|T H E . .P I C T U R E S . .O F |
|THE GAY PARADES OF THE SEVENTIES
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CIVIC CENTER has traditionally been the site of the Gay Pride Celebration. San Francisco CITY HALL is a handsome impressive edifice as are all the civic buildings in the area. It's ironic that the gay community tried to trash the building in May,1979 and celebrated gay pride in front of it a month later. The reflecting pool always attracted a few parade revelers to take a dip and by the late 1970's it was routinely drained for gay day. Sadly, it was removed from the Civic Center in the late 1980's.
By the late 1970's the parade had developed a reputation as a festive and dazzling production and drew huge crowds of spectators. The person in the 4 middle pictures above is PRISTINE CONDITION, a member of the COCKETTES and later, the ANGELS OF LIGHT, gay sexual revolutionaries doing guerilla theater in outrageous makeup and drag. THE SISTERS OF PERPETUAL INDULGENCE appeared on the scene in 1979 and in a sense they follow in the same tradition.
ANITA BRYANT, the anti-gay crusader and Florida orange juice promoter, has probably influenced the focus of the parades more than any other enemy except perhaps, AIDS. She tried to use religious issues as a weapon to deny civil rights. "WE ARE YOUR CHILDREN" was the response to her "SAVE OUR CHILDREN" campaign. Her vicious accusations and hateful condemnation of the gay community led to attempts to sanitize the parades in hope of a pat on the head from our detractors.
In spite of its political significance as the anniversary of STONEWALL,the 1969 riot, the parades are always festive with lots of music. The main themes of the Gay Pride Celebrations have always been and probably always will be outrageous displays of grandeur, wild costumes, bright colors, and good clean fun!
THE GAY PARADES OF THE SEVENTIES.