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View Diary: Top Comments: Now We Are More American Edition (105 comments)

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  •  There is a mistake in the diary. You state (0+ / 0-)

    "San Francisco, which has always marched down Market Street,"

    Wrong.

    The early years saw the march go down Polk Street (which was then the gay neighborhood) to City Hall.

    You should correct this information.

    •  PS the market street route began in 77 (0+ / 0-)

      And it wasn't directly from Polk to civic center. The route was basically:

      "The 1972 gay parade started from Montgomery and Pine down Montgomery to Post, then up Post to Polk Street. There was a celebration afterward at the Civic Center"

      Source: Wikipedia

    •  The Pride Route (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave in Northridge

      has taken lots of detours over the years. A few years ago they tried to end the route at Justin Herman Plaza. It didn't work out real well and it went back to the Civic Center.

      I'm all for accuracy, and thanks for helping set the record straight. But it really doesn't matter. That parade pours in from all four corners of the city and makes every street a celebration.

      •  My very own observations and quibbles (3+ / 0-)

        There were a couple of years when SF Pride ran from the Castro to the Civic Center (late 80's) and a couple of years when the parade started at the Civic Center and ended at the Embarcadero. One of those years (1995 or 1996 or 1997 I think) it was INCREDIBLY hot...well into the 90's even in downtown SF. Some of the route changes, if I remember correctly, had more to do with construction work than anything else. At one point Civic Center Plaza was completely ripped up and there would have been no place for a fair of any sort. That was the mid-90's.

        My first Pride parades were in NYC; from 1977 onward, even after I moved to DC I would go back to NYC Pride because, let's face it, it was my hometown and it's where I came out. In fact I sort of "officially" came out the day after Pride in 1975. It was the least political form of coming out; I decided I was gonna go and get laid. Which I did. I learned any number of things from the young man I met that night; some of those were helpful, some of them less so. But it was an adventure and an awakening. I missed returning to NYC for Pride in 1985 because I'd been hospitalized a few weeks earlier and was not well enough to handle the trip or the parade (DC's at the time was about ten blocks long).
        I stopped going to Pride in New York when I moved to SF for a rather obvious reason: the schedule conflict. I did return to New York for Pride once, for Stonewall 25. That one was unique; it began at the south end of UN Plaza and concluded at Columbus Circle.

        It is very tempting and actually rather easy to compare Pride in San Francisco with Pride in New York. The differences I think are telling and speak volumes about why New York's has seemingly been more political. The big difference is that San Francisco began to embrace the LGBT community long before New York did. During my early parades in New York and even in DC, there were relatively few spectators lining the route (one signal moment of my first: because there were so few spectators it was easy to pick them out. We saw actor Roy Scheider watching, somewhere near the Metropolitan Museum of Art). When I attended my first Pride in SF I was taken aback by the fact that even though the parade was quite robust, there were even more spectators--gay and straight--as there were actual marchers. It was more celebratory while New York's was a bit more confrontational well into the 80's. This, I think, accounts for the difference in tone between the two. It's tough to be confrontational when the larger community accepts you.

        And now the quibble:

        As I said, I came out right after Pride in 1975. The following year was my first as a more or less out gay man; I was dating someone who lived in the Village at the time. We didn't participate in the march but watched it while having brunch someplace off of 7th Avenue. Up until that year the City would not give Pride a permit to use Fifth Avenue; it went up 7th instead. The followng year, my first real Pride was also the first one that used Fifth Avenue.

        When New York's parade route reversed (there was debate as to the appropriateness of marching INTO the gay ghetto instead of OUT into the larger world) it began at Columbus Circle; not sure when that happened; probably 1984 or so. I do recall that my early days of marching in the New York parade it would end (first in the Sheep Meadow, then on the Great Lawn) and everyone would head back to Christopher Street for the party. Somewhere I have pictures from back then; I really should scan and post them, though they are of people I well know to have passed away.

        One other thing about my experiences at Pride is that two of my early Pride parades in New York gave a push to budding relationships, both times due to chance encounters with guys I was already interested in. This is in a sense very odd; because of its size and its relative anonymity (particularly for me as a "bridge and tunnel" person) I never felt as included in New York as I did later on in DC and San Francisco.

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