A party and a protest, Trump era changes San Francisco's Pride parade

Jun 22, 2017

Apple employees march in the San Francisco pride parade in 2015.
Credit Thomas Hawk, Creative Commons via flickr

It’s Pride week in San Francisco. This year, activities range from a barbecue for bisexuals to Friday’s trans march. The largest event is Sunday’s parade, and after political wins like gay marriage, the event has turned into a big party.

Corporate sponsors like Google, Whole Foods, and Bud Light have joined the fun, but that’s creating tension with activists. To many in the LGBT community, the election of Donald Trump is seen as a threat to hard-won political gains. 

An example came last week when six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS resigned in protest. They said the Trump administration, "has no strategy to address the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic."

In Los Angeles and San Jose, reaction to the Trump administration has transformed Pride parades into giant protests.

But in San Francisco, parade organizers will limit protestors to a contingent at the front of the parade. The plan will prevent angry activists from mixing with smiling marchers from companies like Apple and Alaska Airlines.

This doesn’t sit well with some protesters, including Dani Castro, a musician and advocate for trans people of color.

Castro was scheduled to be one of the grand marshals of the parade. But according to the San Francisco Examiner, she backed out, citing corporate influence.

Whether people come to party or protest, parade organizers anticipate 1.2 million people will attend celebrations this week.

This year’s Pride parade will start at 10:30 am near the Ferry Building. It will continue along Market Street to a festival at Civic Center that will feature musicians, performers, and speakers.