SAN FRANCISCO - Twin Peaks was shining brightly Saturday night in honor of gay pride.
The first pride celebration in the US began 50 years ago.
For the last 25 years, a pink triangle has been put on display on Twin Peaks in San Francisco, but this year it’s very different.
For the first time, the display is made up of LED lights that can be seen from miles away.
Normally, there would be a varierty of pride events around the Bay Area in June, but COVID-19 put a stop to that.
But it didn’t stop the display of the giant pink triangle, which began with a procession in Oakland.
“What an honor to start the journey of this pink torch on its way from Oakland to San Francisco,” said Oakland Mayor, Libby Schaaf.
The celebration to light the pride triangle began several hours before sunset.
To coincide with the lighting of the triangle, one organizer came up with the symbol of a torch, now that pride celebrations are in their 50th year.
“Literally, kind of passing the torch to the younger generation to say we need more. We need to find equity, find love, to find pride. So, the torch is symbolic in that way,” said Patricia Wilson, executive producer of the torch procession.
Joe Hawkins was one of the torch Bearers.
He helped co-found Oakland’s LGBTQ center, which was recently vandalized, emphazing that progress still needs to be made, though gay rights have improved.
“It’s unfortunate that hate still even in the liberal Bay Area is still so prominent, racism is still so prominent, homophobia, trans phobia they’re still very prominent,” said Joe Hawkins, CEO of Oakland’s LBGTQ Community Center.
A group calling itself “Dykes on Bikes” escorted the torch procession across the Bay.
“We’re honored to be a part of this celebration and I’m really excited the pink triangle is going to happen. They got creative and found a way to make it happen. We’re just excited to be here for support,” said Kate Brown, President San Francisco Dykes on Bikes.
After a brief stop on Treasure Island, marchers made their way to San Francisco's Ferry building.
From there, they marched toward Twin Peaks, site of the pink triangle, a symbol used by Nazi's during the holocaust to identify and stigmatize homosexuals in concentration camps.
The gay rights movement reclaimed the symbol as one of pride.
Each June it's displayed on the hillside and this year 2,700 pink LED lights across 43 rows are both illuminating and educating.
“It’s there so people go, what is it? And then they get inquisitive and they ask about it. It’s through that that we teach people about the holocaust and the lessons about the pink triangle, which is what can happen when bigotry is allowed to become law,” said Patrick Carney, co-founder of The Pink Triangle display.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed hit the button to bring the lights to life just after 9 p.m.
The non-profit group Illuminate is responsible for putting the display together after raising about $74,000, just shy of its $85,000 goal.
The display will be up until July 10th.