Of course you must know by now, at least via all the rainbow flags on Market Street or via your one gay friend, that it's LGBT Pride Week. As SFist has discussed in the past, Gay Freedom Day/Gay Pride was born basically simultaneously in New York City and San Francisco on the last weekend of June in 1970 to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York. San Francisco's version was, of course, more hippie, with a rag-tag group of 20 to 30 "hair faeries" and their friends marching around the Haight followed by a "gay-in" in Golden Gate Park. That small march grew into a larger parade and celebration down Polk Street, then the city's primary gay ghetto, in the early 70s, and would finally be given its current name, the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Celebration, in 1995, two decades after it had taken over Market Street and downtown.
This year's celebration might come with the added bonus of a decision from the Supreme Court on the question of a federal right to gay marriage it looks like it could come down Thursday or Friday, much the way they announced the DOMA and Prop 8 decisions during Pride Week in 2013. (And I'm actually going to take it personally if they hold it until Monday, given there are Pride celebrations in several major cities this weekend, but this is not likely a big concern for the justices.)
Anyway, suffice it to say, if you are lesbian, gay, trans, bi, queer, questioning, genderqueer, or anything else, you are going to have a chock-full social calendar all week long.
WEDNESDAY, June 24
Drag Me to Bingo!
Join the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence for this annual tradition, bringing their regular bingo event to a bigger, Pride Week audience. This year the event, which benefits the Sisters' general fund, is happening at Mezzanine, and will include cocktails and plenty of fun of prizes. Tickets here. Mezzanine, 444 Jessie Street. Doors at 6 p.m. $20 - $50
Follies at Oasis
Drag queen Holotta Tymes, who performed at the world famous drag club Finocchio's in North Beach before it closed, hosts this new night of classic, old-school, un-ironic female impersonation which launches tonight. Tickets here. Oasis, 298 11th Street. 6 p.m. $20.
Booty Call Wednesdays
Miss Juanita MORE! may be most closely associated with her big annual Pride bash which closes out the weekend on Sunday, but she presides over this seven-year-old weekly fete at Q bar with its ever rotating cast of DJs and go-go dancers, every Wednesday night. This would be one of the official "kickoffs" for the weekend, assuming you can handle kicking it off this early (and this party has a habit of getting going late, like around midnight). Q Bar, 456 Castro Street, 9 p.m. $5-8
THURSDAY, June 25
Sex & the City LIVE
It's one of your last chances, at least in this half of the year, to see this live-action, drag reenactment of episodes of Sex & the City, as performed by D'Arcy Drollinger, Lady Bear, Sue Casa, and Daft-nee Gesundheit. It plays each night this weekend and next, Thursday to Saturday but for Pride weekend all that's left for seating are $200 Cosmopolitan Tables. Oasis, 298 111th Street, 6:30 p.m.
Lexington Presents: Pride Kickoff Party
As promised, after the shuttering of the Mission's only lesbian bar this spring, the Lexington is hosting one of its first off-site events as a Pride weekend kick-off at Virgil's. The Lex's regulars and staff will all be in the house, and there'll be tunes by WORKALOOK JENNA RIOT, and LADY RYAN. Virgil's Sea Room, 3152 Mission Street, 9 p.m. $5
Night/Life at the Academy of Sciences
The Pride edition of this annual affair at the science museum, complete with DJs down in the aquarium, happens once more, with Heklina hosting a drag show outside, Hard French DJing in the center atrium, and new guests the Topsy Turvy Queer Circus. There'll also be plenty of time to get drunk and try to make sense of the exhibits. Or just dance among the fish. Tickets here. Golden Gate Park, 6 p.m. $12
Megaphone (A Castro Street Fair Fundraiser)
Another big kickoff to the weekend, in the basement of Temple, is this fundraiser for Castro Street Fair hosted by Juan Garcia, with DJ sets by Chelsea Starr, Digital Wildlife, and Lady Kraft. And, for everybody in a mood to be out late, this party will go after-hours well into Friday. Pre-sale tickets here. Temple, 540 Howard, Basement Level. 9 p.m. $8 and up
CIRQUE: A Celebration Of Pride
We told you about this one before, but Margaret Cho is hosting this smaller Pride kickoff affair, which is a benefit for The Trevor Project, downtown at Dirty Habit. Expect some circus-y type performances, new carnival-themed food and cocktails, DJs from Go Bang!, and maybe a quick set from Ms. Cho herself. Tickets are now $60, with the pre-sale already done. Dirty Habit, 12 Fourth Street, 5th Floor. 6:30 p.m.
FRIDAY, June 26
12th Annual Trans March
This is basically The Year of Trans, so you can expect this year's Trans March and the rally beforehand to be especially jubilant, well attended, and fun. Expect performances by Garza of the House of Garza, Lady Phoenix, Victory Le, and more, and things kick off with a "Youth and Elder Brunch" from noon to 3 p.m. Performances will happen all afternoon from a stage on Dolores Street, and the march will commence at 6 p.m. Also note there's an afterparty at El Rio at 8 p.m. Dolores Street between 18th and 19th, noon-6 p.m. Free
It's the eighth installment of this mustache-themed, once-a-year party for the gays, all packed onto the cozy underground dancefloor at Monarch complete with its world class soundsystem. DJs include SF old-school wunderkinds David Harness, Christian Martin, and Jim Hopkins, as well as host Juan Garcia, and Adam Kraft, and there'll be plenty of facial hair on the dancefloors both upstairs and down. Definitely one of the more in-the-know events for serious house music lovers. Tickets here. Monarch, 6th and Mission, 9 p.m. $20
As Truck prepares to close its doors forever, they're hosting a handful of sleazy-fun parties including this kickoff for the weekend. It's an underwear party (of course), geared toward the gay set, and there's no cover! It'll most certainly get dirty. Truck, 1900 Folsom Street at 15th, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Free.
Get Her Wet / She Said: Take Me To SF Gay Pride
This two-stage party for the L set is being billed as "the hottest lesbian events of Summer 2015," and maybe it'll live up to that! Things kick off at The Chapel on Friday with Get Her Wet, featuring DJ China G and a performance by Mzz Bones. And there's a part 2 the following night, Saturday, at the Cat Club, called Booze 'n' Baes that's one of several afterparties for Dyke March. The Chapel, 777 Valencia Street, 9 p.m. $15
EDEN: The White Party
This really is a crazy weekend for lesbian parties, and this one will feature an appearance by Ruby Rose from Orange Is the New Black, as well as a bunch of DJs. And for the well to do lesbian set arriving from out of town, Eden offers VIP packages and such (and there will be a companion party on Saturday at Mezzanine too). And yes, white attire is encouraged. Tickets here. Factory, 525 Harrison Street, 9 p.m. $20
The Pride edition of this beloved lesbian dance party is dubbed Hella Nikki, and features DJs DURT, Andre, and JiBBZ spinning 80s, Top 40, hip hop, and more. There will be go-go dancers, and proceeds from the photobooth go to The Lexington Club Archival Project. Slate, 2925 16th Street, 8 p.m., $8
Long one of the best weekly parties in town, this eclectic funhouse of drag, drinking, and crafts will be sure to entertain amidst the Pride madness. Hostesses Vivvyanne ForeverMORE and GlamaMORE welcome favorites like Miss Rahni, Katya Smirnoff-Skyy, and Gina LaDivina to the stage, among others, and of course, there will be a Pride-themed craft table. The Stud, 9th and Harrison, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. $8
SATURDAY, June 27
Things are happening earlier this year, because of the whole brouhaha over Pink Saturday (which is just called the Pink Party this year), which means that all the ladies who were out too late at Eden the night before are going to still be pretty hungover when the rally kicks off at Dolores Park at noon, with the march commencing at 3:30 p.m.
Real Bad Presents REACH
For all the bears and party boys of Folsom Street who want to steer way clear of the Castro this afternoon, you can hike over to SoMa for this tea dance hosted by Real Bad, featuring DJ Amy Alderman, and benefiting local Bay Area non-profits and the Grass Roots Gay Rights Foundation. Things will have to wrap up by 6 or so, though, because the club becomes the theater for Sex and the City Live. Oasis, 298 11th Street, 3 p.m. $30
The Castro will, inevitably, be a shitshow to end all shitshows like it always is, and this time the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence won't be there to take any shit or pick up the pieces afterwards. It's not called Pink Saturday, but there will be plenty of partying in the streets, courtesy of a grant from the city and help from the LGBT Center. Hard French will be DJing and so will disco daddy DJ Bus Station John, as well as a Dyke March stage, several other stages, drag performances, food and drink, and this year a Pink Pass gets 50% off admission to various neighborhood bars. Then, around 8:30, cops will be corralling people and eventually the street cleaners will start rolling through. GOOD LUCK EVERYBODY. The Castro, 3 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Donations at the gates.
Starting at 4 p.m., as the Pink Party chaos descends, there will be this party in the heart of it all, featuring drag queen Lindsay Slowhands and DJs Chad Bays, Haute Toddy, and Ethical Drugs, keeping you off the streets. You'll want to get in before the line forms, which means early. Beaux, 2344 Market Street, 4 p.m. Free before 6 p.m., $8 after.
House of Babes' Dyke March Afterparty
Many of the lesbians and trans men fleeing the Pink Party will be heading here, in the Mission, for a night of dancing, food trucks, hip-hop, twerking, and boozing. And a portion of the proceeds will be getting donated to the Transgender Law Center. Public Works, 161 Erie Street, 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Cock Block's Dyke March Afterparty
This is the 9th annual edition of Cock Block's Pride weekend blowout, promising "the hottest lesbians in the universe." This year the DJ lineup is headed by NYC's Awkwafina, and features locals Kidd Sysko and Natalie Nuxx. Tickets here. Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell Street, 9 p.m. $15 advance.
Offer Nissim at the Regency
The circuit-y-est of this year's Pride offerings will be this: Matinee Europe and others presenting this Israeli DJ, with remaining tickets starting at $100. If that sounds like your cup of tea, and you needed somewhere to do all your molly, this would be it. Regency Grand Ballroom, Sutter and Van Ness, 10 p.m.
Booze 'n' Baes
The companion party to Friday's Get Her Wet (see above), this sounds like the hip SoMa alternative to all the Pink Party, post-Dyke March madness, hosted by lesbian party couple Sada and Whitney, a.k.a. She Said SF. Tickets here. Cat Club, 1190 Folsom Street, 9 p.m. $15
Pound Puppy w/Viennetta Discoteque
For the alternaqueers and hipster bears, there will be Pound Puppy, which relocates from The Eagle this once for a more intimate affair on Folsom, with beats by Vienetta Discoteque and an appearance by Ambrosia Salad. From the Facebook: "Are you Feelin beefy skunky and down right drunky?" Well, are you? F8, 1192 Folsom Street, 9 p.m.
Mother with Lady Bunny
The big drag event of the evening, at the club formerly known as Trannyshack, will be this party at Oasis starring the oldest drag queen of all dragdom, Lady Bunny. She'll likely trot out one of her pre-recorded, Laugh In-style numbers, and she and Heklina will exchange witty barbs, and a good time will be had by all, including dancing after the show. Tickets here. Oasis, 298 11th Street. 10 p.m. $10
Haus Of Towers Presents Phallus In Wonderland
Kicking off a series of new gay Saturday parties at the new Empire Room (once upon a time home to legendary restaurant Stars) is this event hosted by bearded drag star Grace Towers, and featuring DJ sets by L.A.'s Josh Peace (Moustache Mondays), Juan Garcia, Hoku Mama Swamp, and Adam Kraft. Expect porn stars, drag queens (including the famous Martha T. Lipton, and one named Sarah Problem), a "slumbersexual room", and plenty more fun. Tickets here. Empire Room, 555 Golden Gate Avenue, 10 p.m. $20-$25
SUNDAY, June 28
Do you know the drill? The parade, which is ENORMOUS and last several hours, starts at Beale and Market 10:30 a.m., and makes its way to 8th Street, at Civic Center, maybe winding up around 1 p.m. This year there should be some fun tension over the Facebook "real name" thing, and this year's Celebrity Grand Marshall is Rick Welts of the Golden State Warriors. There is also, of course, the big celebration at Civic Center that starts at 11 a.m. and features multiple stages and many food and beverage vendors, and is just a humungous party. 10:30 a.m., Market Street. Free
Juanita MORE!'s Annual Pride Party
Pre-sale tickets are gone for this annual see-and-be-seen outdoor dance-a-thon at Jones, but there will, as always, be tickets available at the door. Music will be by SF old-school spin doctors Steve Fabus and David Harness. And this year's visuals are by designer Ken Fulk, and the beneficiary of the proceeds will be YES, the Youth Empowerment Summit of the GSA Network. Jones, 620 Jones Street, noon to 10 p.m. $40
Hard French ▼s LOS HOMOS V
This Pride block party at Mezzanine spans 6 stages, indoors and outdoors, with DJ sets from a bunch of other club nights including Polyglamorous, Bearracuda, and the Lexington Club. Plenty of hip kids will be in attendance, at least until they collapse from exhaustion from all the parties. Mezzanine, 444 Jessie Street, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. $25 and up
Honey Soundsystem Pride Sunday
For everyone who skipped the parade and most afternoon activities in order to focus on what's important, which is recovering from last night, this will be the place to be post sunset. Honey residents Jason Kendig, Bézier, Jackie House, and Josh Cheon will be joined by Miami's Mystic Bill and Detroits DJ Minx. Tickets here. Mighty, 119 Utah Street, 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.