Filed under Events, Not Safe for Work (NSFW)
You might be surprised to know that the Gay Pride Parade is a big deal in San Francisco...but not likely. I heard that in addition to all the natives, there are over 500,000 visitors in town for this event. A cab driver told me I should check it out, even if I am straight (which I am). The parade started at 10:30 Sunday morning and finished around 3pm.
My buddy Chris Franka somehow managed to leave just before the start of the Parade, so I went by myself.
I learned about the parade from this web site. The parade causes a lot of traffic headaches...but somehow I was able to drop Chris off at the Oakland airport and drive past the Parade which had already started and make it home without much issue. On the way home, I noticed they put a HUGE pink triangle on Twin Peaks, a hill that overlooks the parade area.
I dropped off my car at home and grabbed a cab to take me as close as possible to the parade. I started at the end of the parade route, by the Civic Center. I then swam upstream along Market street so that I got a much quicker view of the parade.
There was one guy there with a megaphone yelling as loud as he could next to the parade that homosexuals are going to HELL! He had a couple of police to protect him. He definitely was getting more attention than the parade at that point.
Probably one of the more shocking sights was naked rollerblading guy with a top hat (NRGWATH). It was amazing how crowded the streets and sidewalks were...but somehow NRGWATH had no problem gliding through the crowd. You could see his top hat in the distance rise above the crowd and in constant motion...NRGWATH never had to stop. He was like a naked Moses with rollerblades parting a sea of people.
I came across a section of the sidewalk that required crawling over a barrier. I started to do it when guess who glided next to me...NRGWATH! Even though it was my turn to straddle the barrier, I decided that the most polite thing I could do was to give NRGWATH all the space he needed to get over the barrier.
I did see several cute topless girls, so it wasn't all NRGWATH. I also saw some not so cute topless girls.
Once I got to the end of the parade, I walked back to the Civic Center, which was having a large street party called "Celebration." I'd guess it was about a 7 block by 7 block area that was sectioned off to allow drinking in the streets. The end of each street had a stage...at least 8 that I saw with various kinds of music playing. It was very crowded in most areas.
It was like a traditional street fair...only gay-er. Instead of old ladies trying to sell their candles, there were men with handlebar mustaches trying to sell calendars featuring photos of men's chests.
There was an outdoor S&M demo area that was behind a blue curtain so you could not see what was happening without paying. I think it cost $3 to go and there was a long line to get in. I didn't go.
Getting a cab home was impossible, so I just walked home. It took me about 45 minutes.
All in all...it was a great place for people watching.
There are some topless girls in these photos, so be careful where you look at this. The photos are here.