This week Gay Pride events will take place throughout the city, culminating in the city's annual Gay Pride Parade. And with that, OccuPride will attempt to rattle the way both participants and attendees view the annual march along Market Street. They will also try to draw attention to how the queer community gets treated by corporations and politicians during the annual June-time ode to same-sex love. An OccuPride parade bloc will take part in the Gay Pride Parade festivities, among other things. We've also been told to expect "other surprises" on Sunday as well.
Scott Rossi, an OccuPride organizer, street medic and member of OccupySF, talked to SFist to explain what we should expect come Sunday. He also gave us his own reasons for why he's taking part in this budding Pride-related movement.
First up, Rossi tells us a little bit about OccuPride:
OccuPride is a grassroots, radical queer response to the commercialization of the LGBTQI community. It is not an attack on Pride itself, nor the Parade, as both are an important symbol of the progress we have made. Speaking for myself, I've wanted to do something like this for years because we shouldn't be celebrating that companies are lining up to sell us stuff and pinkwashing everything under the guise of how much they love us and such. They don't love us or they'd be spending their lobbying dollars on making sure we have access to life saving medicine, food, houses to live in and a planet that's not dying.
Rossi goes on to talk about two major contributors to this year's Pride festivities, Willie Brown and Wells Fargo Bank:
At the same time, we shouldn't be deifying companies and politicians that actively work against SF Pride's theme of GLOBAL EQUALITY. Don't forget Willie Brown, the Lifetime Grand Marshall is famous for saying 'anyone who doesn't make $50,000 a year doesn't have a right to live in SF. And even more shocking, many of the companies that are featured sponsors, like Wells Fargo, actively work and lobby against Global Equality at home, abroad and within the LGBTQI community. How many of our people have been displaced due to the economic collapse? How many of our people have been denied lifesaving health insurance because of preexisting conditions? This is why I started Occupying last fall, this is why I helped organize and outreach for OccuPride.
He goes on to talk about how the LGBT community here can affect those stuck in less-desirable places in which to be gay. Also, a shout-out to one Miss RuPaul and her gaggle of queens:
We're fighting for those that can't fight for themselves, and fighting for those that will come later. These companies and their poisonous, odious Politician lackeys aren't going to go away and they're only going to get worse. No amount of RuPaul's Drag Race or recreational drug use and casual sex are going to make them go away or help any of our queer and trans youth stuck out in Jesusland. Our bubbles need to pop and we need to remember our radical roots. We are the vanguard of many of modern history's greatest revolutions and we can lead the planet into a more just and equitable era, but first we have to break down the borders we put up in our own community.
Check out Rossi's site here.