Orlando at forefront of SF Pride

Kali Persall,
Managing Editor

Metal detectors marked every entrance and bag sizes were scrutinized down to the inch at San Francisco’s annual Gay Pride Celebration last weekend, according to a celebration security report. The statement also disclosed a list of prohibited items, including weapons, portable speakers and e-cigarettes, and warned of a strong police presence at all Pride activities throughout the city, monitored by officers both in and out of uniform.

In its 46th year, San Francisco’s annual Gay Pride Celebration featured a colorful venue of performers and organizations, not so different from years past. However, for many attendees, the gathering was much more symbolic than usual. This year’s slogan, “For Racial and Economic Equality,” carried particular weight for those reeling from the aftermath of what USA Today dubbed the largest mass killing in U.S. history.

Forty-nine people lost their lives on June 12, when Omar Mateen, 29, entered Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and squeezed the trigger until 49 people were dead and 53 others were wounded, according to The New York Times.

“This was an act of cowardice and callousness,” read a statement by the San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade and Celebration Committee.

As the nation continued to cope with the tragedy, members of the LGBTQ community were faced with the possibility that attending Pride could paint a target on their backs.

“We must remain strong and vigilant in the face of such hatred. We must be good to one another, we must speak up for one another, and most importantly we must look out for one another,” stated the SF Pride Celebration Committee in a press release.