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Clearly Queer 

The biggest, baddest parties of the 2004 Pride season

Wednesday, Jun 23 2004
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For some, marriage means the end of partying, late nights, and anything that could remotely be called "fun." But in the wake of San Francisco's recent sashay onto the dance floor of same-sex marriage, much of the celebrating during the 2004 Pride season is likely to serve not as an escape from but rather as a salute to the old ball(s) and chain.

Perhaps the most moving event is "Spouses for Life," a photography exhibit documenting the recent historic nuptials. The first part of the exhibit -- "The Photographer's Eye" (showing at SomArts Cultural Center through June 25) -- records the matrimonial mania through the lenses of professional photographers, while the exhibit's second part -- "The Newlyweds" (at San Francisco's LGBT Center through Sept. 18) -- shares snapshots and stories submitted by the happy couples themselves.

Weep if you must over poignant stories of love requited, but be sure to save your strength for all 10 kilometers of the 25th annual Pride Run (there's also a 5K version for the perennially hung-over) on Saturday, June 26. The races snake through Golden Gate Park and are preceded by a pasta party the night before. Awards go out to winners in several age groups; those who make it to the end can enjoy a potluck picnic. On the other hand, if such frenetic exertion makes you swoon, you can get your weekly workout instead at Saturday's traditional Dyke March, a feast of Sapphic ladies cruising each other all throughout the Mission.

Of course, if you prefer Guinness to Gatorade, head over to the ground zero of gay -- the Castro, duh -- for the notorious Pink Saturday, also on June 26. This wild and chaotic block party, hosted as always by the fun-loving Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, is rivaled only by the Castro's other wild and chaotic block parties (Halloween, Easter, Friday night). Celebrate Pride by bumping and grinding your way through thousands of musicians, dancers, street performers, and gawkers, not to mention circuit-party cupcakes, hirsute bears, wide-eyed baby dykes, and all the other residents of Planet Queer.

Those who can make it out of bed the next morning (their own or somebody else's) can take in the city's colorful and boisterous ode to everything queer -- the Pride Parade. This year's marchers are led along Market Street by two grand marshals, the adorable actor Alan Cumming and the hairy comedian Bruce Vilanch, to the main stage, where revelers continue the antics to the music of R&B diva Chaka Khan, the comedy of Graham Norton, and the dance tunes of Lipstick Conspiracy at what always turns out to be one of the biggest bashes of the year. We hope the next big party many of these revelers attend is a wedding.

About The Author

Jack Karp

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