For Immediate Release
Jason P. Lorber
SAN FRANCISCOJune 21, 2002San Franciscos lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) Pride parade and festival will feature flair of an international air, including the world-renowned British actor, Sir Ian McKellen; the worlds first transsexual to be elected to a national office, New Zealands Georgina Beyer; and Egyptian gay activist Maher Sabry, who championed the rights of the Cairo 52.
Were a worldwide community, said Joshua Smith, Board President of San Francisco LGBT Pride. Our mission isnt just to celebrate locally, were also here to educate the world.
SATURDAY and SUNDAY
McKellen, Sabry, and Beyer, who have been making headlines for their LGBT advocacy, will join an expected one million people at the 32nd anniversary Pride weekend. Celebrity Grand Marshalls Sir Ian McKellen and actress Sharon Gless will join the community-elected Grand Marshals City Treasurer Susan Leal, human rights activist Hoover Lee, and transgender activists Christopher Lee and Shawna Virago.
Official festivities begin at noon on Saturday, June 29, including a Stand Against Hate rally and a domestic partner commitment ceremony hosted by lesbian Assemblywoman Carole Migden. On Sunday, June 30, the parade activates at 10:30 a.m. at Market and Beale streets and struts to the Civic Center, which will be filled with hundreds of organizational and food/drink booths.
The entertainment will be fabulous, of course. A record ten stages will present hundreds of performers, including Gwen Avery, Pansy Division, Dead or Alive, Julia Fordham, Janis Ian, Marc Almond, Jocelyn Brown, Jewelle Gomez, and Faye Carol. Salsa, swing, soul, trance, hip-hop, hula, house, and country western are just a taste of the dance-theme areas.
The weekend will cap weeks of festivities, including an international rugby tournament, whose trophy is named for United Flight 93 hero Mark Bingham.
WB20-TV will broadcast the entire parade live. Free childcare and sign language interpretation will be provided. The main stage and a section of the parade route are designated for those with accessibility needs.
SF Prides success relies on over 1,500 volunteers and supporters, including principal sponsors Bud Light, San Francisco Chronicle, Instinct Magazine, San Francisco Bay Times, and WB20-TV. The event is also made possible by voluntary $3 per person gate donations.