As I was writing my San Francisco staycation post yesterday, I remembered these photos I had taken at the Pride parade one year and realized they should really be part of that post. These photographs are a huge part of what San Francisco is and why it made such a huge impact on my life, and that is because I don't look at these photos as a portrait of the vibrant gay and lesbian culture of the city, I look at them as simply a symbol of the city as a whole. What I mean by that is this: the city has an openness and acceptance that allows its residents (or visitors) to be exactly who they are and to express that on any day of the year.
I truly blossomed into the "real me" when I moved to San Francisco, after a lifetime of stifling complexes, insecurities and the closed-minded conditioning of New England. For the first time, I could let myself be the weirdo I really am (smile). Ahhhhh-mazing. It was the most liberating experience of my life, and I sure did "try on" a lot of personalities and dive into new experiences as I finally let out my gut after sucking it in for so long.
Honestly, there is nothing like living in a place where any day of the year, anytime of day, you can encounter.......a person dressed like a robot, a bevy of drag queens at Starbucks, a topless woman walking down the sidewalk, a man with a 2-foot beehive on his head riding the train, someone on the bus ranting and warning all the other passengers of the impending alien invasion that will begin at precisely 2:07 pm on April 21st, dogs dressed as fairies at the dog park.......I could seriously go on and on.
Some San Francisco pride: