San Francisco Pride 2012 takes place this weekend with a bevy of events celebrating the LGBT community.
Pride Executive Director Brendan Behan said that the hope is that this year is bigger than ever.
“We have grown each year. The theme this year is Global Equality and we are really excited about some of the speakers we have from all over the world,” said Behan. “In fact, our Global Grand Marshal this year is Bishop Christopher Senyojo from Uganda. He has been working on LGBT issues in Uganda for decades and will be visiting the United States and participating in Pride this year, which we are very excited about.”
Behan said that the 2012 event is especially unique because of all that has gone on this year in terms of LGBT issues. “It’s already been an amazing year with President Obama coming out in support of marriage equality, the first president to ever issue that type of statement. Proposition 8 continues to make its way through the legal system and we continue to hold out hope for good news on that front,” he said. “And the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will finally allow active-duty military to march openly at Pride. In fact, we’ll have a veteran’s group leading the march at the front of the parade.”
Behan said he feels a swell of support growing for LGBT rights and addressing concerns within the community. In fact, a survey of attendees last year saw 40 percent of people at Pride identify themselves as straight. “I think a lot of straight people are really identifying with some of the problems and issues the LGBT community faces. Whether it’s challenges in gender roles, sexuality, discrimination or just general oppression in society, they realize that we all face similar issues in society.”
Events are taking place all weekend around San Francisco with the main parade taking place on Sunday.
Photo Credit: Tom Hwang