San Francisco

Dykes on Bikes, a Lit Pink Triangle, and More Only-in-SF Pride Events

There are so many parades, parties, and more to enjoy at San Francisco Pride this year.

Meera Fox/Getty Images Entertainment
Meera Fox/Getty Images Entertainment
Meera Fox/Getty Images Entertainment

There’s nothing quite as uplifting and festive as SF Pride, and this year’s celebrations promise to be as raucous, colorful, and full of love as ever. For the entire month of June, San Franciscans will come together to celebrate, uplift, and support the members, voices, cultures, and rights of our LGBTQIA+ communities, culminating in the official Pride weekend on June 24th and 25th (get a VIP pass to maximize your fun or volunteer your time to create the best celebration possible). There are a million ways to celebrate, including dance parties, film screenings, drag shows, conversations, block parties, and so much more, just a few of which we’ve highlighted below. This year we’ll be “Looking Back and Moving Forward,” which is more important than ever considering the political climate.

Drink a special release of Tank Garage wine to support Out of the Closet Thrift Store

On sale Friday, June 9
Tank Garage Winery, a Calistoga winery with a tasting room in a 1930s-era gas station) is releasing “Out of the Closet,” a red wine blend that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community with a label by artist Hizze Fletcher King. Best of all, $1 per bottle to Out of the Closet Thrift Store, a foundation founded in 1990 to help raise funds and awareness for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. You can get it at the tasting room and online beginning June 9th.

Watch films from queer women of color for free

Friday, June 9–Sunday, June 11
The annual San Francisco International Queer Women of Color Film Festival is happening at the Presidio Theatre, showcasing films that reflect the lives of queer women of color and address social justice issues that concern multiple communities. (And they’re all free.)

Attend the National Queer Arts Festival (NQAF)

Friday, June 9–Saturday, July 2
This year’s theme for the largest queer arts festival in North America, “Murmurations of Queer Power,” celebrates the convergence of a swarm of queerness and the power of coming together in service of liberation. The festival takes place in spaces all over the Bay Area with performances, visual arts exhibitions, and interdisciplinary showcases.

Go to a grown-up Drag Story Hour cocktail party at The Academy

Wednesday, June 14
There is no better time to support Drag Story Hour, a nonprofit organization where “storytellers use the art of drag to read books to kids in libraries, schools, and bookstores,” and you can do exactly that at a special Drag Story Hour at The Academy, SF’s premier LGBTQ+ social club. The fundraiser and cocktail reception supports Drag Story Hour and the GLBT Historical Society and is open to the general public.

Arun Nevader/Getty Images Entertainment
Arun Nevader/Getty Images Entertainment
Arun Nevader/Getty Images Entertainment

Check out the Fresh Meat Festival of Trans and Queer performances at Z Space

Wednesday, June 14–Sunday, June 18
After a three-year hiatus, this festival is taking over Z Space for five days of Bay Area trans, queer, and gender non-conforming artists performing Afro-Latin dance, bomba dance and music, vogue dance, opera, aerial dance, stand-up comedy, live music, and more, all around the venue. Wander from the main stage to the balconies to quirky nooks for intimate performances available to the public on a sliding scale.

Watch 11 days of films at the Frameline47 San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival

Wednesday, June 14–Saturday, June 24
Frameline46, the world’s longest-running showcase of queer cinema, is hosting 11 days of LGTBQ+ cinematic events in theaters all over SF and Oakland (plus digital screenings for those who prefer to watch at home). The in-person events kick off with an opening night film and gala at Fairyland in Oakland. During the next ten days, audiences will be able to see over 90 films (narratives, shorts, documentaries, etc.) representing more than 30 countries, plus live talks, Q&As, and more.

Feast on tasty food and stellar drag performances at the Fairmont Hotel’s “Queens on Top” Pride Brunch

Saturday, June 17
Sister Roma of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is hosting this Pride celebration at the Fairmont’s iconic Laurel Court Restaurant with delicious food and Juanita MORE! as DJ.

Kick-off Pride at the California Academy of Science NightLife! party

Thursday, June 22
NightLife is getting fierce for Pride with a party featuring performances by The Oaklash Festival, cocktail bars throughout the museum, and a chance to explore the museum with an adult-only.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News

Celebrate our trans community at the San Francisco Trans March

Friday, June 23
Make a sign of solidarity, line the sidewalks, or march in one of the largest trans events in the country at the SF Trans March. Details have yet to be announced but based on past marches, there will probably be a stage in Dolores Park with live entertainment followed by the march downtown. And don’t miss the official after party “Bustin Out: Benefit Celebration for TJI Justice” at El Rio.

See Julie Crother’s show about coming out and coming of age

Friday, June 23–Sunday, June 25
Julie Crothers is taking the stage at ODC to perform Holy Crap, “a story of coming out, coming of age, and coming together with all the parts that make her whole. In an attempt to investigate the things she came to believe about goodness, value, purpose, and meaning within a deeply evangelical culture.”

Run 5K or 10K to raise money for LYRIC: Center for LGBTQQ+ Youth

Saturday, June 24
Run a 5K loop once or make it 10K by running it twice at the San Francisco FrontRunners Pride Run, a family-fun friendly way to engage with your local community during Pride Month-all while raising money for LYRIC: Center for LGBTQQ+ Youth. The run is followed by snacks, entertainment, and awards.

Take the entire family to a block party in the Castro

Saturday, June 24th
While all of the parties above (especially the one at the Power Exchange) are for adults, there’s a block party on Saturday that’s very family-friendly. Take pics with the Castro Unicorn, pet goats and other cute animals at the petting zoo, attend a drag story time, and more.

Arun Nevader/Getty Images Entertainment
Arun Nevader/Getty Images Entertainment
Arun Nevader/Getty Images Entertainment

Celebrate and march in the 30th San Francisco Dyke March

Saturday, June 24
Join in or cheer from the sidewalks to celebrate dyke communities, advocate for justice for dykes around the world, and support dykes as they demand “space, rights, visibility, and respect” at the 31st annual SF Dyke March. The march starts at Dolores and 18th Street in the Mission at 5 pm.

Watch the Pride parade while enjoying tasty food and drinks at La Bande

Sunday, June 24
La Bande, the patio restaurant at The Proper Hotel, is hosting a Pride party complete with delicious shared plates, live DJ beats, and an up-close view of the festivities.

Attend the annual San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration and Parade

Saturday, June 24–Sunday, June 25
The theme of this year’s official #SFPride celebration is “Looking Back and Moving Forward,” and the official festivities take place over the last weekend in June, including the beloved Pride Parade down Market Street with floats, marchers, and performers, ending at a party at the Civic Center with live entertainment on multiple stages, exhibitors, and more. Download the Pride app for all the details, including maps, line-ups, vendors, artists, and more. Think your feet are going to be tired after a weekend (month) of non-stop dancing? Buy tickets to sit in the Grandstand.

Keep the Pride celebrations going with after parties

Friday, June 24–Sunday, June 26
There are the official Pride celebrations, and then there are all the club parties that happen after-hours, and whatever your kink, there’s a party for you. There are too many to list here, but just a few that promise to be worth the price of admission are Young Hearts Pride, a cross-generational trans-galactic soul-strengthening discotheque for all, and Bearracuda San Francisco at Public Works; Oasis’ Pride Sunday with Kerry Colby; The Mighty Real Pride Weekender at The Phoenix Hotel; Afterglow Pride hosted by Comfort & Joy at Space 550; all of the parties at The Great Northern; the Pride SF Glow Party at the Power Exchange which promises a “sexy night of glowing adult fun”; and pretty much anything happening at any bar in the Castro.

Arun Nevader/Getty Images Entertainment
Arun Nevader/Getty Images Entertainment
Arun Nevader/Getty Images Entertainment

Party with Juanita MORE! at her annual Pride party

Sunday, June 25
Juanita MORE! is partying at 620 Jones from noon well into the night on Sunday of Pride weekend. There will be music and drinks flowing, and all the donations raised will go to Queer LifeSpace, a nonprofit counseling agency that provides affordable, evidence-based mental health and substance abuse services to the LGBTQIA+ community in the Bay Area. (Please note: The event page says sales have ended, but cash-only tickets for the daytime are still available at multiple locations, and tix for the night party can be purchased here.

Celebrate “The Magic of We” at the Oakland Black Pride Festival

Wednesday, June 28–Sunday, July 2
The Oakland Black Pride Festival kicks off with “Breaking Bread: A Benefit Dinner,” a seven-course meal with optional cocktail pairings. Check out the Queer Expo on Saturday and show off your kickball skills during the Queer Kickball Tournament on Sunday.

Send Pride-inspired artisan chocolate and truffles to someone you love (or eat ‘em yourself!)

Throughout June
Kokak Chocolates is a woman- and LGTBQ-owned chocolate shop/company in the Castro and is offering several Pride collections of its small-batch, single-origin heirloom chocolates. It’s a delicious way to show someone your love and support while also showing a small local business the same.

Dance, laugh, and live your best life at drag and cabaret performances at Oasis

Throughout June
You’re guaranteed to find a good time at Oasis any month of the year, but this June, the party is non-stop. Witness grown-ass adults share their most embarrassing teen (queer-themed) traumas at MORT-PRIDE (a special edition of Mortified); party with Hunks and Housewives (featuring Sutton Stracke of RHOBH fame); watch a drag performance of Sex and the City Live; and more.

Arun Nevader/Getty Images Entertainment
Arun Nevader/Getty Images Entertainment
Arun Nevader/Getty Images Entertainment

Visit the GLBT Historical Society

Throughout June
The GLBT Historical Society preserves and exhibits materials and knowledge that support and promote understanding of LGBTQ history, culture, and arts in all their diversity. Right now, exhibitions include “Queer Past Becomes Present,” a long-term exhibit that shows all kinds of photos and artifacts from the everyday queer life of San Franciscans; a recently discovered segment of one of the original 1978 rainbow flags; and Doris Fish: Ego as Artform, a showcase about the power of drag to change the world. Go for free on the first Wednesday of the month.

Attend queer talks and LGBTQIA+ marketplaces at Manny’s

Throughout June
Manny’s, a community cafe/bar/event space with cafe-in-the-front and living-room-in-the-back vibes, is hosting Pride events all month long, including a few talks about Trans Grief, the State of the LGBT Movement, and “Queer North Beach Before the Castro,” as well as a marketplace featuring over a dozen LGBTQ+ San Francisco artists and makers. See their event page for all of the listings.

Hike to the glowing pink triangle on Twin Peaks

Throughout June
All through June, this famous pink triangle will be lit up with 2,700 bright pink LED nodes on the hillside of Twin Peaks as a nightly reminder of equity and resilience. (Walk up the car-free part of Twin Peaks Blvd (enter at the Burnett Gate), drive up (via the Portola Gate), or hike up one of the trails if you want to see it close-up. Prefer to see it from afar? The triangle, which covers about an acre, is visible from over 20 miles away (depending on the fog’s disposition, of course).

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Daisy Barringer is an SF-based freelance writer who is taking advantage of these strange times by exploring San Francisco on foot. Follow her on Instagram to see where she goes next.

San Francisco

How to Celebrate Black History Month in San Francisco

Support and celebrate SF's Black community.

Courtesy of Black Joy Parade
Courtesy of Black Joy Parade
Courtesy of Black Joy Parade

Though it’s something we need to be doing every day of every month of every year, Black History Month encourages us to pay tribute to the struggles and oppression generations of Black Americans have faced, as well as their often-neglected triumphs and achievements that have helped shape this county and make it better. It’s a time to reflect on how we can do better to confront racism and oppression, which this year’s theme, “Black Resistance,” echoes. This is especially important in a town like San Francisco, where the Fillmore District was known as “the Harlem of the West” before the city displaced a vast portion of the neighbourhood’s Black community in the ’60s and ’70s. This displacement continues today, as the Black population is the only racial group that has declined in every census since 1970.

If you’re looking for ways to celebrate Black History Month, there are lots to do. Whether you want to educate yourself by attending films, performances, or conversations, share the joy at a parade or dance party, or do a little bit of it all at a drag show, here are just a few ways you can get involved and have a lot of fun while doing so:

Visit San Francisco Public Library branches for workshops, films, performances, and more

February (and throughout the year)
Library branches and online
SFPL’s “More Than a Month” celebration focuses on the theme of resistance this year. Family-friendly and adult events include film screenings, musical performances, book clubs, workshops, and more.
Cost: Free

Museum of African Diaspora
Museum of African Diaspora
Museum of African Diaspora

See art, poetry, films, talks, and more at MoAD

February (and throughout the year)
SoMa
Right now, at the Museum of African Diaspora, you can see the first and only West Coast exhibition of “The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion,” which highlights the work of 15 contemporary fashion designers “whose images present radically new perspectives on the medium of photography and art, race and beauty, and gender and power.” The museum, which has a robust year-round program and event calendar, has a slew of events to attend, including youth poetry readings, film screenings, open mic nights, book clubs, artist talks, and more.
Cost: Event prices vary; GA to visit the museum is $12 but free every second Saturday of the month

Check out films, art, reading, talks, and more at BAMPFA

February (and throughout the year)
Berkeley
There is always something interesting to discover at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA). During Black History Month, you can see films by Pratibha Parmar, “Felwine Sarr: Music, Freedom, Africa,” a conversation through music with the Senegalese writer, scholar, composer, musician, and more.
Cost: Varies

Old Skool Cafe
Old Skool Cafe
Old Skool Cafe

Enjoy menu specials honoring Black community members at Old Skool Cafe

February (and throughout the year)
Bayview
For Black History Month, Old Skool Cafe is adding the favourite meals of notable Black community members to the menu each weekend. The nonprofit, youth-run supper club helps at-risk, formerly incarcerated, and foster care youth ages 16-22 gain the skills and experience they need to succeed in various front and back-of-house restaurant roles. Bayview hero/community advocate Mrs. Dorris Vincent is first up, followed by Judge Trina Thompson, Delroy Lindo, and Mayor London Breed.

Yerba Buena Gardens
Yerba Buena Gardens
Yerba Buena Gardens

Walk beneath the Marting Luther King, Jr. Memorial waterfall

February (and ongoing)
Yerba Buena Gardens
Did you know that Yerba Buena Gardens is home to the country’s second-largest memorial to Dr. King? Visit the sculptural waterfall featuring glass panels inscribed with his inspiring words at 750 Howard Street.
Cost: Free

Attend the Commonwealth’s “Dreaming Forward: A Celebration of Black Joy, Power, and Excellence” conference

Thursday, February 9
Embarcadero
On behalf of Dr. Sheryl Evans Davis and the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, the Commonwealth Club is hosting its second annual Dream Keeper Initiative, a day-long conference/celebration/call-to-action featuring special guests, including April Ryan of TheGrio and CNN.
Cost: Free

Courtesy of Oakland First Fridays
Courtesy of Oakland First Fridays
Courtesy of Oakland First Fridays

Celebrate Black Love at Oakland First Fridays

Friday, February 10
Telegraph Avenue from West Grand to 27th Street
Telegraph Avenue transforms into a dining, shopping, and art-appreciating party on Friday, February 10, from 5 pm to 9 pm. There will be food, artist, and retail vendors and a host of Black artists, authors, and entertainment. Please note: This event was rescheduled from February 3 because of potential rain.
Cost: Free

Have a ball at an all-Black drag show at Oasis

Friday, February 10
SoMa
“Reparations with Latrice Royale” is an all-Black drag show hosted by Latrice Royale, the beloved Drag Race star who also happens to be celebrating her birthday.
Cost: $15 to $60

Dance all night and shop all day at the Afro Soca Love carnival and marketplace

Friday, February 10 – Saturday, February 11
341 13th Street, Oakland
Afro Soca Love creates experiences that act as a “gateway to building bonds and strengthen relationships-between communities, individuals, and Africa and its diaspora.” See for yourself at the all-ages marketplace (Saturday), where you’ll find food and drink, fashion, beauty and wellness, home decor, and more. But before the shopping comes the dancing at the 21+ Friday Night Carnival, a culturally immersive music experience with music from all over the world.
Cost: The marketplace is free; tickets to the Friday Night Carnival start at $20

See a live performance of “Words That Made the Difference: Brown vs. the Board of Education”

Saturday, February 11
Unity Palo Alto
See a live theatrical performance based on the true events that occurred in the fight to end school segregation. The script draws from trial transcripts of the five cases brought together in front of the Supreme Court and Chief Justice Earl Warren’s memoirs, and the play is set in the courtrooms where it all happened. There will be a Q&A with the playwright before the performance and the cast afterward.
Cost: Free

Courtesy of San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company
Courtesy of San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company
Courtesy of San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company

Go to the I, Too, Sing America album release party

Saturday, February 11
Mission
Head to the Brava Theater Center to celebrate the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company’s album release of the music created for I, Too, Sing America, a soulful and uplifting performance that moved audiences when it debuted last year. The night includes an album-listening and sing-along party, DJs, dancing, an open bar, and more.
Cost: $40

Go on the Black Liberation Walking Tour of West Oakland

Saturday, February 18
West Oakland
Take a walk with David Peters, founder of the West Oakland Cultural Action Network, and Gene Anderson, the author of Legendary Locals of Oakland, to learn about resident voices and document sites of cultural and historical significance in the neighbourhood. Peters is a local native, and Anderson is an Oakland historian whose family has historical roots in West Oakland.
Cost: $50 ($30 for West Oakland residents)

See a screening of The Black Kung Fu Experience followed by in-person demonstrations

Sunday, February 19
Great Star Theater, Chinatown
The Chinese Historical Society of America is celebrating Black History Month and social unity with a screening of this film about how a group of African American pioneers became respected in a subculture dominated by Chinese and white men. Afterward, there will be demonstrations and talks with Sifu Donald Hamby and Sifu Troy Dunwood, who “will speak about their success as internationally recognized martial arts masters, their Chinese Kung Fu teachers, and what this practice means in relation to diversity, race and inclusion issues.”
Cost: $15

Sip wine made by Black winemakers at a free tasting event at STEM Kitchen + Garden

Thursday, February 23
Dogpatch
STEM Kitchen + Garden is hosting an afternoon wine tasting celebrating Black-owned wineries in its gorgeous indoor/outdoor space, and best of all, and it’s free to the public!
Cost: Free

Bayview Opera House
Bayview Opera House
Bayview Opera House

Attend the San Francisco African American Arts & Cultural District Gala Fundraiser

Saturday, February 25
Bayview Opera House
Enjoy an evening of talent, fashion, and community inspiration at SFAAACD’s 1st Annual Gala Fundraiser. Carla Duke, Television News Director at CBS-KPIX Chanel 5, will host the event, which includes inspiring words from keynote speaker Aniyia Williams, an artist, tech creator, and system-preneur.
Cost: $100

Attend a Black History Month & Chinese New Year Poetry Reading on Angel Island

Saturday, February 25
Angel Island
There is so much history in poetry at the Angel Island Detention Barracks Museum, which makes it a fitting location for poets Chun Yu and Michael Warr. The co-founders of Two Languages/One Community will share their poems and stories in English and Chinese, accompanied by projected images of text and photographs.
Cost: $10 to $21

Courtesy of Black Joy Parade
Courtesy of Black Joy Parade
Courtesy of Black Joy Parade

Feel the joy at the Black Joy Parade

Sunday, February 26
Downtown Oakland
This parade and festival celebrate the “Black experience past, present, and future.” Be prepared to experience “more Black joy than you ever imagined,” starting with the parade (beginning at 14th and Franklin) at 12:30 pm. The family-friendly festival follows (main entrance is at 19th and Franklin) will include 200-plus Black-owned small businesses selling food, drinks, clothing, art, and more. There will also be two stages with Black performers, including The Black Joy Choir.
Cost: Free

Take a sound bath at Grace Cathedral in honor of Black History Month

Monday, February 27
Nob Hill
Take an immersive sound bath featuring Fractals of Sound, a collective of top Bay Area musicians Egemen Sanli, Phoenix Song, and Sam Jackson, with special guest Destiny Muhammad. Together, they will create a “soundscape deeply rooted in world music,” allowing you to take a meditative journey in one of the most beautiful places in San Francisco.
Cost: $25 to $75

See Tsitsi Dangarembga and Angela Davis at City Arts & Lectures

Tuesday, February 28
Civic Center
Co-presented with MoAd, City Arts & Lectures is hosting novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga and scholar and activist Angela Davis for what’s sure to be a riveting conversation.
Cost: $36

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Daisy Barringer is an SF-based freelance writer who spent many childhood days wandering around the Exploratorium. Follow her on Instagram to see what she’s up to now.

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