As Americans awoke to the real-life dream of marriage equality on Friday, San Francisco's weekend Pride celebration commenced at a fever pitch. People of all stripes, colors, genders, and persuasions came out to show their support and to gawk at the spectacle.
Pride, of course, is always an everything-goes extravaganza. But we can't recall one in recent history with the magnitude of emotion felt this past weekend. The city was positively bursting. But even as the rainbow flags waved against the blue sky and joy and tears pulsed through the celebrating crowds, conversation among many turned toward the work that is still to be done, not just for gay rights, but for the rights and dignity of all marginalized groups, especially the black community, still reeling from a string of tragic murders including those last week in Charleston, SC.
On Friday, President Obama celebrated the fall of discrimination against LGBT people in marriage on the same day that he delivered the eulogy, also singing Amazing Grace, at the funeral of Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was brutally killed by that deranged white supremacist in Charleston. The incongruity of these two moments says everything about the state of equality in our nation now. In the fight for civil rights, we take steps forward and steps back; we won a big battle this week, but we haven't won the war.
But meanwhile in San Francisco, on the ground at Pride, a beautiful thing happened in front of the lens of photographer Guru Khalsa, who captured a crowd as colorful as the rainbow flags flying over Market Street—black, white, Asian, hispanic, gay, straight, lesbian, transgender, kids, seniors, and more...all, for the most part, celebrating this historic moment together. The images are a stunning portrayal of our city, at once both pretty and gritty, and the people in it who come from all different walks of life but, every so often, step in sync to propel us forward.
And we must confess, we got a little kick out of the few "reluctant observers," as Khalsa calls them, "who came to watch history, uncertain of their support of it, and unaware of how this freedom manifests visually." (Hint: Look for the little old lady who was clearly scandalized by we-can-only-imagine what.) The slideshow above is a visual feast, a testament that diversity does exist here in San Francisco, even if sometimes we wonder where it hides.
Enjoy the photos, courtesy of @gurufoto.