SF Pride announced Wednesday that there are plans for some in-person celebrations this June, however there will be no parade on Market Street and no Civic Center stages for the second year in a row.
In a release, the SF Pride organization said that, due to the ongoing pandemic, this year's Pride Month "will be the best version of what is possible at this time, prioritizing public health while providing numerous opportunities for LGBTQ+ people and allies to experience visibility, solidarity, and joy." That will mean several smaller in-person events, including a Pride Expo at an as-yet-to-be-determined location, which they say will "have the look and feel of a resource fair" with booths from queer-run businesses and organizations.
"SF Pride this year will be all about locals, from queer-owned small businesses to fellow nonprofits that have displayed true leadership over this past year," says Fred Lopez, executive director of SF Pride. "It’s truly a Pride for the people."
Also, in collaboration with Frameline and the SF Giants, there will be Pride Movie Nights at Oracle Park on Friday and Saturday, June 11 and 12. (Frameline, the country's oldest continually running LGBTQ film festival, has not yet announced its 2021 programming, but presumably it will be able to have some in-person events as well this year.)
Saying that these will be the largest screening in Frameline's 45-year history, the festival's executive director James Woolley says, "We cannot wait to wow the audience by showing some great films on a jumbotron screen. Films are best enjoyed with an audience, and we are thrilled to be presenting a communal, but safe, event for the local community to enjoy."
SF Pride is also collaborating with the African American Art & Culture Complex on an event tentatively scheduled for the evening of June 18 — the eve of Juneteenth — which will "celebrate the intersection of Black history and LGBTQ+ culture."
"The struggles for racial justice and LGBTQ+ equality are one and the same," says SF Pride Board President Carolyn Wysinger in a statement. "Last year, we brought Black Lives Matter back to the forefront of the Pride movement with a Marsha P. Johnson Rally. This year, we're working to center Black LGBTQ voices and culture even more strongly. I know how badly our communities want to be together after more than a year apart."
In 2020, SF Pride, like every live event around the country (besides the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota), went virtual, as did the Frameline film festival. But with San Francisco nearing a milestone of 50% of residents vaccinated, and with new COVID cases declining, the SF Pride organization is hopeful that the coming months won't provide new reasons to cancel all in-person gatherings.
"Pride is such a meaningful and galvanizing event for our city, and it is wonderful that we are now in a place where we can plan for some in-person activities," says SF’s Acting Health Officer Dr. Susan Philip. "That said, we need to remain cautious as COVID-19 is still very much with us."
And Mayor London Breed gave a statement saying, "Pride is one of my favorite times of year, and I am so excited that we’ll have the opportunity to come together and safely celebrate our LGBTQ community this June."
She added, "Despite the challenges that remain ahead, we will keep finding creative ways to keep our San Francisco spirit alive and move forward safely, together."
Photo: Human Rights Campaign