Health concerns, social justice issues vastly change Pride's 50th anniversary

On this 50th anniversary of Pride, the celebration will be vastly different. There will be no colorful parade that regularly attracts around a million people, making it one of the largest Pride parades in the world.

This year there will be online events the last weekend of June that will include live performances and speeches.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed proclaimed June as Pride Month.

"We can't celebrate in the same way, but we are still going to celebrate: a celebration of hope and a celebration for a better future," she said.

But while the coronavirus may affect the look of the Pride celebration, the recent social upheaval is affecting the feel of it.

"Pride has always been about activism as well as a celebration in our community. And this is a real moment where we all need to stand together and really make a statement about what's going on in this country. It is a lost opportunity," said Jeff Sheehy, a former San Francisco supervisor who has had HIV for decades.

Sheehy and others say Pride would be a perfect opportunity to show support for Black Lives Matter and other people fighting racial discrimination, a fight many in the LGBTQ community know well.

"What we are seeing with the police shootings and disproportionate number of black and brown people with COVID and HIV is we are paying the price for a generation of neglect," said Sheehy.

But he says there have been a lot of valuable lessons everyone can learn from the past 50 years of Pride.

"As a community we've made great strides forward. So there's a lot of hope for the future," he said.