San Francisco Pride celebrations are underway amid anti-LGBTQ incidents

It's just one week from the return of the large pride weekend celebration in San Francisco, and recent Bay Area anti-LGBTQ incidents have raised safety concerns. 

Many people in the Castro said they're aware of the incidents and said they're saddened but not entirely surprised. They said that's why it's important to celebrate Pride.

"I was so excited. June being here, pride. I feel like I've come home," said Marylawrence Hicks of Berkeley. 

San Francisco is home to a large pride celebration that includes Frameline, an annual LGBTQ film festival that is under way. Organizers expect the 10-day event to draw 60,000 people.

"Pride is such an important moment in queer history. It's really a taking back of our identity, our dignity.  Claiming that we are here, and we deserve to be treated with respect," said Nadir Joshua, president of the board for Frameline.  

But several anti-LGBTQ incidents have taken place in recent days. 

In Idaho, police arrested members of a white supremacist group suspected of plotting to disrupt a pride event.

In San Lorenzo, a group of Proud Boys interrupted a drag queen story hour held at the public library. 

In Pacifica, police said they're investigating a possible hate crime after someone removed a pride flag at an elementary school and burned it.

"It scares me because it's not fair," said Chuck Brewster of San Francisco. 

"Very concerning. It feels like the clock has been dialing back on so many issues," Hicks said as she prepares for the Pride Parade and other celebratory events. "It hasn't swayed me, but I have to be mindful that it can happen anywhere."

San Francisco Police said it hasn't received any credible threats so far and that it is working with federal law enforcement regarding security for pride.

"We have officers on foot in the area," Officer Kathryn Winters said. "I can't go into all the details on how they're deployed. I can assure everyone from the city or coming to visit we will have sufficient people in the area." 

Many people said the return of Pride celebrations after a three-year absence due to the pandemic shutdown is much needed and hateful incidents against the community should not be a deterrent.

"As much as it tears us down, we will bounce back up. We'll still celebrate who we are," said Desmond Perrotto of San Francisco.

"You pay a little more attention around you.  But I chose not to live in fear and have that sort of thing drive how I live," said Peter Dinh of San Francisco.

Everyone who spoke with KTVU said Pride is about bringing people together, and these incidents point to the need for members of the LGBTQ community to be visible and able to tell their stories. 

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU,  Instagram @AmberKTVU  or Twitter @AmberKTVU.