San Francisco Pride Names Black Lives Matter as Grand Marshal

Black Lives Matter

It is a proud moment for Black Lives Matter.

The social justice movement — which advocates for marginalized people who are black, queer, transgender, differently abled, undocumented, and formerly incarcerated — has been named the Organizational Grand Marshal at this year’s Pride celebration in San Francisco.

On March 10, SF Pride also announced the names of its Community Grand Marshals: Larry Yang, a Bay Area founder of LGBT mediation groups, and Janetta Johnson, a transgender healer and executive director of the Transgender Gender Variant and Intersex Justice Project.

Selected by both members and the public, grand marshals are defined by the Pride organization as "local heroes from the nine counties of the San Francisco Bay Area who have made significant contributions to the SF Bay Area LGBTQ community, or as openly gay members of the LGBTQ community, have made significant contributions to society at large."

They “represent the LGBTQ community's highest ambitions for inclusion, justice, and equality.”

San Francisco has one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world. In 2015, around 1 million people participated in the parade and satellite events, which commemorate the Stonewall Riots and celebrate the LGBT community.

Several leaders of Black Lives Matter are also members of the LGBT community. These activists include DeRay Mckesson, who covers the current issue of The Advocate, as well as 40 Under 40 honorees Alicia Garza, who lives in the Bay Area, and Los Angeles resident Patrisse Cullors.

The choice of Black Lives Matter as a grand marshal should come as no surprise to activists. In her 40 Under 40 interview, Garza explained how the fights for LGBT and racial equality are intertwined and intersectional.

"Just like we don't live in a two-dimensional world, we don't live two-dimensional lives," she said. "Our lives are multidimensional, and because of the systems that we live under, there are particular punishments and sanctions for different aspects of who we are."

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