Coronavirus: San Francisco Pride still scheduled for June, but organizer says celebration 'will look very different'

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It appears San Francisco's 50th annual Pride Parade and celebration is still a go, but will likely be postponed past June.

The parade Board of Directors said festivities will look a lot different from previous years when people from all over the world gathered in the city to celebrate.

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This year's COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a shelter in place order in San Francisco through at least May.

"It is apparent that SF Pride will look very different from the two-day celebration that we initially envisioned," Fred Lopez, executive director for San Francisco Pride, said in a statement.Lopez said organizers will continue to work closely with City Hall to evaluate all available options.

"Right now, all options are on the table," said SF Pride Board President Carolyn Wysinger. "The safety and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ communities is the highest priority."

But, Mayor London Breed announced Wednesday it won't be likely the event will happen anytime soon.

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"We are in a different reality, we can't predict the future," said Breed. "We don't know what's going to happen here in the city as this progresses."

Breed added it will take some time to get the city back to some sense of normalcy.

"It may not be possible to expect that we can launch a large scale event with millions of people descending San Francisco," she said. "I'm just not sure that will be possible."

Lopez is still hopeful a plan will be worked out.
"The global Pride network is responding in unique and creative ways to the challenge of physical distancing, and SF Pride plans to be a part of those efforts while developing some new plans of our own," said Lopez.Details of this year's celebration will be released in the near future, according to Lopez.

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This year's theme is "Generations of Hope."A final decision from the board is expected by next Tuesday.

Here's the full statement from Lopez about plans for Pride 50:

"The coronavirus has shifted everyone's way of life drastically. Through weeks of social isolation, the Bay Area has been working hard to stand out from all the worrying statistics. We're doing an excellent job at looking out for one another, listening to medical experts, and most of all, staying home if possible.

But even after the crisis passes, a sense of normality will likely elude us for some time. It is apparent that SF Pride will look very different from the two-day celebration that we initially envisioned, and we continue to work closely with our partners at City Hall to evaluate all available options. We know that many people want to see a commemoration of Pride50, and we also hold the safety and wellbeing of our LGBTQ+ communities at the highest priority. The global Pride network is responding in unique and creative ways to the challenge of physical distancing, and SF Pride plans to be a part of those efforts while developing some new plans of our own. We anticipate being able to share what we've learned very soon.

We understand the fear and unease our communities feel, because we feel it, too - but we can't give in to hopelessness. This year's theme is Generations of Hope, and hope has been our guiding principle. For half a century now, San Francisco Pride has created a space of selfexpression and self-determination, where people of all sexual orientations and gender identities can enjoy love and respect. That freedom and togetherness - that solidarity - form the core of our mission. That togetherness will return after this crisis has passed, and the resilience of our communities will have a chance to shine."

In solidarity,
Fred Lopez
Executive Director


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