Sunday, June 29, 2008

Gay Pride

I've been gone from the Bay Area for over 37 years, traveling around the world on a naval vessel, so I'm like a tourist here..... many things are the same but all-too-many things are different or simply don't exist any longer.

When I departed the City, the word "gay" still meant someone who is happy, very content..... I see the definition has changed since I've been gone... slightly. It seems that I've been gone too long from the area and from the states.

Last Thursday SF Mayor Gavin Newsom participated in official ceremonies at City Hall, unveiling a rainbow-colored flag in support of gay pride, which was in company of several gay banners hung from the second floor of the city hall, visible from the sidewalk below.

This year, the SF Gay Pride celebrations - otherwise known as LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Pride Parade would be celebrated during a time when same-sex marriages was legal, and due to this new law, was to add many more people to join in these festivities than in previous years. More than a million visitors to the City were expected, and a huge portion of the downtown area and the Civic Center area were closed for this event, plus the parade to be held Sunday.

Photos are posted at my foto site, and more will be added after my Sunday attendance.

I forsaken my watching the Spain vs Germany UEFA final, but guess I'll have to watch a rerun somewhere afterwards... grrrrrr!!!

Sunday UPDATE: Now I discover the soccer match won't be re-aired any day soon, except for tonight at 11:30PM and I wake each weekday at 6:30AM!! grrrrr I wasn't able to see it due to my attending the Gay Pride events downtown. There weren't any bars or restaurants close enough to the Civic Center area so I stayed on the street snapping fotos.

Well, the organizers predicted over a million to attend, and by all unofficial sources, I think - personally - it was surpassed. Ask me how many times I had my toes stepped on!

I arrived at 11am, late enough to miss the parade as I walked from my North Beach location, and upon seeing the masses, realized I'd have to go the mile to the Ferry Building in order to slide through the crowds in order to get on the streets.

This type of event ~ as you can imagine ~ can and does bring out the wildest of people and in fashion, and it did! The streets were so packed but it seemed even more people crowded later as the sun started to break through the overcast skies. It was wall-to-wall people in the area all wanting to see, hear, and experience the Gay Pride San Francisco-style.

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