The Other Corporate Pride Problem – HuffPost

This weekend, my partner and I made our annual pilgrimage to the holiest of all homo high holidays: San Francisco Pride.  It’s a lot easier now that we live about 45 minutes from the City – and as a singing member of San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, it’s a trip I make often these days.  We parked our chairs at the corner of Sixth and Market and eagerly settled in with snacks to wait for the flurry of fabulousness to reach us.

The first contingent passed the intersection around 11:00.  I’m pretty sure it’s still making its way down Market Street right now.

When I first started attending San Francisco Pride in 2007, the parade was a tidy 2 1/2 hours.  This year it was still well under way when we finally headed home at 3:30, with no end in sight.  According to the folks next to us, in 2015 the parade was over 9 hours long.

How did it grow that much in a decade?   

The answer, I believe, lies in the other half of the story of the 2015 parade.  As the men beside us relayed, folks turned out in droves to celebrate the Supreme Courts decision granting nation-wide marriage equality; as a result, the Apple contingent alone was several thousand people.  Other groups grew similarly until it took a full day to get everyone to proceed a mile down the street. 

Watching the parade on Sunday, I was struck by not only the sheer number of contingents, but of how many were enormous groups representing large companies.  Practically every tech company had a contingent of at least a thousand happy workers donning rainbow-trimmed tshirts bearing their company name and logo, walking hand-in-hand with their opposite-gender partners and pushing their gender-conforming children in strollers.  Healthcare providers, insurers, airlines, and banks all joined in the fun as well, with a handful of enthusiastic people dancing on floats and hundreds more bopping along behind.

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