San Francisco Pride Board of Directors: Channel Your Inner Bradley Manning

June 3, 2013 § 7 Comments

Dear San Francisco Pride Board of Directors:

Can we talk?

First, I want to thank you for hanging out on Friday night (May 31) at MCC in the Castro. That was fun. Yeah there were a few moments of pique but 2 out of three hours were good times! It’s been too long. Let’s do it again soon!

Second, I’m not sure how you will resolve the situation created by overturning the election of Bradley Manning as a Grand Marshal of the 2013 Pride celebration, but I do have an idea about how you can handle the bad press and bad feelings that have spiked in the past month.

Grand Marshall of San Francisco Pride

Grand Marshal of San Francisco Pride

If you want to get off the hot seat please consider taking a page out of the Bradley Manning playbook and become a whistle blower. Reveal to the public the REAL STORY  behind the controversial election of Manning as Grand Marshal. How did this became such a big problem? Shed some light on the origins of your dilemma.

Let’s face it – the risk you expose yourselves to by blowing the whistle is nothing compared to the risk Pvt. Manning took. You will not be tortured, stripped of clothing, held in solitary confinement and imprisoned for life or even sentenced to death.

In fact, I’d be surprised if you experience any real repercussions…but then again I don’t know what obstacles to honesty you face since you won’t talk about it.

We know that you didn’t have a problem with Manning as a nominee back in April. The extensive bios of the four nominees were listed on a this web page (click here) and there didn’t seem to be any hesitation about him being a viable option.

Aren’t you kind of embarrassed that you fired (scapegoated?) somebody for announcing Manning’s election but nobody is being punished for allowing the nomination to exist for an ENTIRE MONTH before it was a problem?

Plus, I don’t think it would be drawing too many conclusions to say that you don’t really give a shit about Bradley Manning. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not calling you inhuman monsters. I don’t think you are murderers (like someone said the other night), but like WAAAAAY too many members of the queer community in San Francisco, you just don’t want politics to complicate your lives.

Your ambivalence was written all over your faces Friday night. Neither Lisa Williams nor Earl Plante could muster the strength to exert a facial muscle for three hours.

Deeply concerned President and CEO of San Francisco Pride

Deeply concerned President and CEO of San Francisco Pride

Were you on quaaludes (if so, can I have some)? Did you have other plans that night that got cancelled so you could sit in an over heated church to get yelled at? Maybe you were planning your outfit for the next fancy Pride fund raising event featuring a B list reality television star.

Or maybe you just want this problem to go away. You can make this someone else’s problem by answering a few questions.

What went on in SF Pride headquarters between April 25 and April 26? Nominations for Grand Marshal had been active for weeks. Votes were due on Monday, April 22. It just doesn’t make sense that suddenly on Thursday, April 25, after collection / tabulation of votes and press releases announcing winners were issued you collectively woke up from a coma and realized that Manning didn’t meet the requirements of a nominee and you found yourselves shocked and awed at the miracle that unexpectedly occurred: Bradley Manning was chosen!!

And as Judge Judy says: “If it doesn’t make sense, it’s not true.”

Don't fuck with Judy.

Don’t fuck with Judy.

You don’t care enough about Bradley Manning to be in this situation.

Tell us who does care enough to pressure you into overturning his election as Grand Marshal.

I’m not talking about a corporate sponsor. They didn’t have enough time to know there was a GM election, let alone who won it, and I would find it equally hard to believe that Wells Fargo et al care about Bradley Manning any more than you do.

Did a local political leader or community organization or someone connected to you or Pride (politically or otherwise) raise enough of a fuss that you chose to ensure their satisfaction over your own?

Who could that be?

Tell us.


Patrick Connors, Uppityfag


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