June is Gay Pride month and, not surprisingly, San Francisco knows how to celebrate. All of June down Market Street, flags have been flying in the breeze, adding color to the majestic buildings. Most of the people who walk past and notice the flags are probably straight and the flags serve as the only reminder of Gay Pride Month.
The first time that I went to the Pride Parade was during the height of the Prop 8 battle (not sure ‘height’ works here as the struggle continues). I was worried about just being a gawking onlooker even though I marched with the Jewish community’s float in support of gay marriage. While I am sure that I probably did my share of gawking, I felt every part of the celebration.
So I want to give a shout out to those of my friends and colleagues who are celebrating today and highlight four areas.
1. Same Sex Parents – I am honored to have met many friends who are parents of children that my sons are friends with. It would be wrong to suggest that they and their children will not face issues and have discussions that my family unit won’t have to deal with. But there is nothing stronger than a family who base their relationship as a family unit on commitment, cohesiveness and communication.
2. The San Francisco Giants – I talked in a previous post about our baseball team being the first professional sports team to make a video highlighting the issue of young gay people who face bullying.
3. The Sower – Kemble Scott. This is a great novel, based in San Francisco, that has a strong gay, ethical theme. Kemble has also written another great novel, SOMA, that also illustrates a certain gay lifestyle.
4. Finally, Fernando and Greg – They host a morning radio show on 99.7FM. My eldest son and I listen and laugh when I drive him to school. We’ve had many conversations because of some of the things you guys said and I really appreciate it.
So whatever you are doing today – parading, parenting, watching a game, or reading a book – Happy Pride Day – and maybe this open celebration is something we can all be proud to be a part of.
Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/and on Twitter (#alonshalevsf).