San Francisco starts showing its 'Pride'

The first day of June kicked off the beginning of Pride 2021, a recognition of the LGBTQ community.

Organizers launched this year’s Pride celebration, gathering and marching in Oakland. 

Pride will be returning after moving to a virtual celebration in 2020, there will be some live events, including a ceremony to illuminate the oversized pink triangle adorning Twin Peaks. 

"In 2020, most things were canceled, so 2021 brings a renewal all the community energy will be back," said Patrick Carney who helps organize the pink triangle in San Francisco annually. "There won't be a parade but there will still be plenty of community energy."

The triangle a powerful symbol. First it was used as a way to target gay men and women by the Nazis, but now it's a token of pride. 

SEE ALSO: Biden proclaims June as "LGBTQ+ Pride Month," expounding its creation and history

"The pink triangle is one of history's reminders of hate and brutality," said Carney. "So, that is why we do it every year, we try to remember the gays who were forced to wear a pink triangle in the Holocaust."

While the Pride parade that traditionally draws tens of thousands of participants and fans to San Francisco's Market Street is off this year, the Dykes on Bikes who traditionally kick off the parade were on hand to say even without the parade, pride will roll on. 

They will be roaring up Twin Peaks with the pink torch, kicking off the pink triangle lighting ceremony. "We're all excited to be here," said Kate Brown from Dykes on Bikes. "We're all looking forward to Pride this year. It's not like a normal year, but it's better I think, than last year."

SEE ALSO: SF Pride 2021 will have in-person events, but no parade

This year will include a mix of in person and virtual events. Pride movie nights are scheduled at Oracle Park June 11th and 12th. The 45th international LGBTQ film festival will have online and in person showings, and pride will be partnering with the African American Arts and Culture Complex mid-month.

 Community members in San Francisco say they're happy that Pride has returned. 

"It's an important time, and I'm happy that it's coming back," said Vernon Kirton. "I know it's going to be watered down a little bit, but it's a time for people to be out and having a good time."

Trans opera singer Breanna Sinclaire says she is preparing for a performance June 20th.She says Pride is a time for celebration, but also a time for the LGBTQ community and allies to work hard to ensure visibility and  equality for all. 

"From being a homeless trans-woman to living my truth and doing what I love to do is powerful because what we all do is uplift each other," said Sinclaire.

The ceremony to light the pink triangle is set to get underway at 8 p.m. Tuesday. In deference to social distancing guidelines, the pink triangle is just an outline, with 2,700 LED lights filling it in, making it visible for 20 miles.