(credit: Max Whittaker/Getty Images)

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San Francisco has long been a center of gay culture and activism, first as a busy port city during the era of maritime trade and later as an embarkation point for military troops. Since its founding as a boomtown during the California Gold Rush, San Francisco was known as a “wide open town” that tolerated many, at the time, illegal and socially-sanctioned behaviors. San Francisco’s relative tolerance meant that many gay and lesbian people chose to settle in the city. After World War II, the beatnik movement centered in San Francisco.

By the 1960s, the growing gay rights movement, spurred by discrimination and police harassment, found one of its centers in the Bay area. The first Pride march was held in San Francisco, and other major American cities in 1970, as a response to the one-year anniversary of the police raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York City. San Francisco Pride, in its various guises throughout the years, became a seminal experience for many LGBT people.

In the 1970s, San Francisco and neighborhoods like the Castro became a gay mecca. The AIDS crisis, and more recently the debate over marriage rights, has kept many members of the GLBT community focused on activism and awareness. This is illustrated by the theme of the 2012 San Francisco Pride: Global Awareness. Ugandan Bishop Christopher Senyonjo will be speaking during the event on the issues that face LGBTQ people in Uganda and throughout Africa.

But Pride is foremost a celebration of diversity, taking place June 24th-25th in San Francisco’s Civic Center. Thousands of visitors will travel to the city in order to participate. A parade, held Sunday, June 25th starting in the morning will feature a promenade of Pride supporters along Market Street from Beale Street to 8th Street. The weekend includes over 200 groups entered for the parade, over 300 exhibitors selling wares and 20 stages for music and entertainment.

The Main Stage features both world-famous singers and up-and-coming performers. The 2017 line-up includes (SATURDAY) Kat Robichaud’s Misfit Cabaret, Honey Soundsystem Presents DJ Holographic, The Stud, Mvmnt, Cheer San Francisco, Grasso + Rich, Micahtron, Nikki Borodi, Acrolele, The Singing Bois, Carnie Asada’s Lips & Lashes, Wild Things Pride X Vice Tuesdays Presents: DJs Val G & Ms. Jackson, Ms. Jackson (DJ For The Day), Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits (Baaits). (SUNDAY) Betty Who, Cazwell, Madame Gandhi, Pure Roots, Boyfriend, Cheer San Francisco, San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, David Hernandez, Uniiqu3, Hym, Amber Field, Intensive Claire anb Duserock (DJ For The Day)!

(credit: SF Pride Facebook)

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Each year, San Francisco Pride Celebration & Parade takes on a much bigger tone. Held June 24-25, #SFPride is the center of a month-long celebration of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender culture across the world and in the Bay Area. June has become Gay Pride month in many places across the world, including the United States. San Francisco will lead the celebration with parades and events for all orientations to enjoy.

Pride 2016

Thousands packed into the S.F. Civic Center Plaza. (Curtiss Guy for cbsSF.com)

San Francisco Pride
Civic Center, San Francisco
Market and Polk Streets
(415) 864-0831
Price: SFPride is a FREE event, but they do ask for a donation from all attendees who are able to pay and will benefit local charities.

Get involved in what’s important to this city and attend the weekend’s activities!
For more information, visit www.sfpride.org


(credit: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

Official SF Pride Events:
Celebration and Rally
Saturday, June 24 – Civic Center Plaza – 12:00Noon to 6:00pm
Sunday, June 25 – Civic Center Plaza – 11:00am to 6:00pm

Pride Parade
Sunday, June 25 – Market Street, San Francisco
Parade kicks off at 10:30am Market & Beale
Ends at Market & 8th Street
in Downtown San Francisco
Click here for a Parade Map

Related: Celebrate PRIDE Month With 99.7 NOW!


(credit: Max Whittaker/Getty Images)

Sunday LGBT Pride Festival
Sunday, June 25 – Civic Center
11:00am – 6:00pm

After the parade, located at the end of the route, hang out and be part of the largest LGBT community! With double the size from last year, the LGBT Pride Festival boasts 20 stages/venues of entertainment for everyone.
Click here for details
Official San Francisco Pride VIP Party: under the rotunda – 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Sunday, June 25 – San Francisco City Hall

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Party at San Francisco Pride’s VIP Party inside SF City Hall. Enjoy delicious food, drinks, and three entertaining rooms in the historic City Hall Rotunda.
Click here for details and to purchase tickets

This article was written, in-part by freelance writer, editor
& historian Laura Tarwater-Scharp for CBS Local Media