In 1970, 30 brave trans women marched down Polk street in a city that was in the midst of a breakthrough for gay rights. This was one of the first steps in transforming San Francisco into the LGBT haven that it is today.
But it wasn't always a place where people felt open to be their true selves. San Fran has a dark history of discrimination, police brutality, and a trend of trans murders. These issues have not gone away, but through passionate demonstration, literal fighting, and a refusal to conform to the crushing standards of society - the queer community has crushed the opposition with 10inch glittering platform heels.
"Through sacrifice and hardship, this community has still maintained their unwavering kindness and inclusivity - which allowed me, an average heterosexual white woman, to feel warmly
welcomed in the event."
I was honored to be included in the march with Verashpere, a group created by the fabulous figurehead, Mrs. Vera, (Michael Johnstone and his partner David Faulk) - The group embodies creativity and chaos, crafted with recycled objects, and described as "fragments of a drag memory tornado," - Mrs. Vera lead us down Market Street in a truly elegant display of art, theatre, and solidarity with the LGBT community.
If you are thinking of visiting San Francisco for pride, be sure to keep an eye out of Mrs. Vera and her Verasphere, they're a sight to be seen.
$$ HI SAN FRANCISCO HOSTEL ★★★★★
THE GOOD: I first stayed with Hi-SanFran Hostel while I was apartment hunting because it was an affordable option. The rooms were safe, secure, and clean - The guests were similar, and included a range of students, travelers, and a few house hunters like myself. If you're a bagel fan, the breakfast each morning was to die for! The hostel provides a chill environment and a close access point for attractions like Union Square, Nob Hill, Market Street, North Beach, etc.
THE BAD: Prepare for noise! Mason street borders the infamous Tenderloin district and it can get a little crazy. If you're spooked easily by homeless folks, this is not the hostel for you.
An entire day has passed since I was on the Vision—a ship that sailed us through the Channel Islands off of the Santa Barbara coast—and I can still feel the swaying of waves beneath me, though I'm standing on dry land...
Swimming the glassy waters of a protected bay, driving classic American highways with friends, finding the last pack of cocoa after a night of cold camping; The best adventures are the spontaneous ones, thrown together by a couple friends and a big white box van...