While tension and violence have marred a lot of demonstrations and celebrations around the world in the last year most notably the Bastille Day massacre in Nice last year, and this past weekend's overreaction by Istanbul police to LGBT Pride demonstrators there Pride 2017 in San Francisco came off without a hitch, much to the relief of those of us in the media who didn't want to have to leave a party on Sunday to cover some mindless act of violence.
The weekend began, as it has for 14 years, with Friday evening's Trans March, which has grown into arguably the largest annual demonstration of trans rights, recognition, and equality in the world. Despite some hubbub prior to the event over a directive from organizers to not acknowledge or high-five any police officers, the mood at the actual march, tinged with resistance protest as all of the weekends marches were, was by all accounts pretty happy, inclusive, and celebratory. Says local queer artist Leo Herrera on social media, "[This year's] Trans March renewed my faith in Queer culture. Realizing most of our community infighting really comes from boredom and loneliness and mainly thrives on social media. Marching, actually existing in a space with the bodies of all our trans family and every shade of the rainbow, there's nothing like it and it was pure f**king love."
On Saturday, the lesbian community and their brethren gathered in Dolores Park for the annual rally and Dyke March. The march itself, at least the portion that headed along the prescribed route up to Market Street and through the Castro, appeared smaller than in previous years, but it's unclear if that's just because splinter factions went elsewhere in the Mission, or many just decided to linger in the park instead amidst the chaos it can sometimes be unclear when the march actually kicks off.
And for the big annual parade up Market Street this year, the lead contingent following, of course, Dykes on Bikes was a diverse group of protesters with the common theme of Resist. They were followed by a group of veteran LGBT activists and heroes from the 1970s, and then by the largest ever SF Pride parade, with a record 250 contingents, many of them, as usual, large groups of employees from local companies like Apple, Google, Salesforce, Lyft, Twitter, Facebook, Airbnb, and Wells Fargo.
The daytime festivities in Civic Center were followed by large migrations of revelers to SoMa and the Castro, and various afterparties all over town.
Did everybody have a swell time? You be the judge.