The 53rd annual SF Pride Celebration and Parade brought the color, the community, and the crowds to the streets of San Francisco over the weekend. Hundreds of thousands are estimated to have converged on the city for the annual celebration of the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. The parade was the culmination of a month of Pride cultural and community events, as well as a few parties.
This year’s parade hosted over 200 contingents that featured floats, marching bands, dancers, cheerleaders, schools, politicians, and more than a few corporate sponsored groups. It started off grey and misty for the Sunday morning event, but the sun came out by the time the parade was in full swing. Starting at Beale Street, it made its way down Market Street to Civic Center Plaza where the celebration hosted a main stage for performers, along with six community stages.
Participants with the Support Diversity in STEM contingent spell out DIVERSITY with elements from the periodic table. | Photo: Cheryl L. Guerrero/Hoodline
2023 Community Grand Marshals, which reflect both individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the community, included Lifetime Achievement Grand Marshal Paul Aguilar, Laura Lala_Chavez of LYRIC: Center for LGBTQQ Youth, Chair of the SF Democratic Party Honey Mahogany, and the Bay Area Chapter of organization Drag Story Hour.
Parade Grand Marshal Laura Lala-Chavez. |Photo: Cheryl L. Guerrero/Hoodline
There was a lot of joy and enthusiasm from parade participants and attendees alike, however there was also the acknowledgement that Pride is still a protest considering the numerous anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced by legislatures nationwide.
“We’re celebrating that this isn’t just a party,” said Stephanie Sherman from San Francisco, who rode with the Dykes on Bikes opening contingent. “This [is] the culmination and ongoing struggle for human rights.”
[l-r] Nikki Borodi (from Oakland) & Stephanie Sherman (from SF) were part of Dykes on Bikes, the contingent that opens the parade each year.
This year’s Pride theme, “Looking Back and Moving Forward”, was, as with other years, a reflection of the current social and political climate. “Ultimately, the theme of San Francisco Pride is a powerful symbol of the LGBTQ+ community’s resilience and determination to fight for equality and justice,” stated SF Pride. “The theme serves as a reminder that the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights is ongoing, and that the community must remain vigilant, engaged, and united in its pursuit of justice and equality.”
Arianna and Vera Vance, from San Francisco, came downtown to participate in the parade. Youth Vera said they were there to march “with the trans and nonbinary kids”. Arianna summed it up by saying, “We are marching for a brighter and more accepting future.”
Here are more scenes from Sunday’s grand parade:
Arianna Vance from San Francisco takes part in the parade on roller skates.
A pair of pink unicorns amped up the enthusiasm of attendees.
The Kaiser Permanente group marches in the parade.
A parade participant with the California Psychological Association contingent holds up a sign.
The Fogo Na Roupa group.
Members of the Latino Wellness Center march.
U.S. Senator Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) wave at parade attendees along Market Street.
Dancers atop the 106.1 KMEL Radio float.
The Alaska Airlines dancers make their way down Market Street.
The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band.
An astronaut clad member of the NASA- Silicon Valley Ames Research Center contingent.
Church Ladies for Gay Rights.
A Norcal Furries member greets the crowd.
A Michael Jackson impersonator entertains the crowd.
A member of the Jumping Jackson Rebound Dance group carries a flag during the parade.
The SF Public Library group waits to start their march onto Market Street.
A parade attendee stops for a portrait.
Part of the Amazing Thailand contingent, which included the Royal Thai Consulate, Thai Unity Community, and Thai Cultural Councils from around the Bay Area.
Members of the UCSF contingent.