The annual Pride Celebration commemorates the rebellion of LGBT patrons of the Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village in response to a routine police raid on June 27, 1969. The following year, a “Gay-In” that took place on June 27, 1970 that was the early progenitor of the current Pride Celebration. Since 1972, the event has been held every year, though under various names: “Christopher Street West” in 1972, “Gay Freedom Day” from 1973 to 1980, then “International Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day Parade” from 1981 to 1994, and finally, its present appellation, San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Celebration.

Since its modest beginnings, San Francisco Pride has grown to be one the largest and most well-known Pride events in the world. Pride has come to symbolize several things: the long history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer dignity, the freedom of all people to meaningfully and proudly express their sexual and gender identities, and the commitment of LGBT people to combating oppression. From this history of rebellion grew the mission of San Francisco LGBT Pride: to educate the World, celebrate our culture, commemorate our heritage, and liberate our people.

That’s what the official website states.

Notice the sign above the head of the gentleman with the backwards cap.  Yes, I'm juvenile.

Notice the sign above the head of the gentleman with the backwards cap. Yes, I’m juvenile.

However, when we attend, it’s more of a street fair with lots of semi-naked people.  And we’re okay with that. 

And, basically, there is little to do here but people-watch, and we’re okay with that, too. 😎 

So that's why they call them "bears"!

So that’s why they call them “bears”!

You know how you’ll see two teenage girls wearing the same clothes and same hair style?  Well, old guys do it, too.

The hat makes the look.

The hat makes the look.

These folks are handing out armbands gaily decorated with the Smirnoff logo.  Now that’s a cause I can support.  Plus, guys in tight boy-shorts are yummy.  She’s hot, too.  If I had to pick one, well, I wouldn’t…that’s the beauty of being bi.  😃

Catching some rays on Pride day.

Catching some rays on Pride day.

San Francisco has 400 days of rain annually — not really, but sometimes it feels that way.  So when the sun does come out, you gotta take advantage it.

Haha.  He's painting the meat red.

Haha. He’s painting the meat red.

This is an example of reading and understanding signs.  It is “Hawaii B.B.Q.”, which is obviously a company name. It is nothing like a Hawaiian barbecue; not even close.  Still, it smells pretty good.

What does a girl have to do to get a body cavity search here?

What does a girl have to do to get a body cavity search here?

The proud Pride participants are protected by police.  Also, OMG yummy!

He knows right where to stand.

He knows right where to stand.

This fellow has dressed up as something.  I’m not exactly sure what, but I love his studded ears and have always had a thing for guys in black lipstick.  One of his collars reads, “VPI PET Insurance”, so at least he’s protected in case of injury or accidental death.

A toast to the lady in pink.

A toast to the lady in pink.

Yes, it is unnaturally sunny today, so it’s important to wear a hat.  And stay hydrated.  And be pretty.  And smile coyly.  And taunt me with a come-hither look.

Three redheads, no waiting.

Three redheads, no waiting.

People are here to be seen and they will happily pose for the handsome photographer.  Note the tutu on the middle model.

Here a tutu, there a tutu...

Here a tutu, there a tutu…

Tutus are a common garb (skirt?) here are the Pride event.  Perhaps they are channeling their inner ballerina?

 

Pretty in pink.

Pretty in pink.

It’s too bad this isn’t everyday fashion, amirite?  Like, why do we have to wait for a special event to dress so cute?

And speaking of cute...

And speaking of cute…

I think these fellows did not go wig-shopping before this event.  I think they have a closet full of boxes containing wigs, and they picked out their “Pride” wigs.  And who is this “Tina” that the blue-haired fellow wishes to dump?

It's a passion for the with-it and hip.

It’s a passion for the with-it and hip.

When you have lovely breasts adorned with a pretty blue bow, you absolutely must color-coordinate your outfit.  Also, yum.

I think she likes it.

I think she likes it.

I need a costume change to keep my cool, and suddenly the lady in red takes a special interest in me.  Well, I’m okay with that.   😀 

My, she is the affectionate one.

My, she is the affectionate one.

She is getting a bit, well, frisky with me right in the middle of Pride, but it’s Pride, and no one cares.  Besides, it feels nice.

Oh, my!

Oh, my!

She continues to lavish me with affection. 😀 😀 😀 

The photographer gets a full-body hug.

The photographer gets a full-body hug.

My husband, who appreciates both redheads and laundry day, poses with the fetching young lady.  However, I think she better enjoys posing with me.  Yup, much better.

So, let’s keep posing, shall we?

A fine example of San Francisco's finest.

A fine example of San Francisco’s finest.

If you’ll look closely at the officer’s badge, it reads, “J. Kuhlmann”, which sounds like a rapper’s name.  I ask if he will cuff me and make me sit in the back of his car, and he just smiles and shakes his head, “No”.

A girl sandwich.

A girl sandwich.

I ask these girls to pose with me, and suddenly I’m the filling in their girl-on-girl sandwich.  Then I notice the special shape of the lollypop.

Yes, that's exactly what it's for.

Yes, that’s exactly what it’s for.

I ask if she’ll fellate it for me…and then I can’t get her to stop!  My husband takes a moment to re-adjust his kilt to protect his modesty.  😳 

Let's be fabulous, shall we?

Let’s be fabulous, shall we?

Somehow, “Pride” and “showgirls” go together, and I can’t complain.  There is just something wonderful about showgirls, you know?  Like, if we all got up in the morning and put on our showgirl outfits, the whole world would be fabulous.

She has a heart-on.

She has a heart-on.

Knee-high stockings, a red tutu, gloves, and bra, a pink corset and pink hair, sunglasses that flip up, kissable lips, and a handful of ice: the perfect girl.

Pride's weirdness at its weirdest.

Pride’s weirdness at its weirdest.

Normally I would have cropped this photograph, but there is a poetry to it that I appreciate.

Hmmm, it's still weird.

Hmmm, it’s still weird.

Yes, my hand is right there.  😀 

Your clothes are the mirror to your soul.

Your clothes are the mirror to your soul.

This gentleman is a bit difficult to hug, but he’s blindingly beautiful in the Pride Day sun.

A celebration of Pride.

A celebration of Pride.

The most fun thing about a Pride festival is that, if you take this pretty girl home, you really don’t know what you are going to find under that red petticoat.  I wish I had time to solve this particular mystery…

Mmmmm, cake.

Mmmmm, cake.

Another mystery!  “Let them eat cake,” erroneously attributed to Queen Marie Antoinette, references a callousness to the plight of the lower classes.  We don’t know why this particular queen is advocating such a position, but perhaps she works for a bakery.

The end is near.

The end is near.

All good great things must come to an end, and so I must end my time at Pride.  Until next time, I leave you with the theme of the 2006 Pride event:  Commemorate, Educate, Liberate—Celebrate!

My First Pride

Now, this was not my first rodeo, as the saying goes… the first Pride event I went to was back in 2002. My “girlfriend”* and I decided to drive to San Francisco to see our favorite musician, Marc Almond (remember him from Soft Cell? “Tainted Love”, “Sex Dwarf”, “Say Hello Wave Goodbye”…) Well, Marc has had an amazing solo career after those one-hit-wonders, and we adored his torch-singer and soul touching melodies…

*We never called each other “girlfriends”, but it’s the best way to describe our complicated relationship… times were different back then, and being “out” was not as easy as it is today.

Leather and lace, that's me!

Leather and lace, that’s me!

We were so happy to see Marc Almond LIVE and in-person! The concert was at a small club, we nearly got lost finding it, and were pretty much the only women in the place. 

 

Testosterone was high, and shirtless guys with gay-abs were all around us. It was intoxicating! And the guys let us get to the front of the stage because even gay guys are chivalrous.

The next day, we didn’t have any plans. We decided to just walk around San Francisco to see what there was to see. The streets by our hotel were empty. “Where is everybody??” We meandered and noticed small groups of people walking in the same direction. We followed along and lo-and-behold, we stumbled in to San Francisco Pride! One of the largest Pride events in the world, and we didn’t even know it was happening this weekend!

And as luck would have it, Marc Almond was on the lineup to sing at Pride!

 

We got two shows for the price of one! We got to see Marc’s second performance and stayed for Dead or Alive… “You Spin Me Round” was a totally psychedelic experience.

I still can't believe we just *stumbled* into SF Pride!

I still can’t believe we just *stumbled* into SF Pride!

Experiencing Pride at a time when I was struggling with my own sexual orientation had a profound effect on me. I was in love, and afraid to express it. Yet, seeing people freely embracing each other openly, lovingly, and unabashedly, left a permanent imprint on me. Things did not work out between me and my “girlfriend”, but I am forever grateful for the gifts she gave me.

Happy Pride Month!  💚💛💜🖤💙♡ 🧡🤎🤍❤️

awa Travels Tip: Be yourself, and the people who are meant to love you will love you for you.