Controversial Pride Talking Points: Enrage and Entertain Your Friends!

Prison of Politics
The Armory, headquarters of local BDSM porn company, drew ire from activists when it announced it was hosting a prison-themed party for Pride. Offended parties cited high incarceration rates of LGBT people and the elevated instances of sexual assault against LGBT inmates as reasons to boycott the party. Kink CEO Peter Acworth responded, saying, “The statistics raised…appaul [sic] me, as they should any reasonable person,” and promised to downplay “prison language” on marketing materials.

Prison of Love starts Saturday, June 28, at 9 p.m. at The Armory, 1800 Mission St., S.F. Tickets are $85-$175; visit

Due to the ongoing renovations that have turned the lower half of Dolores Park into a dirt pit, the annual Pink Saturday party that precedes Dyke March is being pushed into the streets. The Dyke March usually blocks traffic as it winds through the Mission toward the Castro on Saturday afternoon, but this year, the streets will be filled all day. Don't count on your car or Muni to navigate the area; just walk instead — or even join the march!

Dyke March starts Saturday, June 28, at 4 p.m. on Dolores Street (between 18th and 19th streets), S.F. Free; visit

A house on DINK Street
LGBT couples have taken heat in the past for driving up housing prices in the Castro District with their double-income-no-kids financial advantage. But DINKs are no threat when compared with Airbnb's effects on San Francisco's housing stock. Despite the tech hospitality company's contribution to soaring housing costs in the city, Airbnb has been named an official Grand Sponsor of Pride and will contribute to the official celebration and parade.

SF Pride Parade starts Sunday, June 29 at 10:30 a.m. at Market and Beale streets, S.F. Free; visit

IN uniform
Last year, the Pride committee ignited controversy when it named Wikileaks whistleblower and Army private Chelsea Manning a Grand Marshal, then retracted the honor, claiming her actions endangered others in the military. This year, Manning is the Honorary Grand Marshal, a mea culpa to the trans community. But the Pride committee may have taken their apology a step too far by banning the National Guard's gay soldiers from having a booth at the festival. The committee cited the military's ban on transgender service members as the reason for the ban.

SF Pride celebration starts Saturday, June 28, at noon and continues through Sunday, June 29, at Civic Center Plaza, S.F. Free; visit

Gun Control
No controversy list would be complete without a nod to America's favorite screaming match, otherwise known as gun control. Trevor Gardner, a Los Angeles resident, filed a lawsuit against Pride organizers after being shot in the leg during last year's event, alleging inadequate security led to his injury. Pride has been plagued by violent incidents over the years — shootings occurred at the 2010 and 2011 festivities, and a woman was brutally robbed and kicked in the head last year — so be safe out there, kids. KC

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