Grand Marshal Fever
The San Francisco Pride Committee has unveiled the list of nominees for Individual and Organization Grand Marshal of this years LGBT Pride Parade, the theme for which is Be Yourself, Change the World. Twenty individuals, nominated by the community will be on this years ballot representing the many diverse communities served by the Parade.
"The diverse range of nominees highlights San Francisco's diverse Queer community. Once again, the community has selected a worthy field of candidates representing different genders, sexualities and ethnicities. Win or lose, all of these nominees are worthy of recognition as they change the World while being themselves.
Said Pride President, Joshua Smith.
The nominees come from many walks of life. From those involved with the world of politics like Susan Leal, Brenda Crawford, Esther Lee and Lisa Chun, to transgender activists Shawna Virago and Christopher Lee, Barry Saif of the Bisexual Community, Sharon Smith (partner of Diane Whipple), the multi-faceted Donna Sachet, Leather and AIDS activists such as Lenny Broberg, Daddy Alan Selby, Seth Watkins and Glennon Sutter, International movers and shakers like Jewelle Gomez and Surina Khan, MCC Pastor Penny Nixon, artists like Blackberri, Jadine Louie and Michelle Tea and, community volunteers like Frank Woo and Hoover Lee, the list showcases diversity on many levels.
Pride Executive Director, Teddy Witherington, said :
"Everyone who has been nominated has supported our community in some way. Whether it be through serving as a role model, showing courage in the face of homophobia, helping non-profits or fighting for LGBT rights and inclusion these folks have demonstrated their worthiness. Now its up to the community to decide
In true San Francisco tradition, the community will vote in the coming weeks for the nominees they think most worthy of the honor. Voting booths staffed by volunteers are set up in the Castro and other neighborhoods. Ballot papers are also published in the media. The community-wide election is a virtually unique way of selecting Grand Marshals. At most other events, Marshals are appointed.
We do things a little differently in San Francisco, Smith continued, regardless of who is elected, the remaining nominees are confirmed as honorary marshals. So, you see, everyone is respected.
Public balloting starts March 1 and will continue until April 15. A full list of nominees is attached. People vote in three categories, individual (local community heroes), organization and Pink Brick, a category for those who have done the most to harm our community. For more information regarding the voting process go to www.sfpride.org after 9 am on 03.01.02.
The winners will join Sir Ian McKellen, the Celebrity Grand Marshal, in the San Francisco Pride Parade and Celebration which takes place this year on June 29/30.