Every year, we try to bring you an overview of all the LGBT goings-on about town during this most festive of weeks on the gay (and lesbian and trans and bi and queer and questioning) calendar—and this year is no different.
Whether you’re a longtime resident or an LGBT tourist arriving here with the throngs, prepare to feel lucky and oh-so-very proud. Here are our picks for the best events this week, no matter what you’re in the mood for—and if you're doing pride sober—we've made a separate guide for you here:
TUESDAY, JUNE 24
You need a quiet night to prepare for the week ahead
This program of documentary shorts showing at Frameline (the largest and oldest annual LGBT film festival in the country) profiles five of San Francisco's biggest and most talented personalities in the queer community: drag impresario Heklina, gay porn director and videographer mr. Pam, artist Jason Mecier, former Cockette Bambi Lake (who "takes us on a stroll down pre-AIDS 1970s Polk Street, where Lake once worked as a street hustler and later as a performer in the burgeoning San Francisco 80s punk scene" in Silas Howard's Sticks & Stones), and queer punk drag legend Phatima Rude.
Victoria Theater, 2961 16th Street, 9:30 p.m., $12
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25
You're feeling hungry
The SF Bay Guardian's Annual Pullin' Pork for Pride LGBTQ Fundraiser
S.F.'s progressive alt-weekly throws their annual fundraiser featuring piles of pulled pork sandwiches from Soul Groove, a $15 beer bust with brews from New Belgium Brewing, and music from Hard French DJs Brown Amy and Carnita. Admission is free, but if you toss in money for the beer bust a portion of proceeds go to the Transgender Law Center.
Pilsner Inn, 225 Church Street, 6 to 9 p.m.
You're an entrepreneur
StartOut SF Pride Happy Hour
Stop crushing on that lame brogrammer and hang out with likeminded LGBT entrepreneurs at a Pride Happy Hour sponsored by StartOut, a national nonprofit that supports LGBT business leaders. Whether you have romance or networking on your mind, bring plenty of business cards!
Local Edition, 691 Market Street, 6 to 8 p.m.
You love show tunes
Dazzle - San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus' Pride Concert
If the name doesn’t say it all, Dazzle aims to do just that with numbers from Avenue Q, Dreamgirls, Fiddler on the Roof, Kinky Boots, Oklahoma!, Rent, South Pacific, Sunday in the Park with George, West Side Story and more. Singer Laura Benanti—who won a Tony Award in 2008 for her role as Louise in Gypsy, opposite Patti LuPone—will be joined by 250 members of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus in what promoters promise to be “a lavish spectacle." Through June 27.
Nourse Theatre, 275 Hayes Street, 8 p.m., $20-60
THURSDAY, JUNE 26
You want to party with some piranhas
Pride NightLife at the Academy of Sciences
As in previous years, the Thursday adult party at the Academy of Sciences turns gay during Pride week, and will feature a performance on the outdoor stage by Heklina and friends; music in the center atrium by Hard French DJs Carnita and Brown Amy, with DJs Rapid Fire and Juanita More in spinning in the aquarium. Plus: booze, food, a fashion show, and "a wallscape of sea lion skulls." Where else are you going to have all that under one roof? Get tickets here before they sell out.
Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, 6 to 10 p.m., $12
You need a new girl crush
Candy Crush: Pride 2014
San Francisco’s favorite (read: one of the few) lesbian bar is hosting the four-day bash Candy Crush: Pride 2014, which includes Trans March and Dyke March after parties, Romi Klinger from The Real L Word, and plenty of drink specials.
The Lexington Club, 3464 19th Street, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.
FRIDAY, JUNE 27
You know being cisgender is so 2013
Long before Laverne Cox graced the cover of TIME magazine, the San Francisco Trans March established itself as one of the largest trans events in the world. It kicks off with a youth and elder brunch, followed by performances and speakers, and culminates with the entire group marching through Dolores Park. El Rio will host the after party.
Dolores Park; El Rio, 3158 Mission Street, Noon to 2 a.m.
You want to dance to great deep house in a smaller venue
This is primarily going to be a gay male and party-lesbian event but all are welcome at this down and dirty, mustache-themed party at Monarch, now in its 7th year. Music will be by DJs David Harness, Kevin Graves, Manny Ward, Gehno Aviance, Riley Patrick, and Juan Garcia, and as always the fun is split between two levels in this cozy SoMa club, with that rad basement dancefloor and its heart-thrumming base. Advance tickets here.
Monarch, 101 6th Street, 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., $25+
You want to go bigger, as in, a bigger dance party
Pound Puppy Presents House Trained
This party at SoMa nightclub Beatbox will feature tunes by DJs Jackie Clark, Chipmint, and Aaron Clark, and music will veer toward disco/house with some occasional remixes, with a hip and slightly bearish crowd. Pre-sale tickets are still available here.
Beatbox, 314 11th Street, 9 p.m., $15-$20
SATURDAY, JUNE 28
You’re a riot grrrl
Dyke March is a rally, a motorcycle ride, but most important, a state of mind. This female-led gathering, which historically takes place in the currently under-construction Dolores Park, will congregate nearby on Dolores Street between 18th & 19th. Guided by the theme "Dykepocalyplse: Our Feminist Awakening," the rest of the program remains similar to years' past, starting with a rally, then march, and ending at the Castro’s Pink Saturday party.
Dolores Street between 18th & 19th; Market and 16th Street, 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
You want to party with the Sisters
They call it “the largest nighttime street party in San Francisco” and they might be right. Saturday night, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence close the Castro to cars, and erect multiple sound stages pumping with music. Get ready to dance with a stranger! But don’t party too hard: while everyone wants you to have a great time, you’re in S.F., not Vegas, Open containers or consumption of booze is still illegal.
Market and 17th Streets between Castro and Noe; Castro between Market and 19th; 18th Street between Noe and Collingwood, 5:30 to 10:15 p.m., $10 donation
You want to get off the street in the Castro and dance
Pop Porn Party at Beaux
DJ and porn director Chi Chi Larue is back in town to spin at this pop-music driven party, with porn stars dancing on box for your viewing and groping pleasure. Sister Roma will be there too, and it'll be plenty messy. Because it's the Castro. On Pink Saturday.
2344 Market Street between Castro and Noe, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., $10
You want to party at the Armory, and don't care about the prison-theme controversy
Prison of Love at the Kink.com Armory
It's the first major gay party at the sex-positive Kink complex, and because the organizers (which includes European-based circuit party producers WE) decided to go with a venue-appropriate prison theme, some earnest folks on the more PC end of the LGBT rainbow decided this was reason to protest. Anyway, it'll probably be a massive, shirtless good time, with a big, elaborate club setup in the Armory's drill court, and more prison-fetishy fun. As this is a circuit party, though, it doesn't come cheap.
1800 Mission Street at 14th, 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., $85
SUNDAY, JUNE 29
You love a good parade
The Big Parade Formerly Known as the Gay Freedom Day March
Especially if you're new to town, or from out of town, you can't miss what's inarguably the largest gay pride parade and outdoor celebration in the country, with hundreds of thousands of people lining Market Street to watch, hours of floats, and everything culminating in the big festival grounds at Civic Center. It will be massive. If you are sensitive to big crowds, you might not like it. But it will be an epically big, LGBTQQI good time. Headliners this year include The She's, Taryn Manning, XELLE, Jesika von Rabbit, and SFist faves Hi Fashion. The parade begins, way down at Market and Beale, at 10:30 a.m., meaning you'll see the Dykes on Bikes rolling in at the front of the parade at Market and 7th around 10:45 or 11 a.m., and the parading won't wrap up fully until around 1:30 p.m. Prime viewing can likely be found down at the foot of the parade or in the mid-Market vicinity (6th Street!), and from anyone's upper floor office along the corridor. But you likely don't want to have to walk too far when it's all over. The Civic Center celebration goes until 6:30 p.m. See more details here.
Civic Center and Market Street up to 7th, 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., $5 donation
You want to party with lots of locals and drag queens
Juanita More's 10th Annual Pride Party
We've talked it up many times in years past, and now it's the tenth one. Oh how times flies. S.F.'s own drag mother hen, Juanita More, brings her fashion-conscious crowd of admirers and friends together for this annual blowout, often called one of the best parties of the year, which this year will be benefiting the AIDS Housing Alliance. It's mostly outdoors, and you'll want to bring a wrap for the post-5 p.m. hours. Cash-only tickets might still be available at Sui Generis (2231 Market Street) and Hooker's Sweet Treats (442 Hyde), but there will definitely be more tickets at the door if you get there early.
Jones, 620 Jones Street, Noon to 10 p.m., $30
You want to dance to vintage souls with lots of hip queers and their friends
Hard French Hearts Los Homos
It's the fourth year for this alterna-queer blowout, which is happening this year at Mezzanine. We just told you about it the other day, but suffice it to say: excellent retro soul music, a young and hip scene, tons o' fun, and this year it's all a tribute to six queer icons: Jackie Shane, Pedro Almodovar, Grace Jones, Freddy Mercury, Mexican singer Juan Gabriel, and burlesque dancer Josephine Baker. Tickets here.
Mezzanine, 444 Jessie Street, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., $20
Whitney Phaneuf and Eve Batey contributed to this story.