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    Sister Dana’s Guide to Pride

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    The San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade and Celebration is one of the largest gatherings of LGBT people and allies in the nation. The Parade kicks off on Sunday, June 30, 10:30 am at Embarcadero and ends at the Civic Center. The theme for 2019 is “Generations of Resistance.” Join us as we demonstrate and celebrate with over 250 parade contingents!  

    But there is much more than the Parade on Pride Weekend. On June 29 and June 30, the Main Stage of the San Francisco Pride Celebration and Rally sits at the steps of City Hall in Civic Center Plaza. We can delight in two exciting days of programming featuring local, national and international touring acts, community organizations and engaging thought leaders. The Celebration and Rally is a free community event funded by the donors, but the Parade asks for a donation at the gate.

    The Main Stage Lineup on June 29 includes hosts Persia And Yves Saint Croissant with filmmaker Leo Herrera. In order of lineup, starting at noon and ending at 5 pm is La Frida, The Fell Swoop, Bay Area Musicals: Hairspray cast members, drag queen Patty McGroin, cheerleading squad Cheer San Francisco, speaker Allison Anderman from Giffords Law Center, Candelaria, speakers from Larkin Street Youth Services, Samiere, Ivy Barrett Fox Bryan: HeadCount, In the Groove Studios, drag entertainer VivvyAnne ForeverMORE and Stud Bar, Siobhan Aluvalot and Leikeli47.

    On June 30, the Main Stage has hosts Sister Roma of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and Honey Mahogany, a star from RuPaul’s Drag Race. There will be a special ceremony from BAAITS (Bay Area American Indian Two Spirits). Filmmaker Leo Herrera makes a return appearance as well.

    Starting at 11 am and ending at 5:20 pm will be Duserock; Taína Asili; Jay Rice from Coalition on Homelessness; the glorious sounds of Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir; Sophia Andary of Women’s March San Francisco; Shannon Hovis, Director, NARAL Pro-Choice California; Openhouse Executive Director Karyn Skultety and Openhouse GenOUT; the Parade and Celebration Board of Directors; and a very quick presentation of the Parade Community Grand Marshals.

    At approximately 12:50 pm, there will be a rousing speech from openly gay Senator Scott Wiener; stirring words from Mayor London Breed; Spencer Tolliver of the Boys & Girls Club San Francisco; a presentation by some of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence celebrating their 40th anniversary; Kristin Beck of Transgender in the Military (which I am sure will involve how anti-trans Trump shows himself as an enemy); Candi Stratton Miss Trans USA 2019 and International Cher Impersonator; Starz’s Vida cast; more acrobatics from the amazing queer cheerleaders, Cheer San Francisco; words of encouragement from proudly openly gay Supervisor Rafael Mandelman; Book of Love; again Ivy Barrett Fox Bryan of HeadCount; queer rock band Pansy Division; Families Belong Together (not children in cages), Al Otro Lado, Immigrant Defenders Law Center; TENz presents Ballroom: Innovation Triumphs Inequality; 5Big Dipper; Marke Bieschke regarding LGBTQIA Youth; Brazil’s most famous drag queen and performer Pabllo Vittar; and international entertainer and TV personality Amara La Negra.

    While enjoying all of the entertainment, please be sure to notice the fabulous Pink Triangle atop Twin Peaks! This is the 24th year that volunteers have placed a whole lot of pink panels into a puzzle that becomes a huge, pink sign of Pride.

    And Now for Sister Dana’s Little History Lesson

    Every year I read an editorial asking for the “freaks and drag queens” to please step aside and not ruin it for LGBTQ rights. And I need to remind those naysayers that it was drag queens and transgenders, way back at the end of June 1969 in New York City, hanging out at their local gay bar, the Stonewall Inn, who decided that they would no longer put up with daily police harassment and arrests, which were part of “normal” homosexual life for these people. At that time, it was illegal to be gay, so there was no openly gay pride, no openly gay politics, and most certainly no gay parade.

    On that particular night, the Stonewall patrons initiated local action that was to eventually lead to national gay liberation. They fought back. For several days and nights, the Stonewall Rebellion raged on, and the so-called sissies beat the men-in-blue in a rather violent uprising (and I don’t mean with purses). So you see, it was a very abnormal group of “freaky people wearing funny clothes” back then who made it possible for us today to cocktail and cruise undisturbed in the queer bar of our choice. And walk down Market Street holding hands. And for that matter, those “nelly fellas” paved the way for every one of our civil rights marches. So, when you see a drag queen or “freaky person,” give ’em the thumbs-up and thank ’em for the legacy that continues. Flame ON, freaky people!!!