San Francisco Pride
Pride Explorer Series
By Megan Williams
The last weekend in June brought us the first in-person Pride in San Francisco since 2019, and it was a marathon of incredible moments.
San Francisco just recently hit 100 percent capacity with no restrictions in mid-June. Most bars and clubs were chomping at the bit to get their Pride parties on the books. So, when the news came down that in-person parties could happen, all hell broke loose in the best way possible.
First up was Jolene’s bar San Francisco, who has a long-standing epic Friday night party appropriately titled “Uhaul”. To kick the weekend off, we got to hear bass bendin tracks, see hot gogos, and watch fast paced bartenders serve hard-partying patrons. It was a perfect start to a long weekend.
On Saturday, the parties were pretty saturated all day. First up, was the iconic Koolaid Saturdays put on by The Real L Word alum, Whitney Mixter and Miranda Dancisin. Like most years, people come during the afternoon and stay until the sun goes down. They had gogos keeping the party moving and DJs like DJ Lady Ryan keeping everyone bumping all day.
From Koolaid, a lot of people migrated to the Get Her Wet Party, put on by the She Said SF group. The vibe and ambiance were different with their kink, and BDSM heavy attire, but the party was the same high energy as we had seen all day. Gogos of all identifications graced the stage outside, and the gogo boxes and poles on the inside. Like most, I was hypnotized by the combinations of the DJ’s laying tracks down and the dancer’s doing their thing all night.
Last on the party list on Saturday was Jolene’s again. Where DJs like DJ Livv and DJ Angie Vee threw it down, and watched us all catch the high energy vibe of the night. The joy was palpable as you moved through the bar, people were interacting for the first time in well over a year in a place they held so sacred pre-pandemic. It was a good way to round out a long day.
The final day of Pride started out at Vida, which was put on by Val Geezy a local party promoter and DJ. The party started in the afternoon, and I was shocked to see how fast it got rolling considering how hard everyone had gone the previous two days. Vida had world champion DJ, DJ Espinosa on the decks, along with the incomparable DJ Von Kiss who helped us shake off the fog of the last two days and start the party all over. From Vida we made our way back to the closing party at Jolene’s which is always one for the books.
This closing party featured international burlesque performer, the embodiment of Jessica Rabbit herself, Banbury Cross. She graced us with two performances throughout the night and stopped all of us dead in our tracks to take it in before she departed to Berlin to fulfill a performance contract out there. After her performances, the baddest gogos of the weekend took the night home and left us all pushing for another hour of a night that was steadily coming to a close.
The drinks, the performances, the dancers, the bartenders, the venues, the parties, they were all spectacular and something we all had been yearning for, for over a year. But that wasn’t what made the weekend so incredible. It was the love, joy, laughter, hugs, smiles and freedom we finally had that created the memories we’ve ached for. San Francisco Pride will always be epic, but this year there was a little something special to behold. Until next year.
This article was originally published in the Sports & Recreation Issue of Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine, and can be read in its original format here.