Unless you’re the LGBT Liaison for, I don’t know, Genentech, it’s pretty hard to deny that San Francisco Pride is a festival of corporate cheer that sands off the movement’s more militant edges and marginalizes any noncompliant queers. Assuming you missed Silicon Valley Pride — it was Aug. 30! — you’ll at least have Oakland Pride this Sunday, Sept. 13.
We can’t guarantee that you won’t be besieged by hordes of drunk people in rainbow tutus, but Oakland Pride is a genuine celebration of human sexuality at its most diverse, and considering the accolades that last year won, it’s guaranteed to bust through the expected attendance of 50,000 people. Plus, it’s going to be nice and warm, the better to show off as much flesh as possible as you wave to Celebrity Grand Marshal Michel’le Toussaint (who’s also headlining the main stage.)
The other acts include dance action from Corey Action & the New Style Motherlode, drag performer Aniah Le’Shon (prepare to be #Aniahlated!), singer-songwriter Lila Rose, Mexican singer (and onetime Selena collaborator) Graciela Beltrán, and actress and singer-songwriter Raquela. Better still, Swagger Like Us’ Pre-Pride Party on Saturday night features none other than the Prancing Elites, the most fabulous quintet of dancers in human history.
While we really wish the Oakland Pride site didn’t brag about the extremely dubious stat that “the median household income of Gay couples is nearly 60% higher than non-gay couples,” the reality is that this festival does a better job of reflecting what LGBT America looks like. “Family-friendly” is always going to be a groaner to many LGBT urbanites, but many same-sex-headed households do have children, particularly among East Bay residents, and this is their day to be proud of what they’ve accomplished.
So come out, pay the $10, support the community, and have a great time. And for the sake of all that is profane and deviant in this world, please leave the rainbow tutus at home.
Oakland Pride, Sunday, Sept. 13, Parade at 10:30 a.m. at Broadway and 14th St., Festival 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Broadway and 20th St.