housing and service needs of LGBT elders. For over three decades, Marcy has worked to make visible the lives, contributions, and concerns of LGBT elders, and is a leading advocate for quality LGBT affirming elder care and policies.
Judy Appel is tickled “pink” to be nominated for grand marshal, and not just because her gender queer 15-year-old thinks it’s pretty cool. For thirty years she has worked as an activist, attorney, advocate, and parent, and spent 11 years leading California’s LGBTQ family movement, as the Executive Director of Our Family Coalition, bringing visibility and voice to LGBTQ families with children. Prior to OFC, she worked in drug policy reform, homeless advocacy, and environmental activism. She is currently the Executive Director of the California School Based Health Alliance, helping improve the health and academic success of children and youth by advancing health services in schools. In 2016, she was reelected to sit on the Berkeley School Board, the first open lesbian to do so.
Blackberri is a song-stylist, song-maker, poet, writer, photographer, health educator, and community advocate—in other words, an Artivist. He has performed music and appeared in several films directed by Marlon Riggs including Tongues Untied, Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (No Regret)], Anthem, Affirmations, and Black is Black Ain’t; Isaac Julian’s Looking for Langston; and Nancy and Peter Adair’s Word is Out. Blackberri’s first album, Blackberri and Friends: Finally (1981) featured the classic song, Eat the Rich. He also recorded the soundtrack for the Haight-Ashbury Radio Collective’s History of San Francisco, Knowing at the Gateway of Gold, which aired on KPFA, a Berkeley-based Pacifica Network Radio affiliate.
Chris Carnes is a Bay Area LGBTQ activist, fundraiser, event producer, and philanthropist. For over four decades, Chris has had an active role in leading and supporting LGBTQ causes, from her work on the Board of the Cable Car Awards, to her role as a pivotal Board member of Equality California, securing the first major corporate sponsor AT&T ensuring EQCA’s future. For 10 years Chris fought for equal marriage rights culminating with the joyous Supreme Court decision on 2015 Pride weekend. Chris was an early board member of the SF LGBT Center, where she was instrumental in turning the dream into a reality. With her legendary fundraising expertise, Chris leveraged her growing contacts and donor base launching Carnes Productions and ChrisCarnesList harnessing the power of social media.
Billy Curtis is a committed community activist and advocate. In 1999, Billy was hired as UC Berkeley’s first full time director for LGBT Resources and is currently the director of the University’s Gender Equity Resource Center. During his tenure, Billy has evolved campus resources for LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff, and mentored a host of LGBTQ leaders. In 2010, the GLBT Historical Society honored Billy as one of the 25 people, “who made our history, who in effect created the community we live in today.” Among his accomplishments at Berkeley are the implementations of the annual Lavender Graduation; advocating for Trans inclusive health benefits, facilities, athletic policies; and creating a more trans inclusive workplace at Cal.
Sean Dorsey is a transgender dancer, activist and community organizer and the Artistic Director of Sean Dorsey Dance. As the nation’s first acclaimed transgender contemporary dance choreographer, Dorsey has created new space for trans bodies and stories in dance. Dorsey’s new show The Missing Generation gives voice to longtime transgender and LGBTQ survivors of the early AIDS epidemic; Dorsey created the work by traveling the U.S. to record oral history interviews with survivors. These survivors’ real-life voices are featured in the show, now touring to 20 cities. As the founder and Artistic Director of Fresh Meat Productions, Dorsey invests in other trans and queer artists as powerful agents of change. Fresh Meat has supported 500 LGBTQ artists since 2002.
Jewelle Gomez is the author of eight books including the Black, lesbian vampire novel, The Gilda Stories, winner of two Lambda Literary Awards. Called “Poetic” and “significant and powerful” by Publishers Weekly, it’s been in print continuously since 1991. The 25th anniversary special edition was published by San Francisco’s esteemed City Lights Books. Her play about an imagined moment of indecision in the life of gay author/activist James Baldwin, Waiting for Giovanni, premiered at San Francisco’s New Conservatory Theatre Center in 2011 and was called “a bold season opener” by the SF Chronicle. She was staff on one of the first weekly Black television shows in the country, Say Brother (WGBH), and on the founding board of GLAAD.
Amy Sueyoshi is an educator, activist, and leading scholar in queer Asian American history. Her work addresses Orientalism, cross-dressing, and interracial desire. She is the author of Queer Compulsions, the first monograph on queer Japanese American history that details the sexuality of artist Isamu Noguchi’s father. Her essay on queer Asian Pacific Islander history also appears in the landmark National Parks Foundation LGBTQ Theme Study. Amy implemented the Asian Pacific Islander Queer Women and Transgender Community scholarship; initiated the Queer Ethnic Studies Initiative at SFSU where she is Associate Dean; and seeded the Dragon Fruit Project, API Equality’s queer intergenerational oral history project. Amy is also the founding co-curator of the GLBT History Museum.
Tom Temprano is an LGBT activist, small business owner, and elected official. In November 2016, Tom was elected to the City College Board of Trustees as part of a “lavender sweep,” making him one of four out LGBTQ candidates winning the four available seats. He served as President of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club in 2013 and 2014, San Francisco’s largest LGBTQ political organization. Tom is an advocate for LGBTQ nightlife, working as a DJ and community leader, to ensure that queer spaces thrive in SF. He is co-founder of Hard French, a successful queer dance party that has raised over $60,000 for organizations and causes. In 2013 he opened Virgil’s Sea Room, a neighborhood bar that serves the growing and diverse queer Mission neighborhood.
Alex U. Inn (Carmen Alex Morrison), a Bay-Area resident for more than 35 years, is an advocate for justice and equality, fighting for their rights and the rights of others, speaking truth to power. One of few to be named to sainthood by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and winner of 32 gold medals at Gay Games/Gay Olympics, Alex also has been a critical force for many important LGBTQI institutions, such as the SF LGBT Center, MyNameIs Coalition, SF Pride’s NECTAR/Women’s Stage, UNLEASH! Dance Party for Women, and Committee for Queer Justice. Alex also founded Momma’s Boyz, a troupe of Hip Hop artivist drag kings and KINGDOM! Drag King House that fundraises for our community. Alex has been happily married to Ellen Morrison for 9 years.
El/La Para TransLatinas
The mission and vision of El/La Para TransLatinas is “to work to build a world where translatinas (transgender Latinas) feel they deserve to protect, love, and develop themselves. We support each other in protecting ourselves against violence, abuse, and illness. El/La works to build collective vision, action, and power to promote our survival and improve our quality of life in the SF Bay Area and beyond. Because we exist in a world that fears and hates transgender people, women, and immigrants, we fight for justice. We are working within a culturally competent holistic model on behalf of translatinas in the fight for human rights, dignity, and freedom to live without personal and institutional discrimination and violence. El/La has been serving transgender Latinas since 2006.
HealthRIGHT 360 gives hope, builds health, and changes lives for people in need. “We provide compassionate, integrated care that includes primary medical, mental health, substance use disorder treatment, and re-entry services. Celebrating 50 years of providing nonjudgmental healthcare, 2017 marks the founding of Haight Ashbury Free Clinics (HAFC) in 1967. HealthRIGHT 360 was created when Walden House and HAFC joined together, and we have continued to grow into a family of programs serving people throughout California. While we have always provided care to the LGBTQ community, our services were enhanced in 2014 when Lyon-Martin Health Services, a primary care clinic serving queer women and transgender people, joined. We provide services, regardless of one’s ability to pay.”
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, legislation, policy, and public education. Founded in 1977, NCLR is celebrating 40 years of service to LGBTQ communities across the country. In this unprecedented political moment in which everything we have fought for coming under threat, NCLR is unwavering in our commitment to those who are most vulnerable. We will be fearless in our efforts to call forth an America in which we can all live together in justice, equality, and respect. In June 2015, NCLR won one of the biggest LGBTQ legal victories in history—the SCOTUS decision affirming marriage equality nationwide.
Our Family Coalition (OFC)
Our Family Coalition (OFC) advances equity for LGBTQ parents/caregivers, and prospective parents through direct support, parent and community education, and statewide advocacy. They seek to create an inclusive and just world where all LGBTQ families have visibility and opportunities to thrive as valued participants in our schools, institutions, and communities. OFC brings the voices of LGBT caregivers and their children to the broader LGBTQ & family justice movements. They cultivate community-based leadership among LGBTQ families and strong partnerships with allies in California, to make our nation a more inclusive place for all families.
San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (SFGMC)
For nearly 40 years, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (SFGMC) has served as an international standard bearer for a powerful mix of extraordinary musical excellence and mission-driven activism. Founded in 1978, it was the first choral organization to courageously proclaim its orientation in its name and is credited with helping to start the LGBT choral movement that now spans the entire globe, galvanizing and changing the course of LGBT history. It continues to inspire other arts-based community organizations through its performances and involvement in human rights, community activism, empowerment and inclusiveness, establishing it as an icon among LGBT organizations.
About the San Francisco Pride Celebration Committee
The San Francisco Pride Celebration Committee is a 501(c)3 non-proﬁt organization founded to produce the SF Pride Celebration and Parade. The mission of the organization is to educate the world on LGBTQ issues, as well as to commemorate the heritage, celebrate the culture, and liberate the people of all LGBTQ communities. A world leader in the Pride movement, SF Pride is also a grant-giving organization through its Community Partners Program. Since 1997, SF Pride has granted over $2.5 million dollars in proceeds to local nonproﬁt LGBTQIA organizations and organizations working on issues related to HIV/AIDS, cancer, homelessness, housing rights, and animal welfare.