13 Fabulous Events to Make your San Francisco Pride Season Even Gayer
The air turns warm, the sun shines bright and the boys jog with their shirts off, catching the rays. Ah, Pride season in San Francisco!
The City by the Bay has a long and storied Pride history, dating back to 1972. Today, it hosts more than a million celebrants annually for a gigantic party and protest that takes over the entire city.
But San Francisco Pride is more than a march and rally. It is an entire season of Pride. The city that gave the world Castro Street, Harvey Milk and the Beat poets boasts some of the best events celebrating queer culture in and beyond June’s Pride month.
With no shortage of happenings, we’ve picked out 12 highlights to celebrate diversity and gayness in the city by the bay.
San Francisco has one of the most popular–and wildest–Pride celebrations on the planet, June 29-30. It doesn’t get much gayer than this outrageous party which goes beyond City Hall and the Castro. The parade begins at Market and Beale Streets and ends at Market and Eighth Streets. Grand marshals include Vince Crisostomo and Mrs. Vera + Verasphere. Get tickets here.
- Experience "Self, Made" at the Exploratorium
Explore different facets of identity in this cultural, artistic, and interactive exhibition through Sept. 2, 2019. "Self, Made" invites all visitors to join the conversation about identity, race, and diversity. Get tickets here.
- San Francisco Giants LGBTQ Night at Oracle Park
Grab your baseball glove and head out to the ballgame June 12 for a special LGBTQ pre-game party on a huge deck overlooking the stadium on one side and the bay on the other. It’s a great way to meet fellow pitchers and catchers. Fans who attend the special pre-game party can also pick up a special, limited-edition Giants Pride backpack. Get tickets here.
- Queer events at the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA)
Join OMCA during Pride month for special programs like Drag Family Storytime (June 3) and two powerful conversations, Queer Cinema (June 14) and Black Trans Women on Resilience and Strength (June 15).
- "Skin: Living Armor, Evolving Identity" at the California Academy of Sciences
Beginning June 14, uncover the layers of meaning that humans have associated with skin color throughout history and how skin shapes that way we identify ourselves and interact with others. This immersive new exhibit will also feature thick-skinned armadillos, rhinoceros, turtles, colorful insects and birds to reveal the ways in which skin can offer protection and contributes to identity. Get tickets here.
- "Show Me as I Want to Be Seen" at Contemporary Jewish Museum
On view through July 7, see the works of 10 contemporary artists that examines the empowered representation of identity through paintings, sculptures, 3-D animations, and much more. Jewish thought and practices of self-determination are some of the themes that animate "Show Me as I Want to Be Seen". Get tickets here.
- BROADWAY BARES / SAN FRANCISCO STRIPS IV
The curtain goes up on the west coast version of the famed New York fundraiser, in which singer/dancers strip down to nothing, June 16. What could be better than show tunes and striptease? Well, the fact that the proceeds go to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, for starters. Join host Jai Rodriguez at DNA Lounge for a cocktail and one very revealing show. Get tickets here.
- Frameline Opening & Closing Parties
Frameline, the San Francisco-based queer media arts foundation’s annual film fest, runs June 20-30 and plays host to some of the most talented up-and-coming filmmakers around. It also throws legendary opening and closing parties where cinephiles and fans come together to mingle and imbibe. Get tickets here.
- Up Your Alley Street Fair
Strap on your harness! The leather and fetish world comes out for playtime at this mix of street vendors and kink demonstrations on July 28. Follow up a day in the alley with hunks gyrating under laser lights at Rough, the scandalous closing night dance party. Get tickets here.
- Out at the Fair
The gays conquer the Marin County Fair on July 4, showing off their true colors as the Beach Boys take the stage. Find someone to kiss on the Ferris wheel. This is just a short drive or ferry ride from San Francisco, and it will take you across the scenic Golden Gate Bridge, which has welcomed queer folk as a symbol of freedom for generations. Get tickets here.
- San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band Concert
The first openly gay musical group in the world strikes up again on May 18 with a mix of pop and classical standards. Founded in opposition to Anita Bryant’s anti-gay crusade of the ’70s, the group still stands for resisting the forces of oppression to this day.
- San Francisco Jazz Fest
Groovy gay cats come together for smooth, sexy music at this San Francisco happening. Running June 11-23, this year's festival will feature Jazzmeia Horn, José James, Tia Fuller, Fabian Almazan, Linda May Han Oh, The Mattson 2 with Calvin Keyes, Orquesta Akokán, Mark De Clive-Lowe, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Bobi Céspedes, The Cookers, Claudia Villela, Delvon Lamarr, Chris Potter Circuits Trio, Kenny Garrett Quartet, Roy Ayers, DakhaBrakha, Sasha Berliner, Kurt Ribak, Nicolas Bearde, Eric Alexander with Eric Reed, Anoushka Shankar, William Bell’s Memphis Soul Revue, and more. Get tickets here.
- GLBT Historical Society
The first stand-alone museum of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender history and culture in the U.S. is definitely not one to miss during Pride month. Opening June 7 is "Chosen Familias: LGBTQ Latinx Histories," a series of photography and text that documents queer mothers, fathers, children, aunts and uncles, and how they collectively overcome challenges through strong bonds of kinship.
Rooms fill up quickly for Pride weekend, so be sure to check for availability through Booking.com