Every summer Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Queer (LGBTQ+) people celebrate their differences with pride festivals, parades and fairs.
Many people have asked the question: Why flaunt your sexuality by having a pride festival?
It is not flaunting our sexuality. It is making a statement.
“I think [Pride Festivals] are important part of culture. As a way for our whole community to come together, no matter how different we are,as one. Plus it is fun,” said Brian Wick, Delta Pride president.
The city of San Francisco, the Gay Mecca as it has been coined, holds a very large gay pride weekend at the end of June every year, while Sydney, Australia, one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world, holds a huge festival and parade. The parades have a range of politicians, religious and social groups featured as well as family groups.
Each year the San Francisco Pride Parade has a theme.
This year it is “Global Equality.” The theme is chosen each year by San Francisco Pride members at an annual meeting.
This pride festival and parade began a year after the police raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York City.
The Stonewall Inn was a notorious LGBTQ+ hangout in the city’s Greenwich Village. The police raided and arrested multitudes of people for being LGBTQ+.
In 1969 it was illegal to be LGBTQ+.
On June 28, 1970, San Francisco Pride began to remember the negative actions of the police and show that LGBTQ+ people are here to stay.
San Francisco Pride marks its 42 year on June 23-24.
Locally there are parades and festivals held for LGBTQ+ pride.
Modesto has been holding a festival for the past three years, celebrating the 42 years of Gay Pride movement with the theme “Pride Links Us Together.”
Stockton is working on getting a pride festival up and running with a pride festival planned to be held on Aug. 25 at Oak Grove Regional Park.
The San Joaquin Pride Center (SJPC) is the main sponsor of the event. Currently the SJPC is seeking vendors and volunteers for the event.
I’ve had the pleasure of attending four pride festivals in my life one in San Jose and the rest in San Francisco. I enjoyed each festival and parade.
There are pros and cons to having a pride festival.
Some of the good things are the level of awareness of LGBTQ+ issues are raised, some people find out about LGBTQ+ and realize there is nothing wrong with it while the community holding the event receivesan influx of money and tourism traffic.
With all the good there is a bad, unfortunately. I have heard of gay bashers walking into the San Francisco Pride Parade, acting gay friendly, courting a man and then taking him out of the main area and beating him.
There is no reason for their actions except their own homophobia.
This is why we need Pride Festivals, to raise awareness of these issues to show that the LGBTQ+ community is just like everyone else.