Protesters to Occupy San Francisco’s Gay Pride Parade

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Thursday June 21, 2012

This weekend San Francisco will hold its annual Gay Pride Parade but this year's event will be a little different as an organization called OccuPride will attempt to protest the parade, reported.

OccuPride will try to raise awareness about how they believe the LGBT community is treated by large corporations and politicians by occupying Market Street, where the city's Gay Pride Parade takes place. There will also be an OccuPride bloc, which will take part in the Gay Pride Parade events. The site also notes there will be "other surprises" by the group on Sunday.

According to Scott Rossi, an OccuPride organizer and member of OccupySF, OccuPride is a "radical queer response to the commercialization of the LGBTQI community. It is not an attack on Pride itself, nor the Parade, as both are an important symbol of the progress we have made."

OccuPride's website describes itself as "a collective assembly of queer/trans-focused community groups with established reputations in the Bay Area that have come together to strengthen and unify our diverse communities. We have come together to confront the 1% within our movement."

Rossi also told SFiist that the group believes that "companies are lining up to sell us stuff and pinkwashing everything under the guise of how much they love us and such. They don't love us or they'd be spending their lobbying dollars on making sure we have access to life saving medicine, food, houses to live in and a planet that's not dying."

The activist says that San Fran's Gay Pride Parade's biggest sponsors are Willie Brown and Wells Fargo Bank.

"At the same time, we shouldn't be deifying companies and politicians that actively work against SF Pride's theme of GLOBAL EQUALITY. Don't forget Willie Brown, the Lifetime Grand Marshall, is famous for saying 'anyone who doesn't make $50,000 a year doesn't have a right to live in SF," he says. "And even more shocking, many of the companies that are featured sponsors, like Wells Fargo, actively work and lobby against Global Equality at home, abroad and within the LGBTQI community."

Rossi then tells the website that the LGBT community in San Francisco can help gays who live in other parts of the country, or world, where being gay isn't as openly accepted.

"We're fighting for those that can't fight for themselves, and fighting for those that will come later. These companies and their poisonous, odious politician lackeys aren't going to go away and they're only going to get worse," he said. "No amount of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' or recreational drug use and casual sex are going to make them go away or help any of our queer and trans youth stuck out in Jesusland. Our bubbles need to pop and we need to remember our radical roots."