SF Pride signifies time of celebration, political importance for community this year

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Sunday, June 30, 2024
SF Pride signifies time of celebration, political importance this year
Pride weekend is a celebration for many but also holds political importance as LGBTQ and women's rights continue to be threatened.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Pride Parade is one of the marquee events of Pride weekend in San Francisco. But the festivities have been going on all weekend long.

The official Dyke March may have been canceled but a contingent did make its way through San Francisco's Castro District.

Barbara Morton and her wife, Arween Johnson, say they have been marching for the past 25 years.

"Everything has changed over the years. Felt like we won some battles, where we felt more protected in this country. And I feel like, yeah, the possibility exists that we might lose some. And is it concerning? Of course," Morton said.

WATCH SUNDAY: 2024 San Francisco Pride Parade exclusively on ABC7

Morton is concerned that the United States political landscape is shifting to the right, which threatens women's rights and control over their bodies. The couple says that's why coming out this year is extra important. It's to send a strong political message.

"It is important to step back and say, 'Separation of church and state.' We are all people. Where love is, God is. There are a lot of things to celebrate, and react in a positive way to," Johnson said.

The crowds poured into the Castro with the usual fanfare and rainbow-themed outfits. Tonie Harris set up a sidewalk shop selling pride-themed dog clothes.

"There is a spirit out here that you feel. And a connection of people. And hearing the word 'love,' speaking to strangers. It is here, and it is real," Harris said.

RELATED: San Francisco Pride weekend warms up with Civic Center festival

Cliff's Variety Store is a staple in the Castro. It's been open for more than 80 years. Their wigs and fabrics are in high demand this time of year.

"This is a year busy day. One of the busiest of the year," says Lefever, who works at Cliff's.

He says foot traffic is up this year, with lots more foreign tourists. He adds, Pride is big draw in part because San Francisco provides a place where people can feel safe.

"It has always been home to free thinkers. People who have expressed their opinions in different way. And it's just always been tolerated here," LeFever said.

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