News & Politics

For Some Gays, San Francisco Pride Parade Too 'Straight, White, and Corporate'

Some members of the LGBT community are refusing to attend the Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco because it’s too vanilla. They claim the event has become too “straight, white, and corporate.”

Now, I know I’m just an old fuddy-duddy when it comes to this kind of stuff, but looking at these photos from previous Pride Parades, just what do these people see that’s too “straight” and “white”? (Some photos NSFW).

Guardian:

While queer people said it’s important to come out on Pride as a way to stand up to the violence in Orlando and discriminatory laws across the country, some said the San Francisco parade has become too corporate, straight and white to feel like an appropriate setting to show LGBT solidarity.

On Friday, Black Lives Matter announced that it was pulling out as a grand marshal, due to concerns about the police’s plan to have an increased presence at the parade and heightened security measures.

Some local LGBT people are finding alternative ways to celebrate. Whether theTrans March on Friday, the Dyke March on Saturday, or other queer art shows onSunday, the city has a number of events that organizers hope will attract much more diverse crowds than the Pride parade.

“Pride really should be for queer folks,” said Amy Sueyoshi, a lifelong San Francisco resident, who identifies as genderqueer. “It’s not for straight people to demonstrate their queer-friendliness. I’d like that they do that in their daily lives.”

SF Pride officials said that corporate sponsors are critical to offsetting the costs of the massive event that attracts people from all over the world.

Although the festival adopted a “racial and economic justice” theme this year, the dominating presence of corporations, including the major Silicon Valley technology companies, is still a source of tension in a city struggling with rapidly rising rents and displacement.

LGBT activists said it can be frustrating to see Facebook, Google, Uber, Lyft, Salesforce and other tech firms sponsoring and marching in the parade, knowing that they are part of an industry that is greatly exacerbating income inequality in the region.

Last year, Apple had a comically large contingent of 8,000 marchers, who contributed to the parade dragging on for a record seven hours and 33 minutes.

So, people who constantly complain they’re on the outside looking in when it comes to being accepted by society refuse the invitation to be accepted by society because the event isn’t “queer” enough?

Yikes.

I’m as tolerant as the next guy but really, what does it say about the tolerance of the LGBT community when they boycott an event just because there are straight people who attend?

If you want to be a separate community, detached from the mainstream, you are free to do that in America. But if it’s acceptance by the mainstream that you seek, perhaps you should think about embracing our differences — all of our differences, including the differences found in “straight, white” America.