Trans March kicks off SF Pride amid heightened vigilance, mixed emotions

Thousands packed Mission Dolores Park Friday for the Trans March – one of San Francisco’s largest events during Pride.

Amidst the celebration were feelings of anxiety, and even fear.

"Many people are telling me they are concerned for their safety in ways they haven’t been before at pride," said Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who represents District 8.

The Supreme Court’s abortion ruling, along with reports Justice Clarence Thomas wants to reconsider same-sex marriage and other rights, has caused alarm.

Mandelman said, "People are pissed off, angry. I mean people are celebrating because it’s Pride and you’re supposed to celebrate but I think it’s important to remember Pride started as a protest. And I think that energy is going to carry a lot of people through the weekend."

MORE: San Francisco Pride celebrations are underway amid anti-LGBTQ incidents

Attorney Alex Lemberg set up a booth at the event, offering legal services to help people who want to change their name or gender marker. "People are excited. it’s our first Pride since 2019 since the world changed,"  said Lemberg. "But there’s a lot of hesitation too. I’ve heard rumblings of Proud Boys downtown and obviously the Supreme Court decision today was devastating for everyone."

Some attendees said their rights are under attack – citing recent events like bans on transgender athletes, bathroom bills, and here in the Bay Area protesters crashing Drag Queen Story Hour in San Lorenzo.

The Trans March and weekend parade may feel more like a protest. Theo Merle with the Party for Socialism and Liberation said many are choosing to fight back in a show of unity.

"A big part of being trans and queer is love," said Merle. "And making our voices heard and standing up for each other is love in action."