San Francisco has a long and proud history when it comes to celebrating LGBTQ rights. The first Gay Pride event took place over two days in 1970 and was attended by just 30 people who marched down Polk Street. This was followed by a “gay in” picnic held at Speedway Meadows in Golden Gate Park.
Today things have certainly moved on.
Today Pride takes place over a month and is attended by around one million attendees. This was halted because of the COVID pandemic but thankfully Pride is back loud and proud now the city returns to normal after the pandemic.
This year the Parade takes place on October 10th from 10 am to 6 pm and is titled the LGBTQ+ Freedom Day Fest. It will take place at Valencia Street in San Francisco ‘s Mission District.
You can expect a wildly colorful event, great food and entertainment and the Freedom Day Fest will honor the Latin heritage of the Mission which is an area known for a strong Latin lesbian presence.
The Freedom Day Fest is not the same this year as the usual parade. According to the organisers, “Freedom Day Fest is neither our traditional Parade nor Celebration, but a street fair aimed toward the Bay Area’s LGBTQ+ communities”
The event has undergone many name changes over its 51 years history. Originally it was called Gay Pride Liberation, then the International Lesbian and Gay Freedom Parade. In 1995 this was changed to San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration and from 2013 to the present day the full title for the event is San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Parade and Celebration. However, most people simply refer to it as San Francisco Pride.
Every year the Pride event evolves to reflect changes across the LGBTQ community so if you fancy an amazingly diverse experience and are LGBTQ yourself or an ally, it will prove to be an unforgettable experience.
Every year Pride delivers something different. There are usually some notable speakers, and the entertainment is second to none. The event is free to attend but you are invited to donate to San Francisco Pride to protect the event into the future.
To find out more about the history of Pride , check out the ABC archive for some fascinating footage of Pride right from the early days right up to the present.