Too Jaded for Gay Pride? Get Over It!

A queer guide to Pride events

In a town so gay that every week might as well be Pride Week, it's easy to forget how good we have it. There's a reason our fair city gets overrun every June with queer tourists from around the world, eager to see what it's like to live in a city where one out of every four citizens is gay (or, at the very least, not completely straight, if the number of tranny-chasers who show up at my weekly club, "Trannyshack," is any indication).

But as everyday ho-hum as queerness is in this town -- and as jaded as I might be about assimilationist, Pottery Barn-buying, Castro-clone culture -- I have to admit: I still get kind of excited about Pride every year. And no, it's not just because I make a lot of money that week as a drag queen for hire. It's that there's just something about a half-million queers all in the same place, coming together for one day to celebrate their gayness!

Trust me, I've been flown to Pride events all over, from New York to L.A., and even back to Reykjavik, in my home country of Iceland. And I'm here to tell you: None of them even comes close to what we do here in San Francisco.

But because we have it so good, it's easy to be "whatever" about our Pride events. We've all been "over the rainbow" at some point. Hell, even Ihave been blasé. But if you don't want to turn into one of those tired, bitchy queens who feel the need to dis Gay Pride just to seem cool, here's some advice: Find a cute fag or dyke from out of town and hang out with him/her. Show him/her around the city. Take him/her to parties. And then suck up some of the "wow" energy the visitors always seem to have. After all, they're excited to be here -- and so should you be! Everyone always has more fun on vacation; why not just pretend you're on one in your own town?

This year's Pride theme is "Stand Up, Stand Out, Stand Proud." Not that anyone really cares. It may as well just be "Hey, We're All Gay, Let's Get Together and Party!" Goodness knows, the gays don't need much of an excuse to party, and as you can see from the following list, this week is packed with events and possibilities that I have thoughtfully compiled here for your scheduling pleasure. Now get out there and find some unsuspecting tourist to share it with!

Thursday, June 23

Pepperspray

The Eagle Tavern

398 12th St. (at Harrison)

9:30 p.m.-2 a.m.; $6.

The tranny rock band Pepperspray (featuring Precious Moments, Princess Kennedy, Jordan L'Moore, Peggy L'eggs, and Tinkle) has been on a sabbatical of late but returns for Pride Week to stir up some shit, headlining an evening of decidedly queer noise at the Eagle Tavern's legendary Thursday night showcase. The Ethel Merman Experience opens, followed by testosterone-charged drag king band WOOD.

Friday, June 24

Trans March and Pre-March Celebration

Dolores Park

Dolores Street between 18th and 19th streets

3-7 p.m. speakers and performers; 7-9 p.m. march.

Following the success of last year's march (which drew more than 2,000 participants), the second annual Trans March will see the transgender, gender-queer, and gender-variant community demonstrate its visibility, with marchers making their way from Dolores Park to Civic Center Plaza. This historic event will include live bands, hip hop performers, and the Trans Altar.

27th Annual Pride Concert: A Return to Grace

Grace Cathedral

1100 California (at Taylor)

8 p.m.; $20 general admission, $35 reserved.

The GLASS Youth Choir from Vancouver joins the S.F. Gay Men's Chorus, the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of S.F., and the S.F. Lesbian and Gay Freedom Band in a program that includes "Sing for a Cure," a proclamation of hope for breast cancer.

Fudgie Fridays

The Transfer

198 Church (at Market)

10 p.m.-2 a.m., show at midnight; $8 cover.

Notorious drag king Fudgie Frottage returns to his favorite Castro dive bar, where the bartenders and drinks are cheap and strong. Featuring S.F. nightclub royalty Birdie-Bob Watt, Jay Walker, Lily LeRouge, and more. Win a spin on the "Wheel of Fudge" for free drinks!

Saturday, June 25

Drunk and Horny

Underground SF

424 Haight (at Webster)

9 p.m.-2 a.m.; $5 cover.

Behind one of the most appropriate names ever for a club night, Jeff and Gary (of "Reform Skool," "Cheap Trick," and "Wet Dreams" infamy) pack all the dirty boys in for a night of hard-core boozin', schmoozin', and cruisin'.

The Brown Party

Space 550

550 Barneveld (near Oakdale)

10 p.m.-4 a.m.; check www.clubpapi.com for price and other details.

There are several Latin-themed parties happening during Pride Week, but this one bills itself as the biggest of all. Like the idea of bumping and grinding with more than 2,000 sweaty, gorgeous brown boys? This is where you need to be.

7th Annual Reggie Williams Achievement Awards

San Francisco Main Library

100 Larkin (at Grove)

4-5:30 p.m.; free.

One of the official Black Pride events happening over the weekend, this ceremony will honor Bill Beasley, S.F. Pride board member Zwazzi Sowo, and Karamo Brown from MTV's The Real World: Philadelphia. For more info, go to www.californiablackprides.info.

Trannyshack Does the "Gay Ghetto"

Harvey's

500 Castro (at 18th Street)

10 p.m.-2 a.m.; $6.

All right everyone, this is my third year of doing the SF Weekly Pride Guide, and I always manage to get a shameless plug in, don't I? Well, here you go, darlings. If you find yourselves in the Castro for Pink Saturday, won't you please spend the evening (and some of that lovely gay disposable income) with me as I host a show with all your "T-shack" faves, including Syphilis Diller, Putanesca, Nikki Star, Diva Dan, Kiddie, and more TBA.

Sunday, June 26

Stand Up, Stand Out, Stand Proud

San Francisco Gay Pride 2005

The parade starts at Market and Beale at 10:30 a.m. and comes to an end at Civic Center, with festivities continuing there throughout the day. (The Main Stage, in front of City Hall, will feature entertainers En Vogue, Third Eye Blind, Betty, Anita Cocktail & the Diamond Daggers, and many more TBA).

What to do on Gay Pride night, though? Just about every club promoter in town is vying for that coveted gay dollar, and there's tons of stuff going on. Here are just a few suggestions for the evening:

Dykes on Bikes After Party

The Lexington Club

3464 19th St. (at Valencia)

Noon-2 a.m.; free.

Lipstick lesbians beware! This is where all the butchies will be partying after working up a thirst kick-starting, as always, the parade.

Messy Queen

Club Eight

1151 Folsom (between Seventh and Eighth streets)

6 p.m.-midnight; $3.

DJ Andrian & the Mysterious D spin mash-ups and bastard pop for your dancing and cruising pleasure, with a barbecue, appetizers, and $1, ass-kicking margaritas. Go to www.eightsf.com for more info.

Lashes

Bambuddha Lounge

601 Eddy (at Polk)

5-10 p.m.; $10.

Parade Grand Marshals Juanita More and Donna Sachet host this glam bash to benefit the Tenderloin AIDS Resource Center. Also features performances by Princess Kennedy and Suppositori Spelling, with DJs Derek B ("Trannyshack"), Neon Leon, and Chelsea Starr ("Hot Pants").

Sundance Saloon After-Pride Country-Western Dance

Ramada Plaza Hotel

1231 Market (at Eighth Street)

6-11 p.m.; $5.

If your feet aren't killing you after marching all day, kick up your heels with these two-stepping, line-dancing dykes and queens.

Giant

Ten 15 Folsom

1015 Folsom (at Sixth Street)

6 p.m.-midnight; $20.

I can talk about Pride, diversity, rainbow flags, etc., until I'm blue in the face, but you circuit queens and gym bunnies just want to do your party favors and dance, don't you? Well, why not? This massive T-dance put on by club king Gus Bean is custom built for you. Get it, girls!

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