Empower: Honor the Activist Traditions of Pride with These Events

With all the booze, dancing, and making out, it can be easy to forget the origins of Pride. Inspired by the 1969 Stonewall riots, Pride is rooted in the struggle for LGBT civil rights. If you'd rather skip the corporate floats and honor the activist traditions of the holiday instead, try one of these events.

Even though they've got a representative letter in the ever-expanding catchall acronym for non-heterosexual folks, bisexuals are sometimes marginalized by the larger queer community. The annual Bi-B-Q is a chance for bisexuals to unite in a low-key, celebratory fashion. The casual grill-fest welcomes bisexuals and their allies.

BI-B-Q starts Wednesday, June 25, at 4 p.m. in Dolores Park, S.F. Bring a potluck dish to share; visit sexandculture.org.

Trans March
Trans March began in San Francisco in 2004, following the brutal murder of transgender teen Gwen Araujo, who was killed by acquaintances when they discovered she was trans. The march and accompanying rally aim to raise visibility for the transgender community and tend to be more sobering events than the official Pride parade, mixing entertainment with uplifting speeches. This year's keynote speaker is Geena Rocero, a transgender model and advocate.

Trans March starts Friday, June 27, at noon at Dolores Park, S.F. Free; visit transmarch.org.

Dr. Ted McIlvenna
Dr. Ted McIlvenna, a longtime activist, is this year's recipient of the Gilbert Baker Pride Founder's award. McIlvenna founded The Council on Religion and the Homosexual in 1964, and has since founded numerous organizations to benefit the LGBT community, including Huckleberry House, a home for runaway teens. A reception will be held tonight in his honor.

The reception begins Sunday, June 29 at 3 p.m. at the Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission St., S.F. Free; visit sexandculture.org.

Born This Way
Although last year's Pride celebration was infused with joy after the Supreme Court overturned Prop. 8 and DOMA, it's important to remember that LGBT people around the world still face intense persecution. Born This Way is a documentary that was filmed in secret to capture the challenges facing four gay Cameroonians, residents of the country where there are more arrests for homosexuality than anywhere else in the world. The film screens tonight in Berkeley.

Born This Way screens on Saturday, June 28, at the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists' Hall, 1924 Cedar St., Berkeley. $5-$10 suggested donation; visit bfuu.org.

Chelsea Manning Contingent
After Pride organizers triggered uproar last year by dismissing Wikileaks whistleblower and Army private Chelsea Manning as a grand marshal, Manning is included on this year's list of grand marshals. A Manning contingent of nearly 30 activist organizations will march in the Pride parade, featuring a flash mob that will dance to Michael Jackson's “They Don't Care About Us.”

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

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