Guru Khalsa

The Big Gay To-Do: 50 Ways to Do Pride Right

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Just in time for Pride weekend, we give you our annual Big Gay To-Do, brimming with queer-related merriment sure to keep you entertained, enthralled, and inebriated until the cold light of Monday morning comes.

Dance on, be merry, stay fierce.

  1. March with our trans brothers and sisters
    While Sunday's main parade and Saturday's Dyke March have, for better or for worse, turned into massive affairs that draw a good chunk of tourists, Friday's Trans March is the real deal. Celebrating the transgender community with one of the largest displays of trans-unity anywhere in the world. Also, be sure to stop by City Hall later that evening to see those Doric columns lit-up in pink, blue, and white hues. // Dolores Park, June 23rd, 12 pm-8 pm, transmarch.org
  2. Get sweaty and sultry at Nob Hill Theatre
    The City's much-celebrated, hyper-sexual gay adult store, Nob Hill Theatre is an amusement park that caters to all your inner inhibitions. (One look at the items on the checkout wall will cement that factoid.) Swing by Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, June 23rd-25th, to see everyone's favorite porn star daddy, Adam Killian, doing, mmmm, what he does best. // 729 Bush St., June 23rd-25th, showtimes at 8 pm and 10 pm, thenobhilltheatre.com
  3. Go make-out with a same-sex partner at a formerly gay space
    Brass Tacks (488A Hayes St.), Churchill (198 Church St.), Rickhouse (246 Kearny St.)—reclaim a formerly gay space by staging a sweet make-out session with someone you love. Rickhouse inhabits the former space of gay bar Ginger's Trois, which now operates in the basement of that same building as Ginger's (86 Hardie Pl.), so you might as well hit both.
  4. Celebrate all the Flavors of Dyke Culture
    Though the Dyke March has grown over the years into a gargantuan party, this loosely organized people's parade through the Mission just for womxn, remains one of Pride weekend's top draws. Gawkers, please, stay home. //18th and Dolores, June 24th, programming begins at 11 am, march begins at 5 pm, thedykemarch.org
  5. Visit the sites of bars and bathhouses past: 330 Ritch, Jack's Baths, and more.
    SF has been gay for a long, long time. And there were many bars and houses of ill repute that disappeared, especially in neighborhoods like Polk Gulch, SoMa, and the Haight. For nightlife history buffs you should check out these resources and do your own guided tour.
  6. Eat some shady ice cream at Humphry Slocombe
    Head over to gay-owned and operated Humphry Slocombe, the Mission district's hugely popular ice cream shop, a great off-the-beaten-path stop, with cheeky ice cream flavors like Secret Breakfast (bourbon and cornflakes), and Government Cheese. Also, Three Twins in the Lower Haight rolled out a series of cheeky flavors to honor Pride. // 2790 Harrison St. A, humphryslocombe.com
  7. Cross the Bay for the nation's oldest gay bar

    It's not much to look at, but the White Horse Inn in Oakland originally opened in 1933 according to official records—unofficially, though, it was very possibly a gay speakeasy during Prohibition. Either way, it's the oldest, continually operating gay watering hole, and it's worth stopping in for a cocktail just so you can say you've been there. // 6551 Telegraph Ave., whitehorsebar.com
  8. Help set up the pink triangle
    On Saturday June 24th, some hundred or more people will be people spending the morning laying out roughly 175 bright pink tarps—anchored by about with 5,000 steel spikes—to create the pink triangle that graces an acre of Twin Peaks in San Francisco. Come help set up and get free donuts and a pink T-shirt. Don't forget to bring your hammer! // Christmas Tree Point Rd., Twin Peaks, 7 am-10:30 am, thepinktriangle.com
  9. Marshall Beach

    On those rare days of pure sunshine and warmth stretching all the way to the coast, the little-known, locals-only beach to head to is Marshall, the clothing-optional, somewhat cruisy beach on the other side of the rocks between Baker Beach and the Golden Gate Bridge. Accessible only via a goat path from a parking lot up above in the Presidio, this is not a destination for timid hikers, but it can be beautiful and delightfully secluded in warm weather. // presidio.gov
  10. Grab lunch at Heyday
    A notable gay-owned business all the way downtown, Heyday is a nod to the Chez Panisse-influenced food scene, offering seasonal salads and sandwiches to the FiDi crowd. Perfect for those staying downtown and in need of some quality California cuisine on the quick. // 180 Spear St., heydaysf.com
  11. Take in some drag at Aunt Charlie's Lounge
    Aunt Charlie's Lounge is one of the last vestiges of the dark and divey gay world of the Tenderloin environs from forty years back. Don't expect any bearded ladies or Trannyshack raunch, but do expect them to work the aisles for tips. // 133 Turk St., yelp.com
  12. R&R at the Castro Country Club
    Contrary to popular believe, Pride isn't synonymous with drinking and partying. For those of you living sober, head over to the Castro Country Club. There you'll find a café, (fun) meetings, a sunny outdoor patio (weather permitting), and some of the finest people you will ever have the pleasure meeting. // 4058 18th St., castrocountryclub.org
  13. Sashay away the norm

    Take a walking tour of the exhibits on-display at CounterPulse—a non-profit art space and LGBTQ+-minded gallery in the Tenderloin—to expand your horizons. All ticket sales will go toward helping to support some of SF's underserved, representative creatives. // 80 Turk St., counterpulse.org
  14. Feel the breeze with naked yoga
    It's non-sexual (ostensibly), but it is naked, and just for men, with multiple classes daily in different locations around the Bay. WARNING: "We encourage people to refrain from wearing colognes and scented deodorants as some people are sensitive to these smells. At the same we ask that you please shower before class as some people are sensitive to natural smells as well." // Venues vary, nakedyogasf.com
  15. Meditate at the Hartford Street Zen Center

    Former site of the Maitri AIDS Hospice in the '90s, the Hartford Street Zen Center is a great place to come, take off your shoes, and om your way into a centered, grateful day. // 57 Hartford St., hszc.org
  16. Open your mind to SF's expansive outdoor patio scene

    Celebrate the many colors of summer via a chilled rosé and perhaps a few hors d'oeuvres while catching up with a long lost friend—patio-side.
  17. Flaunt a new 'do or re-style your drag wig for the parade

    Known for it's funky-chic stylings, the girls and gals at Glama Rama will help you find your inner RuPaul. Be sure to peruse their online gallery to see some of their more adventurous wig fittings and dyeing sessions. // 304 Valencia St., glamarama.com
  18. Pick up some new leather

    Too swole now to fit into your leather outfit from last year's Pride? Stop by Mr. S Leather in SoMa to pick-up some new totes masc calf-skin textiles and accessories.(WARNING: their website is NSFW—so we've attached the more cubicle-friendly Yelp page for your workplace well-being.) // 385 8th St., yelp.com
  19. There's a reason why Frameline has aged well

    The country's oldest LGBT film festival, Frameline returns for its 41st year. Be sure to check out a film or four from June 15th-25th, at several theaters around the Bay. // Venues vary, frameline.org
  20. Light up your night at City Hall
    It's that time of the year, again—when City Hall adorns an iridescent-like glow. Check out City Hall from June 18th-22nd for Pride lighting, June 23rd for trans flag lighting in honor of the Trans March, and June 24th-25th for the rainbow flag once again. // 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl., sfgov.org
  21. Celebrate the Summer of Love at the deYoung Museum
    Currently on display at the deYoung Museum, you and your colorful crew relive—or, in some cases, vicariously live through—the 100,000-people strong lovefest that graced SF in 1967. Walk through the exhibit hall's "The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll" displays to see, first hand, some of the most iconic rock posters, photographs, interactive music and light shows, costumes and textiles, ephemera, and avant-garde films of the era . // 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr., Golden Gate Park, deyoung.famsf.org
  22. Talk that talk—while you walk the Wine Walk

    Venture over the Bay Bridge and take a self-shown tour of the famous urban wine scene at Jack London Square. Designate a driver or take a Lyft over.
  23. Be your best butch queen at Hi Tops

    Into sports or just like wearing a Giants cap? Then head over to Hi Tops, the Castro's favorite sports bar. // 2247 Market St., hitopssf.com
  24. Learn a bit about our fabulous history
    The GLBT History Museum in the Castro only opened a couple of years ago, and they feature rotating exhibits from the GLBT Historical Society's archives. // 4127 18th St., glbthistory.org
  25. $4 drinks at Tap That Ass Tuesday
    While it may not be Thirsty Thursday just yet, affordable drinks are a welcomed treat anytime during the week. Join the SF-Eagle's hella hunky bartender Steve from 5 pm to 8 pm this Tuesday, June 20th, for $4 taps. (Get it?) // 398 12th St., sf-eagle.com
  26. Take your bipedal and quadrupedal pups to the beach

    What better way is there to unwind from either a long workday or equally strenuous night out in the Castro than by relaxing with your pups, beachside? Checkout our roundup of dog-friendly beaches to plan your next ocean front odyssey. Remember to BYOH (Bring Your Own Harness).
  27. Eat Yigit Pura's sweet treats
    Openly gay Top Chef Just Desserts winner Yigit Pura opened Tout Sweet, located on the third floor of Macy's at Union Square, to much acclaim. Head over and you'll see why. His cookies, marshmallows, macarons, and cakes are as whimsical as they are delicious. // 251 Geary St., 3rd floor of Macy's, toutsweetsf.com


  28. Drink to the closing of the never-forgotten, last-woman-standing lesbian bar, The Lex
    The last dedicated lesbian bar in town closed it's doors at the end of April. The owner, Lila Thirkield, opened up a second bar, so visit Virgil's Sea Room and pour one out for The Lex. // 3152 Mission St., virgilssf.com
  29. Go to Frances
    Perello's seven-and-a-half-year-old neighborhood gem gets high marks both for food and service. The house wines for a dollar an ounce (in hash-marked beakers that you can pour out yourself) are the icing on the cake. Also, don't miss the Lumberjack Cake. // 3870 17th St., frances-sf.com
  30. Go tend to that bear beard

    By the time Pride ends, and after seeing the overabundance of beards (the facial hair, not the fake girlfriends) now dominating mens' faces everywhere, you might want a fresher look, you hippie. We recommend Louie's Barbershop (422 Castro St.) or Daddy's Barbershop (4102 19th St.) for getting rid of that not-so-fresh beard. Word to the wise: It might, too, be time to invest in some hella high-quality beard oils.
  31. Take your furry friend to Duboce Park
    One of the city's most unofficial cruising grounds might be the off-leash play area at Duboce Park. Sure, it's a mixed crowd, but every dedicated dog owner in the Castro and Duboce Triangle environs ends up here multiple times a week. // Duboce & Scott St., sfrecpark.org
  32. The one time it's okay for brunch to be a drag

    Buffets and butch queens? Sign us up! Starting this upcoming Sunday, and continuing every Sunday until mid-November, enjoy brunch and a show at the Starlight Room. // 450 Powell St., starlightroomsf.com
  33. Stargayze from The Starlight Room and beyond

    Enjoy panoramic views of the City at this legendary rooftop nightclub on the 21st floor of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. Enjoy cocktails, a light menu, and dancing to live music amidst a mix of old-school glamour and present day pizzazz. Or, if you're feeling extra adventurous, check out our roundup of some of the best outside venues to look up at a clear Bay Area Sky from // 450 Powell St., sirfrancisdrake.com
  34. Volunteer at GLIDE
    The "radically inclusive" Tenderloin church is participating in the Pride parade once again. You can help them by volunteering to serve a meal, or by buying one of their Pride Team T-shirts. // 330 Ellis St., glide.org
  35. Giddy-up cowboy!

    Release your inner rodeo queen every Sunday and Thursday at the Sundance Saloon, courtesy of some good ol' fashioned country swing dancing'! Serving the LGBT community and its allies for over a decade, people from all walks of life are welcomed to lasso a lover—whomever that may be. // 550 Barneveld Ave., sundancesaloon.org
  36. Twin Peaks Tavern

    Recently declared a city landmark for being the first gay bar in the city to feature big plate-glass windows allowing views from the street, the bar affectionately known as the "Glass Coffin" is a unique Castro neighborhood institution with friendly service, a jukebox, and a low-key vibe. // 401 Castro St., twinpeakstavern.com
  37. Get stoned via SPARC
    The city's gayest and gay-owned marijuana dispensary is in SoMa, and it's the only one in town with a female bouncer at the door. If you don't yet have a medical marijuana card, get a written recommendation from a doctor and a card can be issued at SPARC. // 1256 Mission St., sparcsf.org


  38. Walk through the AIDS Memorial Grove

    Located in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, the sacred ground of this living memorial honors all who have confronted this tragic pandemic. Pay tribute to those no longer with us, those who have shared their struggle, kept the vigils, and supported each other during their final hours. // Nancy Pelosi Dr & Bowling Green Dr., Golden Gate Park, aidsmemorial.org
  39. Send your lover some flowers

    In the spirit of celebrating same-sex love this weekend, why not send your partner, husband, wife, regular FWB some blossoms? BloomThat—SF's very own floral shop catered to serving a more mobile generation—can hand-deliver your true love or side-trick a token of your gratitude in just a few hours after purchase. // 1409 Minnesota St., bloomthat.com
  40. Join Betty Who + others on the Main Stage Sunday

    Arguably the artist behind the gay-anthem/breakup album of the year, Betty Who will be gracing the Main Stage at the steps of the Civic Center Sunday, June 25th, after the Parade. Performing a bevy of hits off "The Valley," it'll be a show for the ages. Be sure to stick around after Betty Who's headlining act to catch other performances by the likes of Cazwell, Madame Gandhi, and more! // 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl., sfpride.org
  41. Smell nice courtesy of a niche fragrance

    Dandy up your Pride attire with a spritz or three of Comme Des Garçons' Kyoto, L'Artisan Parfumeur's Timbuktu, or Histoires de Parfums' 1740 at ZGO Perfumery in the Castro. (No Drakkar Noir or vile Dolce & Gabbana Blue here, kids.) Remember: This isn't the Folsom Street Fair—perfumes are welcome this weekend. // 600 Castro St., zgoperfumery.com
  42. Shake your ass at Juanita and MORE

    Most locals know better than to go to the Castro on the weekends except when forced by out-of-town friends (with the exception of Hi Tops). But Juanita MORE!'s party has been running for seven years now and is cherished by the local gay community. Swing by Sunday, June 25th to experience one of SF's most vivacious, fabulous Pride events. // 620 Jones St., June 25th, 12 pm-10 pm, juanitamore.com
  43. Visit along-ago gay landmark downtown
    Bix, now a high-end restaurant with a supper club vibe, was for years the home of legendary drag bar Gold Street, and still retains some of that back alley charm. Fans of gay nightlife history should definitely check it out, at least for a martini and spot of caviar. // 56 Gold St., bixrestaurant.com
  44. Pride Weekend at the Eagle

    Who says you have to go to Civic Center after the parade? Instead, head over to SoMa and hit the Eagle's Pride on the Patio with an all-star DJ lineup on Sunday. Don't forget to hit Pound Puppy on Friday night and the Pride Party with DJ Phil B on Saturday. Bears, leather, and natural musk preferred. // 398 12th St., sf-eagle.com
  45. Celebrate Pride at the Adobe Creatives

    Meet the fabulous, imaginative crew behind some of your favorite photo-editing and publishing software. Then, afterward, march with them in a family-friendly display of inclusivity. (Oh, and grab an Adobe-inspired T-shirt and equally creative Pride poster.) Register soon before all slots fill. // Main St., between Howard and Folsom, eventbrite.com

  46. Embrace your meat of choice at the Bi-BQ

    Come out in support of our bisexual brothers and sisters Wednesday, June 21st, from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm Meats, treats, and eye candy will be in abundance at this potluck picnic—just bring your hella hungry self. // Dolores Park, facebook.com
  47. Pride NightLife at the Academy of Sciences
    The Thursday before Pride weekend has featured a gay edition of the NightLife party at the Academy of Sciences for the last few years, and this year's will be big. Checkout the spun tunes from Oakland's Hella Gay Dance Party DJs in the Coral Room. And don't forget to get your face painted with all manner of rainbow hues at Julian's booth. Festivities start Thursday, June 22nd at 6 pm sharp. // 55 Music Concourse Dr., Golden Gate Park, calacademy.org
  48. The Cinch Saloon's Flashback to 1977
    After the Parade on Sunday, cool off from all that excitement with a whole bunch more excitement—it's Pride after all. The Cinch Saloon is hosting a Flashback to 1977 party from 3 pm to 8 pm complete with disco hits and a best dressed contest. Don't forget your platform shoes! // 1723 Polk St., cinchsf.com
  49. Get in your laughs at the San Francisco Gay Pride Comedy Show 2017
    Hella Gay Comedy Show, which showcases the best gay and gay-friendly comedians in the Bay, presents the SF Gay Pride Comedy Show at OMG, hosted by Nasty Ass Bitch. For just $15 and no drink minimum, on Friday, June 23rd you can sit back and let your gut jiggle all in the name of Pride. // 43 6th St., clubomgsf.com
  50. Work up a sweat
    Get hot and sweaty at the Pride Run in Golden Gate park on Saturday to support the Alliance Health Project, which in turn supports the mental health and wellness of the LGBTQ community and HIV-affected communities. // Golden Gate Park, sffr.org
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