Oakland’s Pride is stepping out from under San Francisco’s shadow.
Celebrating its fifth year, Oakland Pride festival and Parade, Northern California’s 2nd largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride celebration, will take place Sunday, Aug. 31, Labor day week end 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The parade starts at 10:30 a.m. at Broadway and 14th Street. The festival runs from 11 .m. to 7 p.m. at Broadway and 20th Street.
This year, and for the first time ever, Oakland Pride will produce a LGBT Pride Parade in the city. Event organizers are expecting over 50,000 attendees who will come to enjoy the parade, multiple entertainment stages with over 50 artists and over 100 food, beverage and community information booths, children’s play area, a wedding pavilion, senior seating, community health pavilion, bicycle parking, easy BART access (19th Street Bart), and more in Northern California’s
most diverse LGBTQ city.
After a six-year absence, Oakland Pride’s revival in 2010 had been years in the making. In 2008, out lesbian and then mayoral candidate Rebecca Kaplan captured the at-large seat on the City Council and reconstituted the LGBT roundtable to work on gay specific issues in Oakland.
One of the group’s main objectives was to see Oakland Pride’s celebration reborn.
Oakland has been recognized as having the sixth largest LGBTQ population in the nation, with the largest percentage of African American LGBTQ people in the Bay Area. Oakland is noted as having the second highest number of same sex couples in the nation and is home to the largest concentration of lesbians in America.
Pride is an affirmation of one’s self and the community as a whole. Pride’s movement began after Stonewall riots in New York, 1969, when groups of gay people, mostly transgendered people in local bars stood up to unconstitutional raids by New York Police.
Today, many countries around the world celebrate LGBT Pride.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and The East Bay Stonewall Democratic Club will host their 2nd Annual Oakland Pride Breakfast. Assembly member Tom Ammiano will be given a Pride award for his commitment to the LGBTQ community. Oakland’s first parade Grand Marshals will be recognized: Celebrity Grand Marshal Sheila E, Legacy Grand Marshal nightclub promoter Joe Hawkins and Youth Grand Marshal Lirio Zepeda.
Oakland Pride will connect LGBTQ community members to essential services and programs, including HIV prevention, support for persons of color, women, seniors/elders, youth, people with disabilities, Transgender services and support groups.
The AIDS project of the East bay, a leader in providing HIV prevention, will unveil a newly wrapped mobile testing unit sponsored by the CDC’s “Testing Makes Us Stronger” campaign,