For the second year running, the big pink triangle that is usually installed on the hillside overlooking the Castro for Pride is being illuminated with 2,700 LED nodes, and the lighting ceremony is being preceded by a Pink Torch Procession that begins in Oakland. But this time, the festivities come with less COVID anxiety and anticipation for a Pride Month that won't be conducted entirely on Zoom.
Illuminate, the organization behind the Bay Lights and multiple other electrified art projects around the Bay Area, worked with the founder of the Pink Triangle installation, Patrick Carney, last year to create the new, glowing version for the first time. It was installed for Pride Weekend in 2020, and added a rare bit of festivity to the otherwise mostly sheltered affair — though last year's Pride season did come with a lot of protests. The illuminated triangle, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, remained up on Twin Peaks until July 10.
This year's triangle installation happened over this past weekend — and this time it will remain up for all of Pride month. While usually it takes dozens of volunteers to stake down pink sailcloth to install the triangle — which has been installed for Pride Week every year since 1996 — this version just has an outline visible during the day, and then becomes a full spectacle each evening after sundown.
At 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf will help kick off the Pink Torch Procession, as she did last year, and representatives from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Dykes on Bikes, and the LGBTQ activist community are expected to take part as well. As Bay City News reports, more than 30 torchbearers will process from Oakland City Hall around Lake Merritt between noon and 3:30 p.m., and then move across the Bay Bridge at 5 p.m.
The procession, with an escort by Dykes on Bikes, will make its way through SF this evening, symbolically delivering the torches to the triangle for its lighting ceremony at 8 p.m.
Last year's Pink Torch Procession was the first ever joint event done by Oakland Pride and SF Pride, and this year's will be the second.
And in a way, this procession today takes the place of the annual Pride parade in downtown San Francisco, which was cancelled for a second time this year due to the pandemic. On Pride Weekend this year, a planned Pride Expo like what typically takes place in Civic Center was cancelled due to uncertainty around public health orders (even though it would have been outdoors and would have been perfectly fine).
There are still Pride Movie Nights at Oracle Park on June 11 and 12, being put on by Frameline, and on June 18, SF Pride and the African American Art & Culture Complex are putting an event focused on Black liberation.
Meanwhile, unofficial Pride events are stacking up in large numbers for Pride Weekend at multiple venues around the city.
Photo courtesy of Illuminate