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Monday, June 29, 2015

Happy Residual Glitter Day! (A Post-Pride Round-Up)

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 12:19 PM

click to enlarge Best Dressed Award, 2015. (The cops had just posed for pics). - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Best Dressed Award, 2015. (The cops had just posed for pics).

Happy Residual Glitter Day! I am pretty covered in residual glitter.

America hit peak gay Friday morning when the Supreme Court said equality means equality for everybody, and Pride weekend just sort of exploded from there. (You’ll never convince me that Ruth Bader Ginsburg didn’t specifically plan it that way, and that her 80-pound frame wasn’t chortling through her neck doily about the joy she and her colleagues would be spreading.) Whether you think ENDA or trans rights are more important than marriage, there is a sense that LGBT Americans have truly become integrated into the country to a degree that won’t come undone — even if it means a “twinge of loss for an outsider culture,” as the New York Times put it.

click to enlarge Frameline celebrates nationwide marriage equality. - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Frameline celebrates nationwide marriage equality.

click to enlarge Happy brides. - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Happy brides.

So Pride is having something of an existential crisis. Assimilation notwithstanding, the happiest moment of the weekend, bar none, was the Renegade Dyke March down 18th Street. I went to a karaoke house party that seemed destined to be full of sad trombones this year because the Dyke March was re-routed to 17th Street, away from the Womyn’s Building and the Elbo Room, formerly a lesbian bar called Amelia's. (Allegedly, a restaurant on 18th Street complained, but I wasn't able to get confirmation on exactly who.) And when I heard there was going to be a splinter march, I figured it would be 46 people running to stay ahead of SFPD. Instead, at least 1,000 people passed by, and the angry-peaceful tenor was pitch-perfect. Although the Dyke March proper is specifically for female-identified people only, there were lots of men among the Renegades — but since it was a show of defiance and they wanted warm bodies on the line, I guess nobody objected.

Also, the best out-of-context line I heard all weekend was, "I'm really into hairy titties."

click to enlarge Renegade Dyke March - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Renegade Dyke March

click to enlarge Renegade Dyke March - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Renegade Dyke March

Radical moments aside, it’s kind of off-putting how straight SF Pride really is. SFist’s Jay Barmann is spot-on in his critique of hetero-creep, a seemingly irresistible force that leads to violence, crackdowns on hedonism, and cancellations — to say nothing of the anomie and general barfiness.

click to enlarge Capacity crowds at Dolores Park on Saturday. - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Capacity crowds at Dolores Park on Saturday.

click to enlarge The Pink Triangle, from 18th Street, across from Bi-Rite. - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • The Pink Triangle, from 18th Street, across from Bi-Rite.

But the problem isn’t entirely 19-year-old woo girls in rainbow tutus; it’s too few LGBT people. If you’re a comfy, middle-class, married gay parent, come out to the shitshow anyway, and acknowledge the forebears who sacrificed their lives and careers to make that life possible for you. And if you’re a militant queer who’s grossed out by the corporate tone, then reclaim Pride. Don’t withdraw and send it into a death spiral. At the same time, however obnoxious drunk teens can be, I didn’t personally encounter any awful behavior all weekend, apart from a very loud firecracker somebody set off outside the Faerie Freedom Village. It was nothing like the 2012 Giants victory parade, where I only lasted 10 minutes because of the hordes of suburban truants ruining everything. (Still, if I never see another goddamn rainbow tutu ever again, I’ll be very happy.)

click to enlarge As soon as the Supreme Court announced its decision, some activists wasted no time pointing out that millions of LGBT Americans can still be married today, fired tomorrow. - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • As soon as the Supreme Court announced its decision, some activists wasted no time pointing out that millions of LGBT Americans can still be married today, fired tomorrow.

click to enlarge Castro Street, blissfully empty, hours before the Pink Party. - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Castro Street, blissfully empty, hours before the Pink Party.

Although I acknowledge the limitations of one person’s anecdotal reporting, I didn’t see any violence or aggression, and nobody spilled a beer on me or got up in my face with a camera without acknowledging that I’m a person. What I did see, however, was a glorious panoply of weirdoes, gender nonconformists, and people hoisting that proverbial freak flag. 2015 felt different from 2014 in that the breakdown of the smothering gender binary is palpable, and that is something to celebrate.

click to enlarge And you thought face-painting was only for kids! - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • And you thought face-painting was only for kids!

click to enlarge Some queens at the street party in the Castro Friday evening. - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Some queens at the street party in the Castro Friday evening.

click to enlarge Laverne Cox's mother, a wax Laverne Cox, and Laverne Cox, at SF Pride's press conference Friday afternoon. - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Laverne Cox's mother, a wax Laverne Cox, and Laverne Cox, at SF Pride's press conference Friday afternoon.

click to enlarge After ESG's set at Hard French, at the Mezzanine. - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • After ESG's set at Hard French, at the Mezzanine.

Yes, Pink Saturday/the Pink Party and Pride itself look increasingly like a lost cause, but the ancillary events are arguably better than ever. I went to bars, a couple seriously debauched parties, and just walked through a bunch of crowds. I saw peacocking hedonists, I saw an insane number of bacon-wrapped hot dogs in Dolores Park, I saw ESG play Hard French, and I saw Laverne Cox’s mother upstage her at SF Pride’s press conference. It was a wonderful weekend. The San Francisco I met was the San Francisco I love the most, full of people — queer, straight, or otherwise — who I suspect are also still covered in glitter.

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About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Bio:
Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.

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