“Pride” by Sibel Sayiner and Violet Trachtenberg

San Francisco Pride Parade 2013

After spending ten minutes watching corporate floats and cis men parade by

In their rainbow logos and paraphanalia

I’m acutely aware that everyone in the stands is white

The crowds are cheering for marriage equality,

Laughing as thought the movie for gay liberation is rolling its final credits

Crunch, crunch, crunch

The pride parade marches down market street

Verizon, Toyota, bank of the west

Let’s call it…free market street

With the floats trickling down the financial district to the tenderloin

Nike’s float asks us to #Be True

Be True to the invisible hand of capitalism

Don’t worry, that’s mother’s indentured labors stitching your flags, your t-shirts, your rainbow-colored basket ball shoes

Because look—it’s wearing a wedding band

The crowds are screaming, delighted that between Doma and Citizens United,

The 479 male-owned Fortune 500 companies can marry each other now

At the festival, San Francisco police monitor the entrance because homeless people have nothing to be proud of

This plaza, most days, is a safe place to sleep

Now, only a place to be shooed

The policemen smile, hoping maybe, if they protect enough fruits, we’ll forget about fruitvale

Hoping the many colors of pride will cover the black of Oscar Grant

Let’s take a moment to dismantle the six colors of pride

First, there’s that sunset red, the bright tint of blood when an emperor demands you give up your religion, your language, your skin, and if you do not comply we will put you in

Orange, twisting you into a criminal, stripping you of the sunlight

Yellow, like the gold they exploited from you, swallowing every dollar of

Green you ever made and called it justice

Called the blue of the freezing hands of those queer kids on the street corners justice

Witness the purple bruises of pride struggle forgetting how it shines so proudly against their white skin

There’s more to celebrate than a parade

There are voices to be heard that cannot make their way to these limousines

Queer people don’t need sponsors, don’t need spectators,

We need immigration justice, and racial justice,

We need meployment and homes

And equal access to healthcare

San Francisco Pride, with your corporate, conglomerate, co-sponsors

And policemen lining the sidwalks

Whose equality are you celebrating anyway?


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