Marga Joins Early Birds On Parade
Marga Gomez Joins Armistead Maupin As Celebrity Grand Marshal
Parade To Start Half-Hour Earlier at 10am


Comedian and actress Marga Gomez returns to the city where she made her stand-up debut and joins author Armistead Maupin as Celebrity Grand Marshal of the 2003 San Francisco Pride Parade and Celebration. From her beginnings at legendary gay comedy clubs Josie's and Valencia Rose, Marga went on to performances on HBO, Showtime and Comedy Central as well as critically acclaimed theater solo shows Off - Broadway and internationally. As one of the nation's leading lesbian comedians, Marga is profiled in "Laughing Matters" a new documentary premiering at the 2003 San Francisco Lesbian Gay Film Festival.

Pride President Joey Cain said: “Marga Gomez is a great addition to our Celebrity Grand Marshal lineup! In a year when we'rehighlighting how the San Francisco LGBT community has given people hope,Marga is perfect. She started out here developing herunique style of queer flavored comedy and has since gone on to export it to the rest ofthe world, withirreverent and hysterical success I might add.”

Marga Gomez said: “I escaped to San Francisco when I was a baby dyke. The LGBT community here became my haven, my family and my mentors. What I do and who I am is because of the twenty years I lived and loved in San Francisco.” Along with everyone else, Marga will be on the Parade route a little earlier this year. Announcing a permanent change, the Pride Committee has brought the start time of the Parade forward by 30 minutes. This means that starting this year, the Parade will begin at 10 a.m. The earlier start time is just one part of an overall plan to make the parade run more smoothly, close the gaps and shorten the length. Also new for this year will be ‘half-time entertainment’ at major intersections, so after the women’s motorcycle contingent has roared by, spectators will have entertainment until the front of the parade arrives.  Fifteen participating organizations with parade contingents will provide two “Close The Gap” monitors, who will chaperone their contingent and five others to speed up and slow down the pace as necessary. Each of the participating contingents providing monitors will receive a $200 donation.

Pride Executive Director Teddy Witherington said: “Starting the parade at 10am will tighten the parade and will ultimately make the event more enjoyable for everyone involved—spectators and participants alike. It will also give folks more time to enjoy the Celebration at the Civic Center.”

This year is the 33rd anniversary of the San Francisco Pride Parade and Celebration. The event theme is "You've Gotta Give Them Hope." The quote comes from Harvey Milk, the City's first openly gay elected official who was gunned down in City Hall 25 years ago, and is the answer he gave when frequently asked why he was an activist. The event is to be held over the June 28/29 weekend.  For more information about the history of San Francisco Pride, please visit our website at: www.sfpride.org/heritage

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For further information please contact Teddy Witherington at:  (415) 864 0831