Sunday, June 24, 2012
Straight Pride Saturday
The San Francisco Gay Pride Parade has gradually morphed over the years into a whole month of activities, including an added "celebration" day in Civic Center Plaza on Saturday prior to Sunday's parade.
The event includes free entertainment, corporate and nonprofit giveaways at booths, liquor sales, and an opportunity to wear outrageous costumes, get drunk in public, and ogle people in skimpy outfits.
In a trend that's reminiscent of the old, shuttered Gay Halloween event in the Castro District, more and more of the participants are young straight people from the suburbs out for a cheap good time in the city.
The mood at 3 in the afternoon was peaceful and ebullient...
...but it was easy to see how it could get nasty fast, with a lot of young people not knowing how to hold their liquor.
I asked the young women at the San Francisco Symphony booth to confirm my impression that there were more straight people than gay at this "Pride" event, and they said that was their impression too. "It wasn't what we were expecting at all," they said.
In a sense, Gay Pride has come full circle, if young straight people of every color have no problem being part of the party. Still, it's very strange.