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Friday, October 21, 2011

Pet Pride Day Is Coming. Straight Animals Welcome, Too!

Posted By on Fri, Oct 21, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Don't read too much into the farm attire motif
  • Don't read too much into the farm attire motif
Don't read too much into the farm attire motif

If you look up "gay" in the dictionary, you'll find the following:

1 a : happily excited : merry
b : keenly alive and exuberant : having or inducing high spirits


a : bright, lively
b : brilliant in color

That said, when your wife asks you "how are you feeling today?" you may be misunderstood after replying "I'm gay." Also, "that's so gay" is probably not the best way to describe a classic turquoise Thunderbird

In short, word meanings change over the years. So we were a bit jolted to come across notices for "Pet Pride Day" in Golden Gate Park on Oct. 30. We used to have guinea pigs, but we never made assumptions about what happened in the cage after the lights went off.

"I've had people ask that before -- 'Does your dog have to be gay to go?'" notes Jane Tobin, the co-president of the Friends of Animal Care and Control and founder of the 18-year-old pet festival. "No, it's fine. We're very happy to invite all. Everyone is welcome."

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar -- and, in this case, the term "pride" has no deeper meanings. It's just about people who love their animals, and, hopefully, vice-versa.

In fact, Pet Pride Day predates the use of the term "Pride" with regards to the annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender march and festival here in San Francisco. Until 1994, that event was known as the "International Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day Parade."

While Pride attracts hundreds of thousands of revelers, Pet Pride draws a more modest several thousand. You can count on about that many critters, too, if you tally the rats, chinchillas, and bunnies that will be available for adoption alongside the dogs and cats.

There'll also be police horses, and working animals such as falcons and border collies.

Animal Care and Control Director Rebecca Katz also notes that children will be able to participate in the "Super Duper Pooper Scooper" event, in which tykes are encouraged to remove leavings from the park in as rapid a manner as possible. In a potential mixed message, however, fun-sized candy bars will be substituted for excrement. "This time, it's okay if they eat it," Katz says.

Finally, there will also be a Dating Game for pets and prospective owners, complete with the old Dating Game music and format. Sounds like fun. And, most importantly, Tobin notes that, as with the use of the trademarked term "Pride," she hasn't heard from a Dating Game lawyer yet.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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