Pride 2019: Politics and images

Fifty years after Stonewall, Pride is a corporate brand, leading to protests -- and along the way, real issues got addressed.

It’s been more than a decade since I was actually in the Pride parade. The Bay Guardian used to have a float every year, something festive and fun, but then the price of entry went way up and the Guardian’s revenue went down, and I was back to being a reporter on the sidelines.

But this year, I got to march with my colleagues at the University of San Francisco. We had a large contingent, and most of us lined up around 11am for a projected noon start time. (We were number 104. Takes a while to get to those numbers.)

Actually, it took until 1:30—because a group of folks protesting the corporatization of pride and the inclusion of police blocked the parade for a while. (Which sent a needed message: The corporate presence was huge. We were right behind Salesforce and US Bank. Fifty years after Stonewall, Pride is now a Brand. Bud Light is the Official Beer).

That made it more of a San Francisco event—in fact, the anti-corporate signs were everywhere.

And still, my 48hills partner Marke B. was able to stand on a stage in front of tens of thousands of people and talk about the issues of queer youth. In front of the Bud Light stands, some real, serious issues got addressed.

Here are some of the images from today:

All along the parade route, anti-corporate protests were visible.
A group of activists blocked the parade — and clearly had supporters on their side.
Not everyone was happy with all the corporate sponsorships.
No matter where you stand, noting is cuter than Muttville Senior Dog Rescue
Somehow, it’s always sunny for Pride — and the crowd was huge.
48hills Publisher Marke B. talks about queer youth issues from the main stage.
Proud to march with my colleagues at USF