It's About Freedom

SAN FRANCISCO - October 29, 1999 - The general members of San Francisco Pride have chosen "It's About Freedom" as the theme for next year's Y2K San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride celebrations.

At their most recent meeting, the members voted overwhelmingly in favor for a theme which not only pays homage to the heritage of the Parade, which until 1994 was called the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Day Parade, but which also looks forward with confidence to obtaining our rights, achieving our social acceptance and empowering ourselves as proud LGBT people in the new Millennium.

Commenting, Pride President Calvin Gipson said :

"We need to boldly call for freedom as we fight against the Knight Initiative and for our right to marry. Additionally, we still cannot honorably serve our country in the military without harassment and prejudice. The Christian Right and mainstream churches have stepped up their efforts to defeat us and we are witnessing some of the most horrific hate crimes and violence against us that our community has ever seen. It's About Freedom will help us all to stop and look at what really matters - our freedom and the freedom of our youth and children."

The theme was articulated by a heterosexual supporter at this year's Parade during the queer radio broadcast, This Way Out*, an international Lesbian and Gay radio magazine airing locally on KLAW 91.7. The broadcast was covered by local talent, Paul Barwick, and other members of Rainbow Productions. The supporter stated that she described the Parade as a place where "we learn what it's all about". She continues, "It's About Freedom ... the right to have freedom and to make your own choices. I think it's a great thing." The theme, while underlining the right of queer people everywhere to self determination, is also a message which crosses over into mainstream culture. It is a message which is at once both deeply rooted in our community and which resonates with our allies.

Following the theme selection the board announced a public competition for the Y2K logo with a $500 prize for the winner. Anyone interested in entering the logo contest should contact the Pride Office at the address above for details.

Pride Executive Director, Teddy Witherington said :

"For the past two years we have been fortunate enough to have really great logos and themes. It's About Freedom is a perfect summation of 30 years of community empowerment and the message we have for all humanity as we move forward into the new millennium. We're expecting some spectacular competition entries."

Next year will be the 30th anniversary of San Francisco Pride Celebrations and the Parade and Celebration will be held over the June 24/25 weekend.

  For further information please contact Teddy Witherington at : (415) 864 0831
* This Way Out can be heard on Friday Evenings at 7.30pm and via Planet Out