LGBT San Francisco News: Pink Saturday On Life Support! SF Pride to the rescue?

February 17, 2015 § Leave a comment

The fact that the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have officially filed for divorce from the arranged marriage it had with Pink Saturday should not be terribly surprising. It might have been necessary to arrange an intervention if The Sisters didn’t break up with Pink Saturday. Their relationship had become abusive.

One of the sisters was harassed and beaten during Pink Saturday last year.

That’s it, ok? THEY ARE DONE!

The LAST leaflet for Pink Saturday produced by The Sisters

The LAST leaflet for Pink Saturday produced by The Sisters

Now we wait to see what Scott Wiener will come up with since this hot potato / political opportunity has been tossed into his lengthy lap. There had to have been dozens of breathy phone calls made this weekend regarding the future of Pink Saturday.

Hundreds of thousands of people come to San Francisco every June to spend money in celebration of LGBT Pride. This year is anticipated to draw a larger than average crowd because of a (mostly anti-climactic) US Supreme Court decision expected at the same time. .

My guess is that the SF Pride Board is under pressure to help Scott Wiener come up with a solution to the Pink Saturday question.

The SF Pride Board is already deeply immersed in planning their HUGE, all consuming. understaffed and perennially underfunded two day party. What organization is in a better place to take over this monstrous task than SF Pride?

They have experience and skills and a history of throwing successful parties on an enormous scale. They have been working with the city for years seeking support on issues that have plagued the Pride Parade. At the same time, how can SF Pride be expected to assume the burden of planning ANOTHER party – one that happens in the middle of their two day transdykehomopalooza – with a four month lead?

One solution we know we can count on hearing more about is corporate sponsorship.

Any assistance that the city can come up with at this point will have to be centered around money. If the Pride Board takes on this task they will need money. In fact, they should demand money. Lots of money.

The City of San Francisco has granted a paltry $64,200 to SF LGBT Pride Celebration Committee for 2014/2015. That’s embarrassing considering how much money has been added to the coffers in SF every June for years…for decades…as the LGBT Pride event has ballooned into the largest such event in the entire country.

San Francisco needs a well produced weekend at the end of June. The city needs the tourist money and it needs the positive press generated from hosting a successful event. What is the city willing to contribute to help keep Pride successful? How much did the city give America’s Cup? How much will the city pay to host Super Bowl 50?

Last year during secret negotiations with the city, the Pride Board was given what amounted to an ultimatum: take sponsorship from AirBnB or forget any additional assistance. The SF Pride Board accepted the offer causing many supporters to choke back vomit at the idea of using AirBnB funds to throw a party honoring tenants rights activist Tommi Avicoli Mecca as a Grand Marshal. Was there a choice? Not really.

Wiener in hair net

Wiener in hair net

Will Scott Wiener, the Supervisor of District 8 (that includes the Castro neighborhood) advocate for emergency funds from the city or will he rely upon friends of the administration to provide needed resources?

There isn’t much time to waste. In the coming weeks, Supervisor Wiener will need to hustle to come up with a plan. The privatization of Pink Saturday is a likely outcome as sponsors (AirBnB, Uber, Ron Conway et al) are undoubtedly stifling erections waiting for phones to ring. Sponsorship of Pink Saturday is an excellent way to advertise to a captive audience – many from abroad – and make a goodwill gesture to San Franciscans weary of destructive public events that are also wary of privatization that is increasingly encroaching upon public space in the city.

It’s time to start working on the gag reflex again.

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