San Francisco Pride, the world’s most prominent LGBTQ+ celebration, is canceled this year as California continues to shelter in place to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The annual June gathering evolved from a commemoration of the 1969 uprising against police brutality at New York’s Stonewall Inn to a celebration that draws hundreds of thousands of revelers to downtown San Francisco. Over the years, Pride has become a cornerstone of the city’s tourism and hospitality industries and a huge bolster for local LGBTQ+ nonprofits.
“We know Pride is not just historically essential but also important to the livelihoods of so many local people and businesses,” Executive Director Fred Lopez told 48 Hills. “The people who come to Pride stay in our hotels, drink at our bars, dance at our nightclubs, visit our museums. It’s a true citywide event, so it took us time to really figure out what we needed to do and the right way to do it.”
SF Pride, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, chose to cancel instead of postpone the 2020 parade for financial reasons, but will be taking some festivities online as part of the worldwide Global Pride livestream. In the 48 Hills interview, Lopez touted the community’s resilience and pointed to the SF Queer Nightlife Fund, a grassroots relief program for local LGBTQ+ entertainers and nightlife workers.
The announcement came just as Gov. Gavin Newsom delivered live-streamed remarks Tuesday afternoon on the state’s latest efforts to combat the coronavirus by strengthening public health infrastructure and continuing physical distancing practices.