Memories from San Francisco Pride

Diana downs rose with the big pink fist at the Dyke March

Truthfully the ol’ memory bank is a little thin, not because I didn’t have a good time but because I DID. And as I said before, this trip was more about personal Pride enjoyment than queer media coverage, but my friends and I have some pretty good stories to tell so I figured you might want to hear some anyway right? Pictures are on their way…

It started with 3 queers in a car, camping in NoCal and defending our lives against mosquitos but quickly moved to our headquarters at the Mark Twain Hotel on the edge of downtown and the Tenderloin and added a gay male Angelino and a beautiful SLC lady. Convenient location, but by the end of the weekend I was kinda done with the crackheads. But the hotel staff was amazing and D slept in the closet, which was big enough to have a camp bed and close the door, so we called our domicile a 2 room suite. It was kinda annoying that the hotel charged for internet but also kept me off the computer and having fun most of the time. And besides, they parked 2 of our cars and generally put up with our shenanigans. I even appreciated our inner room as apparently ladies like to watch other queers sleeping peacefully half naked. This is what my bedmate tells me anyway…

Thursday was low key and we were probably some of the first of the (literally) million gays to descended upon the city. So we went shopping (yay H&M!) and went to only one dance party Gold Queers in the Night.

Friday, too, was mellow enough for us to nab some time in the calm quiet of Japantown before starting the madness that afternoon at the Trans March at Delores Park. There we hugged some hot dogs, watched some amazing dance routines and met new friends. We also lost Diana to some fellow Portlanders and a black light decorated hot tub and double shower. Luckily I got to have the same experience Sunday.

This did make us a little unfortunately late for the Blow Pony crew party Starfucker which was a bit sparsely attended due to not making it into the Pride Guide. So after schmoozing a bit we went to check out the Unofficial Original Plumbing party. It would have been helpful to know that it was upstairs at the Elbo Room, because it was well after midnight when we finally really started to shake it with the hot trannies but the cover was halved and the end of the night go go boys were just as hot as earlier pictures proved. When we couldn’t catch a cab later, one of them even drove us home. Hell yeah SF for having super hot, super nice trans go go dancers!

Dyke debauchery

But if we thought Friday was crazy, well we were mistaken. We walked around the Pride Celebration at the Civic Center early in the day, which was a good call because Sunday was claustrophobic mania. The afternoon found us back at Delores park for the Dyke March but I can’t tell you much about the performers here because it was so packed (even at 4 hours before the event) that I could see nothing but the beer cans in my immediate vicinity. Cell reception was non-existent so when you did get through you had to tell your friends in exact drunken measurements how far your party was from the third palm tree on the left. But I did manage to mostly keep track of my peeps and I also spotted celesbian Dani Campbell among the partiers.

Though I was in short shorts and had a huge backpack I didn’t go back to the hotel to change or regroup before going out that night. Others managed to make it to the Castro for the Pink Party, narrowly missing the scary shooting that happened that night as well as the Lexington, technically SF’s only full-time lesbian bar. I think I was wandering around the mission with some new friends. But we all regrouped at Mango at El Rio where we ate grilled things and fruit on sticks and danced our asses silly. A couple of us tried to go to Bootie: Lady Gaga vs. Madonna but decided the line was too intense and instead had some quite time fun back at the Mark Twain while everyone else partied. One of our crew didn’t make it back until about 8 the next morning, while another had one of the best quotes of the weekend. While relating a tale of attending a swanky apartment party Perry said “—– did some drugs. I had some tea” in the most matter-of-fact English accent that we all busted a gut with laughter.

So by the time Sunday’s parade rolled around we were all pretty spent. But Nicole, Perry and I managed to see some Dykes on Bikes and gay cyclists before grabbing a bagel. We shouldn’t have worried, as the parade was long enough for all our dragging asses to eventually find each other on Market. It was longer than our local, but not more impressive, and this was probably the most down time we had all weekend. We did catch a bit of the Backstreet Boys and some other of the multi-block gay fest but navigating was difficult and peeing impossible so we didn’t stay at the Civic Center long.

Yet we perservered! Even as Diana debated going out once again and coming up with my second favorite quote of the weekend, “I feel like I just got bitchslapped with the Pride dick” Nicole and I decided to go to the Lex or the Castro as we hadn’t been to either all weekend.

So started at the Lex, dancing with Portland peeps and squishing through a sea of lesbians in that tiny box of a bar, walked through the Castro and found the quietest bar we could a popped a squat for a drink before heading back to lezzieville. There we closed down the bar before heading one last time to Delores Park for some late night swinging, chatting, and canoodling to be followed by the earlier mentioned hot-tubbing.

Monday was a rush of packing, goodbyes and tears but we did all get to convene in the quiet suburb of San Ramon for a low-key pool party before heading our separate ways. Then the 3 of us in the Altima left the city behind us to the camping and the calm cool waters of Lake Shasta. It was just the right way to cleanse and end the madness…

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