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Silicon Valley Pride Weekend 2017

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The 2017 Silicon Valley Pride Parade took place Saturday August 26 through Sunday August 27 in Plaza De Cesar Chavez Park in San Jose.

The two day series was essentially gay Coachella, or “gaychella” with thousands of members of the LGBTQ + community pouring

Local Folklorico team shows off their pride and message that “clothes are not equivalent to gender” / Ria Diaz

in from the most diverse cities in California. Saturday the 26th was the Night Party; DJ’s such as Sean Bass and Jay-J pumped the crowd full of energy with pulsing EDM music until it was pitch black outside, around 11:20 PM. In front of the stage hundreds of  half naked and rainbow covered gay men, lesbian women, disabled members of the gay community, transgender people, and drag queens (AKA the best dance partners  ever!) hit the floor and let their freak flag’s fly under the multi-colored disco ball.

Women’s March Side float for 2017 ready to roll. / Hazel Stange Lion Tales 2017

Sunday morning nonprofits such as the Billy De Frank Center, Planned Parenthood, Recall Aaron Persky campaign, the United Methodist church and the Women’s March strutted down St. John street with their respective decorated trucks (rainbows. so. many. rainbows.) to songs like Madonna’s “Vogue” and Raul Paul’s “Cover Girl”. Mayor Sam Liccardo even rode along side the crowd in a pink cruiser bicycle.

 

Jim Gensheimer
SJPD show off their pride at San Jose Pride parade 2017 / Bryan T. Clark

In the afternoon the vendors took over the perimeter of the park to recruit volunteers for their grassroots movement clubs such as Rise Up and PFLAG San Jose, that isn’t to say, however, that large corporations such as Netflix didn’t make their presence known with their own booths either.  To keep the dance floor perpetually interesting cross dresser’s in seven inch heels handed out free condoms and local breweries had mini bars offering craft beers and wines to those 21 and over. As the night before local artists like Chi Chi Devyne, Kym Sims, and Cazwell mixed music that appealed to the masses.

 

The San Jose Billy De Frank Center shows off their float…with pride! / Ria Diaz

The event was a safe haven for many in a time of what most may classify as a “political crisis”. As I scanned the crowd almost every person was laughing, those who weren’t were smiling. By the end the celebrations were less about LGBTQ+ pride and more about community and compassion. The foundation of the weekend was a reminder of the importance of human kindness; the message was well received.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Silicon Valley Pride Weekend 2017”

  1. Sarah Miller on September 7th, 2017 5:24 pm

    This is an amazing article. I’m so proud to live in Silicon Valley. My favorite part was seeing the policemen and the Billy DeFrank Center. Keep writing!!!

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Silicon Valley Pride Weekend 2017