PHOTO ESSAY: Celebrating Generations of LGBTQ Resistance

San Francisco marked the end of June with the city’s 49th annual Pride Festival and Parade—including a weekend of events celebrating “Generations of Resistance.”

As the streets closed down and tents went up around City Hall and the Civic Center Plaza, crowds of festival-goers and marchers adorned in bright, extravagant outfits gathered around six stages celebrating six different facets of LGBTQ intersectionality, including the Women’s Stage and the Latin Stage.

Nearly one million activists also took to the streets to march in or watch the Parade on Sunday, joining Amara La Negra, an Afro-Latina international entertainer and personality; the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, an SF organization whose members dress in drag and traditionally religious imagery to raise awareness around gender and sexual intolerance; Kristin Beck, the first openly transgender former U.S. Navy Seal; and politicians like Mayor London N. Breed and Senator Kamala Harris.

Ms. was there, too—documenting the festivities, raising a fist during a protest of the corporatization of Pride and basking in the glow of Verasphere performers.

The parade marches down Market Street. Pride’s theme this year was “Generations of Resistance,” prompting many of the signs, chants, and outfits to incorporate resistance symbols like the closed fist, and anti-Trump sentiments. In honor of Stonewall’s 50th anniversary two days before, the procession and surrounding crowds chanted among others, “Pride was a parade; Stonewall was a riot.”
A group of LGBT activists protest what they viewed at the corporatization of Pride, and form a human barrier blocking the parade from progressing. They cited Pride’s collaboration with the police, allowance for large companies advertise, and, in general, engagement with capitalism as the main reasons for their protest. Police took two of the 12-some protesters into custody at the end of their hour-long protest.
Pride Festival attendees shouted their encouragement for the anti-corporate protesters that blocked the parade from going forward, yelling chants like, “We support you” and “No cops at Pride”.
Two marchers paraded a rainbow sign at the front of the procession. Like much of the rest of the attendees and marchers, they wore almost exclusively rainbow or the colors of other pride flags.
A line of marchers hold up a rainbow banner featuring the theme of this year’s Pride, “Generations of Resistance.” In addition to resistance-related symbols, many of the marchers and Festival attendees emphasized intersectionality and protecting all marginalized communities.
Several organizers lead the march with megaphones, chanting as the crowds echoed.
The parade was made up of over 200 parade contingents and an estimated nearly one million marchers, and even though they started at 10:30 a.m., the parade wouldn’t finish until after 4 p.m.
Honey Mahogany and Sister Roma, the Sunday hosts of Pride Festival’s Main Stage, banter as they introduce Senator and presidential hopeful Kamala Harris. Mahogany is a San Francisco drag queen formerly on RuPaul’s Drag Race and founder of Compton’s Transgender Cultural District. Sister Roma is a global ambassador for the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the creator of the #MyNameIs campaign and the most photographed nun in the world.
Sophia Andary, the lead of Women’s March San Francisco, chants and speaks about the importance of intersectionality in feminism. She was joined by leadership from other Women’s Marches around Northern California as well as Shannon Hovis, the director of NARAL Pro-Choice California.
Festival attendees take pictures and relax on the lawn in the Civic Center Plaza. Rainbow flags lined the area and streets were closed for the parade and festival. 
Senator Kamala Harris speaks to a cheering crowd on the Main Stage wearing a rainbow jacket that Sister Roma enthusiastically called “fabulous”. The presidential hopeful recalled her own experiences fighting for marriage equality and recalled San Francisco’s first LGBTQ marriage.
Verasphere performers pose at the Pride Festival. Mrs. Vera led the performers—who are Community Grand Marshals this year—and marched in extravagant, colorful outfits made of recycled materials.
Festival attendees poses with performers on stilts inspired by the TV show Pose, which chronicled the African-American and Latino gay and gender-nonconforming ballroom culture scene in late-20th century New York City. 
The performers marched the almost two-mile parade route in stilts.


Willow Taylor Chiang Yang is a current summer intern for Ms. Magazine, which perhaps gives an idea of her feminist leanings. In addition to being an outspoken women's rights advocate and a proud, politic-loving Asian American, she is the Editor-in-Chief of her school newspaper, her grade's Student Council representative and a devotee of convoluted sentence structure. She was also a Senior Project Editor for the Since Parkland Project, and appeared on ABC7's Midday Live.