This weekend’s Pride Parade and other related festivities in San Francisco will take on a different tone — as in the beep of a metal detector. Unprecedented security measures are planned following the horrific mass shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub on June 12.
Attendees at the Civic Center party and elsewhere will be subject to patdowns as well as trips through metal detectors, and there will be a sizable police contingent.
However, at least one familiar ritual, missing for a few years, has been revived.
“Pink Saturday Unchained” is being held in place of the widely popular street party that had been a fixture of Pride weekend since the early 1990s, according to the SF Examiner.
[jump] Sister Selma Soul of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and the bar SF Eagle are organizing the new party.
“There’s an importance for tradition and continuity,” Sister Selma told the Examiner. “Just because we can’t do something the same way, doesn’t mean we can’t carry it on.”
The new Pink Saturday will be held in a parking lot across from SF Eagle, which is just north of the Mission District. That’s significant since Pink Saturday historically was held on the streets of the Castro, but was marred by violence and a shooting in recent years that ultimately led to its demise.
And unlike previous years, the new party is charging admission, $10, and is open only to those 21 years and older. Some of that money, according to the Examiner, will go toward new security measures.
“Pink Saturday needs to evolve and change,” Sister Selma told the newspaper. “It’s just one of those things.”
As far as the parade and after-party on Sunday, the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando on June 12 prompted organizers and police to develop a heightened security approach. It includes metal-detector screening of patrons at the Civic Center festival where the parade ends, along with increased police presence both in uniform and undercover.
Some worry those new measures will actually have a detrimental effect on certain attendees, according to the Guardian, since this year’s theme is “For Racial and Economic Justice” and Pride honorees include many people of color.
Similar reactions to increased law enforcement were seen in New York City during a vigil for Orlando victims and in New Orleans at that city’s pride parade, according to the Guardian.