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LGBT Pride Parade, 2008, San Francisco

By Namit Arora | Jul 2008 | Comments

Lgbt_pride024 This year the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Celebration & Parade in San Francisco was particularly exuberant. Just days earlier, the California supreme court had struck down the ban on same-sex marriage (6 of its 7 judges are Republican appointees). Newlyweds marched in wedding attire. Gay men ran up to strangers in the crowd and excitedly screamed, "I'm getting married!" If heterosexuals had done the same, I would likely be fighting the sensation to puke. But in the homosexual context, this was powerfully moving and heartening to behold. Things have indeed come a long way, baby! 

Lgbt_pride038_2 The parade, customarily kicked off by the thundering Dykes on Bikes, lasted three hours. Despite elements of a raucous street party—loud music, dance, floats, drag queens, and sexual exhibitionism—the larger context was, not surprisingly, serious and highly political, with acts of moral courage and personal mutinies frequently evident. There were hundreds of contingents: advocates for sexual and civic rights and responsibilities; interest groups and non-profits; employers, families and friends of LGBT's; offices of local and state government; celebrities and businesses promoting themselves, etc. The most memorable funny banner I saw read: "Erection 2008 — Know the hard facts, then fill in the holes."

Lgbt_pride062_3 A particularly notable presence was from progressive Christian groups in the Bay Area. LGBTs from several ethnic/cultural groups marched too: SE Asians, Asian Pacific Islanders, Muslims, Latin Americans, and a very attractive float from Trikone, representing LGBT South Asians (swinging to the beat from Dhoom). Watching the parade I thought: if anything ought to make me take pride in the SF Bay Area (where I've lived for 13 of the last 17 years), this event has to be it.

Below is some footage (~26 mins) I gathered at the event (overlaid with music—majority of it by LGBTs—from my Anglo-American jukebox). Be sure to also check out the highly colorful photos I took there.

This LGBT Pride Parade took place on Sun, 29 June, 2008.

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