It is upon us: LGBTQ Pride. Parties have already been happening, but the partying begins in earnest on Thursday and continues through Sunday for this big gay (and lesbian and trans and queer +++) weekend — which is also celebrating the 50th anniversary of the bar riot that started it all.
Next year is technically the 50th anniversary of Pride itself, because what we think of as Pride — originally called Gay Liberation Day in New York — didn't take shape until the year after the Stonewall riots of June 1969. But this year, the first in which World Pride has been celebrated in the US (in NY), marks the 50th anniversary of those riots, which began on June 28, 1969, in which queer people (many of them queer people of color) who were hanging out at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan's West Village, began throwing bottles at cops who came to raid the bar one too many times — and on the night of Judy Garland's funeral no less.
Here in SF, the Pride movement started with a "gay-in" in Golden Gate Park one year later, in late June 1970, and starting in 1972, the local LGBTQ community began parades down Polk Street, which was then the city's center of gay life.
Below, a few details on where, what, and when, to guide you through a busy weekend, should you choose to participate.
Mr. S Leather 40th Anniversary Party @ Oasis
The grandaddy of leather and fetish gear retailers is celebrating 40 years in SF with a big party at Oasis, coinciding with Pride Week as opposed to the high-holiday festivities the company is most associated with, Folsom Street Fair. There will be DJs, a cigar patio, and yes, demonstrations for those who stay past midnight.
Oasis, 298 11th Street, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. free
Foxes - Pride Kickoff Party @ Virgil's
SF's bygone Mission lesbian bar the Lexington Club has gone virtual, and it is revived each Pride season at this party at Virgil's Sea Room (next door to El Rio). DJ Chelsea Starr will be spinning, as will DJ Jibbz from Swagger Like Us.
Virgil's Sea Room, 3152 Mission Street, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., $5
Trans March @ Dolores Park
The weekend kicks off with the most important march in terms of LGBTQ visibility and protest, as the Bay Area's trans community comes together to march through the city from Dolores Park. As it has in previous years, the parade will begin with a rally and performances in the park, and proceed with a march at 6 p.m. to the Compton's Transgender Cultural District in the Tenderloin.
Dolores Park, 3 p.m. on, free
T4T @ Jolene's
The new queer bar at the edge of the Mission (featured today in the New York Times!) is hosting a post-Trans March party DJ'd by CarrieOnDisco and DJ Eternity.
2700 16th Street, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., $5
Electroluxx Pride @ Public Works
This now annual affair from the Electroluxx crew sold out weeks ago with its presale tickets, but tickets will be available at the door for those who try early. "One-woman funk machine" DJ Holographic is in from Detroit, along with LA DJs Robokid, MASHA, and Roxanne Roll, and SF's Mark O'Brian, Adam Kraft, and superinto.it.
Public Works, 161 Erie Street, 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., $30+
Pound Puppy @ The STUD
An electro party with a fetish-y angle, Pound Puppy will attract an alterna crowd that includes, but does not require, puppy fetishism. Electro beats will be provided by Berlin’s Doc Sleep and New York’s Physical Therapy.
The STUD, Harrison and 9th, 1o p.m. to 4 a.m., $20
Heat @ Great Northern
The circuit-y option for those gay males who want to take their shirts off is at Great Northern, with music by DJs Tony Moran and Dani Toro. Plus: acrobats.
Great Northern, 119 Utah Street, 1o p.m. to 4 a.m., $40+
Dyke March and Rally @ Dolores Park
The least corporate, and some would say the most purely political and festive event of the weekend is Dyke March, beginning with a gathering in Dolores Park that is often bursting at the seams (though recent years have felt a bit smaller/tamer). The march this year will follow the route shown below, heading down 18th Street, hooking left at Valencia, left on 16th up to Castro, and then back down 18th Street to the park. (Though in previous years there have been contingents who have gone their own way.)
Dolores Park, march starts at 5 p.m.
HeadsUp: The #SFDykeMarch is this Saturday, 5 p.m., beginning and ending at Dolores Park. The #FMarket, #JChurch, 22, 24, 33, 35, 37, & 55 will have reroutes. #Pride #SFPride https://t.co/5nCZV4JQiS pic.twitter.com/OF1FMOXZ1r— SFMTA (@sfmta_muni) June 26, 2019
Family Annual Pride Party @ Beaux
On what used to be called Pink Saturday in the Castro, Beaux is going edgy with a day-into-night party featuring Dragula queens Meatball and Biqtch Puddin, hosted by Adriana Roy.
Beaux, 2344 Market Street, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Pink Block @ Great Northern
This all-day party features Hercules + Love Affair and Poolside both headlining, and a whole day of outdoor dancing starting at noon. Juanita More will be DJing as will Jackie House and Carlos Souffront.
Great Northern, 119 Utah Street, noon to 9 p.m., $40
Fake & Gay @ DNA Lounge
It's an 18+ affair featuring Oakland's amazing Kreayshawn, as well as DJs Ryan Kost, Adam Kraft, and more.
375 11th Street, 9 p.m. til late, $15+
The Big Pride Parade
It starts way down at the bottom of Market Street, and it proceeds to Civic Center, and it takes nearly all day long. (Remember when Apple brought 20,000 people?) It may be the biggest Pride parade in the country, and tons of Bay Area organizations and corporations take part. The fun kicks off at 10:30 a.m. with Dykes on Bikes, and it likely won't wrap up until after 3 p.m. Below is the map of festivities in Civic Center, which will also begin in the morning and go all day. (I recommend seeing the Faerie Freedom area.)
Juanita More's Pride Party @ Jones
Now in its 15th year, drag mother Juanita More's annual Pride blowout remains a draw — and if you want tickets at the door you should arrive early. It gets packed at this outdoor venue, and the performances are always inspiring. DJs this year include Bobby Viteritti, Kim Anh, and Steve Fabus.
620 Jones, Noon to 7 p.m., $50
Hard French Hearts Los Homos @ Mezzanine
80s band Book of Love will be performing at Hard French's annual Pride closer, and there will be the traditional soul-music jam in the alley out back too.
444 Jessie Street, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., $35
Top image: Thomas Hawk