The following is the response (with only a couple of edits) to a PM that I had with another member.
His take was that the televised/reported depiction of gay people from the SF pride parade, et al... leaves a bad taste in the mouths of people from all over.
My response as follows...
Glad I have your curiousity peaked!
Talk about me being in good spirits, you appear to be coping much better as well and for that I am thankful.
Pride is about the ability to be who you are without the constraint of society's mores and morals. This does not mean that it is necessary that one needs to be immoral but then true morality does not come from religion but from the heart.Second
Toward the end of this PM is a partial list of the persons, organizations and themes in this years event (As well as previous parades).
I ask you to review that list as well as the complete list and tell me, "How many of the following would embarass us? What is the ratio? Now which do the media show and why? Would a church have the same effect to sell papers? Would anyone drape themselves on a couch to see breast cancer survivors?
Get my point?
I ask you who is REALLY at fault for the portrayal of gays and lesbians in the media? More importantly, our parade is for us... not the midwest, the east, Malaysia or the Czech Republic. It is for us. To celebrate what we have accomplished. Remember, we have no control over your media in 'STATE', you do! (Course you could also just move out here!)
While I too get a little... 'disturbed' at some images... oh say seeing a mentally handicapped person for example (my own messed up head space) we have to challenge ourselves to think, "What is the real harm here? The "different person or me?"Finally
, I ask your permission to post this PM in the public section of this site.
I think that it is VERY important for people to realize who we really are and more importantly, what we REALLY stand for... Equality and inclusion for all! If the media allows you to see all that attend, the 'freaks' lose their sting on the event.
One day, I hope to march in the parade with my "I am a Male Survivor of Sexual Abuse placard so that we no longer sit in silence".SIDE NOTE:
Last year, the list included Sir Ian McKellan (Magneto) What kid wouldn't get a kick from that? Partial List As Follows
Women's Motorcyle Contingent 500+ women on motorcyles, begun 25 or so years ago, and originally called "Dykes on Bikes"
Mikes on Bikes Informal, lively, diverse group of queer boys on bicycles.
San Francisco Bike Messengers Association
AIDS Lifecycle 2 50-70 members of the AIDS LifeCycle 2 Tour.
Cheer San Francisco Adult cheerleading team that performs nationally and
internationally, raising funds for direct care agencies throught the Cheer
Alexander Hamilton Post 448 American Legion Support group for LGBT war veterans.
"No On 6 Reunion" - Briggs Initiative Members from the No On 6/Briggs Initiative fight, 25 years ago, carrying the front banner.
SFLGBTPCC Inc. - Theme Float San Francisco's annual LGBT Pride celebration and parade committee.
San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band is the first openly GLBTIQQ music organization in the world, celebrating its 25th anniversary
San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus San Francisco's Gay Mens Chorus
Theatre Rhinoceros Longest running Queer theatre in the world
Rainbow25 2-block rainbow flag, part of the Ocean-to-Ocean flag across Florida
Maupin, Armistead - Celebrity Grand Marshal Noted author, famous for his "Tales of the City" series of novels, about gay life and San Francisco.
Gomez, Marga - Celebrity Grand Marshal Famous local lesbian comedian and actress
Marlene, Vicki - Grand Marshal 1 Fundraiser extraordinare for charities such as PAWS,
the AIDS Emergency Fund and the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund
Gatto, Marina - Grand Marshal 2 14 year old gay rights activist. Starred in the Nickelodeon special "My Family is Different" with Rosie O'Donnell
Person-Harris, Terry - Grand Marshal 3 A seasoned community leader with over twenty years experience in anti-violence movements
Wilson, Hank - Grand Marshal 4 3 decades of activism and community building. He teamed to found Gay Teachers Coalition & Community United Against Violence among others
Williams, Cecil - Grand Marshal 5 Has challenged and raised the limits of spirituality, compassion and diversity as the Pastor of Glide Memorial United Methodist Church
Marriage Equality California - Grand Marshal 6 MECA is committed to legalizing same sex marriage & securing equal rights for LGBT
BAAITS-Bay Area American Indian Two Spirits Cultural and social outreach group of LBGT and/or Two Spirit native Americans
GAPA - Gay Asian Pacific Alliance Furthering interests of gay and bisexual Asian/Pacific
Islanders by creating awareness
San Francisco LGBT Community Center The social, cultural, and political focal point of the SF LGBT community. Board, staff, volunteers, and members marching
Brown Jr., Willie L. - Mayor Mayor of San Francisco
Norcal Waste System Norcal Waste Systems, Inc. the parent company to Sunset Scavenger and Golden Gate Disposal and Recycling Companies
New Leaf Services Counseling center for the LGBT community: Senior services, youth services, mental health counseling, substance abuse couseling
Wells Fargo Local Bay Area employees in support of LGBT Pride
UCSF AIDS Health Project Mental health agency serving over 10,000 people a year
Triangle TaeKwon Do Club We are a not-for-profit community based martial arts and self-defense training organization that primarily targets the LGBTQ community
Migden, Carole - Chairwoman BOE Chairwoman Carole Migden and 100 supporters
AIDS Emergency Fund Float idea is: Queen Of Hearts. We plan to have a "Queen" singing from our float which will be followed by our contingent of vocalists
FTM International Support, networking, and education for and about female-to-male transsexuals, transgendered people, and their friends, families
TGSF-Transgender San Francisco Over 20 years as a non-sexual member based organization serving Bay Area with educational, social and recreational needs
Leno, Mark - Assemblyman
Alice B Toklas Democratic Club
API Wellness Center Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center's mission is to educate, support, empower and advocate for Asian & Pacific Islander
Imperial Council of San Francisco, Inc., The Reigning Emperor Michael Parsons and Empress Snatch
Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, The
Out Against The War Anit-war group coalition of queer groups and individuals opposed to war
Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club
Ammiano, Tom - Supervisor
Pride At Work/AFL-CIO LGBT labor advocacy group
Birds of Paradise Spreading word of the tradition of Carnaval (Brazilian holiday) as a joyous celebration of life
Most Holy Redeemer Church Catholic Church and AIDS support group
Log Cabin Club of San Francisco Predominantly gay Republican volunteer organization.
Straights for Gay Rights Founded 27 yrs ago to politically support LGBT community
KRON4 Bay Area television station, televisors of the Parade
Balloon Girls The Balloon Girls were a crime crazy girl gang of the 70's and 80's Known for their slumber partys, Folsom fair and others
Smirnoff Twist - Diego Smirnoff Twist Vodka float
San Francisco Leather Contingent Leather clubs, organizations., businesses, motorcyclists and independent marchers
SOMA Bare Chest Calendar Produces the SOMA barechest calendar which benefits Positive
Resource Center and the AIDS Emergency Fund
Positive Resource Center Provides benefits counseling and employment services for people with HIV/AIDS
Bears of San Francisco Charitable organization promoting friendship and fraternity
Ark of Refuge The Ark of Refuge Mentorship Program is a program that provides positive and healthy mentoring support for gay men and Transgenders
Showtime which is a national premium cable network, their float celebrates their gay programming
Bethany United Methodist Church We are a progressive church in Noe Valley with a membership that is half g/l/b/t and half straight
Chronicle, The San Francisco Local, daily newspaper. Float with 14 newspaper boys and a marching contingent of employees
Newsom, Gavin - Supervisor
Starbucks "Starbucks Frappucino in Bloom" - Partners/Employees on float, enjoying the parade
PFLAG (Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays - Providing support, education and advocacy through chapter activities
Freedom In Christ Evangelical Church of San Francisco Non-denominational Christian church comprised of Christians who are gay
Peskin, Aaron & Maxwell, Sophie - Supervisors President and members of the Board of Supervisors
Altoids National candy company
San Francisco Fog RFC First rugby club in Western U.S. established to invite members from traditionally under-represented groups
Pro-Latino De San Jose
Our Family Coalition Members of Our Family Coalition and COLAGE - LGBT families - some with children in strollers
Team Bank of America
The list goes on and on...