Gay pride festivities took place in many major cities throughout the nation and world on Sunday. One of those cities was San Francisco, the home of one of the nation’s more visible LGBT communities. Tens of thousands of spectators and participants showed up for the 44th Annual San Francisco Gay Pride Parade.
The parade kicked off with hundreds of motorcyclists of the lesbian group Dykes on Bikes. The group traditionally leads off many pride parades throughout the country and on a sunny, bright day in San Francisco, they roared loudly as they led a contingent that included corporate sponsorship, religious organizations, political leaders, military representatives, several educational and family outlets as well as many floats that decorated San Francisco’s Market Street.
U.S. Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning, who is currently serving a 35-year sentence in a military prison, was names as “honorary grand marshal” for the parade. Formerly known as Bradley, Manning changed her name after being diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Many supporters at the parade called her as a hero despite being labeled a whistleblower.
Other highlights of the parade included Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee leading state and local politicians and the presence of chief executive Tim Cook who led a group of 4,000 employees of Apple Inc. Cook didn’t participate in the parade, but showing up to show support his employees did send a positive message.
Cook, who was recently accidentally outed last week by a CNBC host, has never publicly announced his sexuality. He has been very vocal in employment equality and further showed that support by showing up at the parade. He later tweeted, “Congrats to 5000 Apple employees/families who attended today’s Pride parade. Inclusion inspires innovation.” That seemed to be the overall message of pride events that took place in various cities throughout the entire month of June.