#97 – Looking Back: My SF Pride 2011 Weekend – Friday

What can I say? This was my first official time in San Francisco for the entire Pride weekend as myself, and for the most part, it was everything I could have hoped for, with some stuff left to experience next year.

I’m going to try to recap my exploits from Friday afternoon through Sunday evening, with links to photos and videos, and recounting my experiences in the paragraphs that follow. If you haven’t been out to San Francisco, I highly recommend going to Pride at least once, no matter where on the spectrum you identify with.

Prologue: I had been looking forward to this outing with my sisters from the River City Gems (Out of Sacramento, CA) for a few months, and I still couldn’t believe I was going through with it. I packed more outfits than I needed, I had a place to store my car (The 5th Street Garage, “San Francisco’s Hotel for Cars” – somewhat cheaper than the valet parking at the Marriott Marquise, where I was staying with a friend from the Gems.), and there were events planned for each of the three days, culminating in Sunday’s big parade. Would I be up to the task, and could I handle the attention I and my fellow girls would be getting? Read on!

Friday: The late morning and early afternoon was spent getting myself dressed up and putting my face on, after spending most of the night before doing laundry and packing everything. After a few hours’ sleep, and meeting a friend in town for lunch, I returned home, got ready, and was underway around three o’clock in the afternoon, arriving at 5th and Mission around five p.m., meeting up in the lobby with the girls I was to join up with to head over to Mission Dolores Park for the Trans March in about an hour or so.

SF Trans March 2011 - 2011-06-24 18.06.50 SF Trans March 2011 - 2011-06-24 18.03.18 SF Trans March 2011 - 2011-06-24 18.06.45

After a short trip on the BART trains running underneath Market Street, we went back above ground for a few blocks, walking from the closest stop to the park, where there were still politicians, musical and other performance artists, and guest speakers firing up the crowd for the Trans March, set for 6:30 pm, but getting underway around 7 pm. It was a fun gathering, as I met others who joined us for the weekend, including Christina, one of my friends from Facebook. It was nice to finally meet face to face. Since I knew most of my way from the BART stop, and I had my Android phone (with a somewhat-working GPS and internet connectivity to Google Maps), I was the navigator for our small group from the BART stop to Mission Dolores Park.

SF Trans March 2011 - 2011-06-24 18.07.04 SF Trans March 2011 - 2011-06-24 18.10.29 SF Trans March 2011 - 2011-06-24 18.10.36

After about a half hour delay, all of us in the park set off on foot around 7 pm, to the sounds of Lady Gaga‘s title track to her new album, “Born This Way”, taking to the streets to take a stand for our rights, social justice, and equality. The weather was in our favor – not too hot, but not too cool, and thousands of us, crossdressers, pre, and post-op trans folks, their family, friends, and allies, thousands strong, made their way from the park, into downtown along Market Street, to U.N. Plaza.

SF Trans March 2011 - 2011-06-24 19.04.36 SF Trans March 2011 - 2011-06-24 19.32.36 SF Trans March 2011 - 2011-06-24 19.32.50

As we approached downtown, those of us who left some of our sisters in the dust toward the middle or back of the parade, waited for the others to catch up with us, and we made our way down Market for a few more blocks, back to 4th Street, passing up the Marriott Marquise to head towards the Fifth Street Garage to Mel’s Drive-In for a well-earned dinner, with at least ten of us taking over a corner of the place, hanging out for about two hours.

After our food, drinks, and more conversation, those of us who were staying for the weekend returned to the Marriott, and the rest headed off for the evening. I was crazy enough to bring all my stuff from my car to my room in one trip. (I won’t make that mistake again – I was able to get everything there without problems, but oh, my arms. ^_^; Besides, ladies aren’t supposed to have a lot of upper body strength, unless they work out, right?)

There wasn’t too much to do, other than take in a few episode of Criminal Minds on the hotel room TV, paint my fingernails for the following day, and drift off to sleep after midnight. There were more adventures in store for me in the next two days.

Coming Up: Saturday and Sunday’s write-up! Stay tuned!

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