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Jun 26, 2016, 08:50 AM
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Too straight, white and corporate: why some queer people are skipping SF Pride

Too straight, white and corporate: why some queer people are skipping SF Pride

Disaffected by the annual parade, members of San Francisco’s LGBT community are choosing alternative events to celebrate identity and solidarity with Orlando
san francisco gay pride parade]

San Francisco resident Katy Birnbaum is eager to gather with other queer people on Pride weekend, especially after such a violent attack against LGBT people in Orlando. But when roughly a million people pack into downtown on Sunday for one of the largest, most high-profile Pride festivals in the world, Birnbaum won’t be standing in the crowd.

“It just feels like a big Miller Lite tent,” said Birnbaum, 31. “With the corporate floats … it’s co-opting queer identity as a way to make money.”

Instead of attending the formal SF Pride events at civic center on Sunday, Birnbaum will be going to an intimate LGBT film festival in a community space six milesin an area known as the Bayview – one of the only remaining black neighborhoods in the city.

Birnbaum, who helped organize the all-day film event, is one of many LGBT people in the Bay Area who plans to skip the mainstream Pride festival in the northern California city known internationally as a mecca for gay people.

While queer people said it’s important to come out on Pride as a way to stand up to the violence in Orlando and discriminatory laws across the country, some said the San Francisco parade has become too corporate, straight and white to feel like an appropriate setting to show LGBT solidarity.
san francisco pride
A banner advertising the Toyota Scion as the ‘official car of San Francisco Pride’ in 2013. Photograph: Arun Nevader/FilmMagic

On Friday, Black Lives Matter announced that it was pulling out as a grand marshal, due to concerns about the police’s plan to have an increased presence at the parade and heightened security measures.

Some local LGBT people are finding alternative ways to celebrate. Whether the Trans March on Friday, the Dyke March on Saturday, or other queer art shows on Sunday, the city has a number of events that organizers hope will attract much more diverse crowds than the Pride parade.

“Pride really should be for queer folks,” said Amy Sueyoshi, a lifelong San Francisco resident, who identifies as genderqueer. “It’s not for straight people to demonstrate their queer-friendliness. I’d like that they do that in their daily lives.”

SF Pride officials said that corporate sponsors are critical to offsetting the costs of the massive event that attracts people from all over the world.

Although the festival adopted a “racial and economic justice” theme this year, the dominating presence of corporations, including the major Silicon Valley technology companies, is still a source of tension in a city struggling with rapidly rising rents and displacement.

LGBT activists said it can be frustrating to see Facebook, Google, Uber, Lyft, Salesforce and other tech firms sponsoring and marching in the parade, knowing that they are part of an industry that is greatly exacerbating income inequality in the region.

Last year, Apple had a comically large contingent of 8,000 marchers, who contributed to the parade dragging on for a record seven hours and 33 minutes.
san francisco pride apple

For progressive queer people, it’s also disheartening to see corporations like McDonald’s and big banks marching in front of community groups.
Jun 26, 2016, 10:10 AM
Sweeper Nut
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The gay crowd is discriminating against other people...ya cant make this stuff up..LOL

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