This year was the 45th anniversary of San Francisco’s Gay Pride Parade. The Supreme Court recently announced that our Constitution guarantees the right of same sex couples to marry in every state in our union. This year’s celebration was very joyful and our parade has become world famous.
The Gay Rights Movement traces its history back to something called the Stonewall Riots. In June of 1969, in Greenwich Village in New York, the police cracked down on members of the gay community with a raid of the Stonewall Inn. In turn, that sparked demonstrations. The date of the parade coincides with the anniversary of those demonstrations.
Here is a sample of the festivities:
In San Francisco, we had our own start to the Gay Rights Movement, and it was before the Stonewall Riots. At Compton’s Cafeteria in the Tenderloin, transgender people fought back in August of 1966. The Compton’s Cafeteria riot was “the first known incident of collective militant queer resistance to police harassment in U.S. history,” according to historian Susan Stryker.
One of our most famous “drag queens” is Donna Sachet. She is very active in community events and gives generously her time and singing talents to charities. A few years ago, she became the first drag performer to sing the National Anthem for the start of a Major League Baseball game: