San Francisco Pride has somehow managed to sell out while still remaining bankrupt. The yearly bash has gone from its early days of grass-roots activism to pricey VIP lounges, corporate sponsorships and a staunch avoidance of all things radical.
Fortunately, several local events will bring us together — even Bradley Manning supporters — while raising money for LGBT causes and emerging artists. So make sure to put your money where your Pride is.
Desi Santiago is one of the artists creating a custom installation for Juanita More's Pride fete, which takes over 620 Jones St. on June 30 and will raise money for outLoud Radio, a San Francisco-based nonprofit for LGBT youths. Santiago's installation will be inspired by More herself, paying tribute to her larger-than-life commitment to educating and promoting queer arts.
On June 27, Folsom Street Events will host a party at Public Works with a live performance by London indie singer Bright Light Bright Light, whom the music magazine NME called "a boy Robyn." . The evening also will include Scissor Sisters solo act Slow Knights and the local groove DJs of Honey Soundsystem. Like the Folsom Street Fair, this event will benefit the organization's roster of charities that help combat HIV/AIDS.
On June 29, an alternative pink party will descend upon Utah Street. The boys of Burning Man's Pink Mammoth camp are throwing a block party starting at noon outside Mighty nightclub. Derek Hena, Pink Mammoth founder and Mighty bookings manager, said proceeds will go toward breast cancer research and Pink Mammoth's art installations.
Also June 29, three of San Francisco's boldest queer dance parties join forces to raise money for LYRIC, a social advocacy organization for LGBT youths. Stay Gold, Fix Yr Hair and Swagger Like Us are bringing eight hours of booty-romping music to Public Works. Performances will include electro-hop duo Double Duchess and drag's sweetheart Little Miss Hot Mess. Don't forget to get 'Shot in the City' (I'm talking photographs) by Cabure Bonugli.
Other notable Pride events:
PG&E's VIP Pride Kick-Off Party: If you're going to have to rub shoulders with your alderman this month, have it be at Mark Rhoades' June 19 Pride kickoff party today at the Redwood Room. The fashionista Joy Bianchi will probably be there, so steal something from Sui Generis. Proceeds go to the LGBT Center.
Pride NightLife June 27 at the California Academy of Sciences: The only place in town where you can watch rare species such as More, Heklina, Willam, Pandora Boxx, Glamamore, Peaches Christ and other "flamboyantly colored opisthobranchs" in their natural habitat. Proceeds from the June 27 event go to institutionalized art.
Big Gay Birthday: The Bold Italic will celebrate The City's 237th birthday and Pride at the Old Mint Building on June 28. The publication's first Pride event will feature a silent disco, and no birthday bash would be complete without a drag queen smearing cake on your face at midnight. Proceeds go to local digital media.
Drag Yourself to Pride Disco Prom: Young Burning Man meets overeager Google employees meets Kidz Bop at the Rickshaw Stop on June 28. Proceeds go to the Drag On Dragon Burning Man camp.
Frameline 37 Closing Night Screening: "G.B.F.," the new teen comedy about vying for a gay best friend, closes the Frameline Film Festival at the Castro Theatre on June 30. Proceeds go to independent LGBT cinema.
Hard French Hearts Los Homos: For Pride, San Francisco's daytime soul party staple skips over its usual El Rio location to Latin-funky Roccapulco June 30. Proceeds go to the Bradley Manning Support Network, but really should go to Edward Snowden.