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    SF Pride 2021: Public-Chosen Community Grand Marshals Named, Events Planned for June

    Winners of the Public Choice for San Francisco Pride 2021’s Community Grand Marshals were announced on April 15. They are the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center and Melonie Green and Melorra Green, the Executive Directors of the San Francisco-based African American Art & Culture Complex. Melonie and Melorra, who are twins, shared via social media, “We have big work to do and it starts with us accepting who we are regardless of what we’re told.”

    The San Francisco Bay Times congratulates both Melonie and Melorra, and the entire Oakland LGBTQ Community Center team, on winning the honors. We also congratulate all of the nominees: Krewe de Kinque and The SF Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund (organizational) and the individual nominees: Akira Jackson, Angelique Mahan, Clair Farley, Morey Riordan, René Rivera, Nicole Santamaria, and George Smith III.

    SF Pride’s membership and Board of Directors will select several additional Community Grand Marshals and honorees later this month. Look for the full slate of winners next month in the San Francisco Bay Times.

    All in This Together

    #SFPride51 will take place throughout the month of June 2021. After a full year of physical distancing and other restrictions, the Bay Area’s LGBTQ+ communities will once again be able to gather in limited, in-person events while strictly adhering to current safety protocols.

    The theme for this year is “All in This Together.” While SF Pride is unable to include a Celebration in Civic Center or a Parade down Market Street, the organization has expanded its programming from the last weekend of June to encompass the whole of Pride month.

    “Our mission of connecting the LGBTQ+ communities of San Francisco and the Bay Area remains unchanged,” Fred Lopez, Executive Director of San Francisco Pride, said. “Knowing how deeply people miss being together, we’ve worked tirelessly with our partners at City Hall and elsewhere to ensure a number of incredible, safe experiences. SF Pride this year will be all about locals, from queer-owned small businesses to fellow nonprofits that have displayed true leadership over this past year. It’s truly a Pride for the people.”

    “Pride is one of my favorite times of year, and I am so excited that we’ll have the opportunity to come together and safely celebrate our LGBTQ community this June,” said Mayor London Breed. “While this year’s celebrations won’t look the same as they have in the past, SF Pride has done a great job creating events that will enable us to share our pride in our great city and stand united with our LGBTQ+ community. The events planned for this celebration of more than 50 years of Pride in San Francisco give me hope for the future of our city. Despite the challenges that remain ahead, we will keep finding creative ways to keep our San Francisco spirit alive and move forward safely, together.”

    2021’s festivities will consist of three major events: a Pride Expo, Pride Movie Night at Oracle Park, and a Black Liberation event surrounding Juneteenth.

    Pride Expo

    To support the city’s LGBTQ+ communities, SF Pride is working on producing a Pride Expo, a modified version of the annual Celebration in Civic Center. Instead of featuring entertainment on community-programmed stages and venues, the Expo will have the look and feel of a resource fair. SF Pride plans to establish a safe forum for LGBTQ+ vendors, merchants, and nonprofits to reconnect with the community, engaging with potential volunteers, customers, and clients.

    Pride Movie Night at Oracle Park

    SF Pride is very excited to collaborate on a film screening at Oracle Park with Frameline and the San Francisco Giants (Friday and Saturday, June 11–12). This socially distanced and ticketed event, subject to state-mandated capacity limits, grows out of SF Pride’s longstanding relationship with the nation’s longest-running LGBTQ+ film festival.

    “Frameline is very excited to be partnering with San Francisco Pride and the San Francisco Giants to host the largest film screenings in our 45-year history,” said James Woolley, Executive Director of Frameline. “We cannot wait to wow the audience by showing some great films on a jumbotron screen. Films are best enjoyed with an audience, and we are thrilled to be presenting a communal, but safe, event for the local community to enjoy.”

    This June, San Francisco Pride and The Giant Race will also be teaming up for the 2021RUN Virtual Fitness Series, creating a month-long themed virtual run/walk challenge. Those who register will receive an exclusive challenge pin and race bib.

    Black Liberation Event with AAACC

    Pride will build upon its successful 2020 Marsha P. Johnson Rally with a similar event at the African American Art & Culture Complex. Tentatively scheduled for the evening of Friday, June 18—the eve of Juneteenth—this event will celebrate the intersection of Black history and LGBTQ+ culture, uplifting a marginalized community in the heart of the Western Addition.

    “The struggles for racial justice and LGBTQ+ equality are one and the same,” said SF Pride Board President Carolyn Wysinger. “Last year, we brought Black Lives Matter back to the forefront of the Pride movement with a Marsha P. Johnson Rally, and this year, we are working even harder to center Black LGBTQ voices and culture even more strongly. I know how badly our communities want to be together after more than a year apart.”

    “The African American Art & Culture Complex is proud to partner with San Francisco Pride, as we create space to celebrate and honor the collective freedom of our Black LGBTQIA sisters, brothers and sibs,” said the Green sisters. “We are committed to activating and strengthening our relationship by being a safe space for our collective LGBTQ+ voices through visibility and community building. Last year in June, we proudly hosted the Marsha P. Johnson Black Trans Lives Matter Rally in our open-air gallery. It was a beautiful and much-needed beginning! It is our desire that our community embrace all our individual and collective displays of freedom! Join us as we celebrate the freedom to identify and love who we love, how we love.”

    Bay Area-Focused

    #SFPride51 will essentially be a celebration of, by, and for the people of the Bay Area, according to the organization. The CDC does not yet recommend leisure travel, and SF Pride respectfully asks visitors from outside the region to reconsider their attendance. It is SF Pride’s hope that by keeping the focus local in 2021, San Francisco may welcome everyone back in 2022 and beyond.

    “San Francisco Pride is back! After a year of terrible loss, I am delighted that our local queer community will be able to safely celebrate San Francisco Pride 2021 this June,” said Supervisor Rafael Mandelman. “We are not all the way back to normal, and this Pride season will reflect that reality, but we are moving forward, coming out in all the best ways. Interconnected, resilient, and ready to create a queer post-pandemic Renaissance, we are indeed ‘All in this Together.’”

    Published on April 22, 2021