It was a colorful and lively Sunday morning on Market St., as thousands gathered to celebrate San Francisco’s first Pride Parade and Celebration since 2019.
And yet there was an undertone of urgency, as participants weighed the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and whether court rulings that established gay rights and contraception rights may fall next.
The result was a merging of symbols and signs along the parade route that became stronger together; the rainbow flag alongside a wire coat hanger.
“An attack on reproductive rights is also an attack on the LGBTQ+ community,” said Brandon Richards, director of communications for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, who identifies as bisexual and marched in Sunday’s parade. “We know, based on the opinion, that LGBTQ+ rights are next. And we know that we are stronger together.”
But Richards added that participating today was a way to process the challenging events of the week.
“It feels really, really good to be here.”
The celebration has an undertone of urgency as demonstrators weigh whether court rulings that established gay rights and contraception rights may fall next.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas recently said those rulings “were demonstrably erroneous decisions.” pic.twitter.com/rTAxveRkDq
— The Paloalto Digest (@sfstandard) June 26, 2022
That was a sentiment echoed by Marloe Mullins, who identifies as queer and marched alongside District 8 supervisor Rafael Mandelman in the parade.
“Being out, being open and being proud is so important. It’s my seventh year walking and every year it just gets better and better,” said Mullins, who held a sign that said “We will not go back to the 1950s quietly; we will not go back without a fight.”
“The basis and the history of Pride was fight. It didn’t start as a party, it started as a movement. And it continues to be a movement today,” added Mullins.
Meanwhile, the third annual People’s March & Rally assembled at the corner of Polk and Washington streets on Sunday to follow the original path of San Francisco’s first Pride celebration and bring attention to a spectrum of civic and civil liberties issues, including transgender and racial injustice, gun violence, police killings, reparations, reproductive rights and healthcare inequalities.
Hundreds of people listen to speakers at the People’s March in San Francisco Calif., on Sunday, June 26, 2022. | Ben Fanjoy for The Standard
Co-founded by local drag artists and activists Alex U. Inn and Juanita MORE! to bring more visibility to Black, Brown, trans, Native and Indigenous voices within the LGBTQ+ community, the first People’s March was held in 2020 in response to pandemic-induced cancellations of Pride celebrations and the brutal police killing of George Floyd.
This year’s march not only continued its tradition of centering queer voices of color but also spotlighted gun control and reproductive rights as key issues.
“All those people that think that they can hold our uterus, that think that they can hold our queerness, that think that they can take away the rights of LGBTQIA2S+ people…that is not okay, is it?” shouted Inn to the small, but vocal crowd of demonstrators.
“We cannot do this alone. We have to do it as a community. And we have to do it together, because if we don’t, then they win.”
This story is developing and will be updated.
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