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San Francisco Zen Middle Honors Pleasure Month

On June 26, after a a number of 12 months hiatus, San Francisco Zen Middle will once more have a contingent within the LGBTQIA+ Pleasure Parade. We invite readers of this text to be part of us when you’re within the Bay Space. The theme of this 12 months’s parade is “Love Will Maintain Us Collectively.”

San Francisco Zen Middle first had a contingent within the Pleasure Parade in 2008. It was a joyful occasion.
That 12 months the LGBTQIA+ neighborhood and allies had been organizing to protest in opposition to Proposition 8, which might ban same-sex marriage in California. A number of Metropolis Middle residents wished to march in solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ neighborhood, and had been supported by SFZC’s management to take action. Many people joined the march.

Our contingent was led by a powerful Buddhawith a big painted papier mache head crafted by Berkeley artist Annie Hallatt and a flowing maroon gown. The Buddha was guided by an attendant in black robes (it was arduous to see by means of the masks), and adopted by Zen college students and buddies on foot and aboard a embellished truck. Blanche Hartmann, our former Abbess, sat Zazen on an inverted milk crate as we slowly wheeled alongside the parade route, whereas these of us on the truck bowed and waved to the crowds lining either side of Market Road.

We participated within the parade yearly, usually coming collectively later within the afternoon for a interval of meditation within the Metropolis Middle Buddha Corridor, led by Larry Yang ( co-founder of the East Bay Meditation Middle in Oakland) and myself.

A little bit of historical past: The Stonewall Riots, additionally known as the Stonewall Rebellion, started within the early hours of June 28, 1969 when New York Metropolis police raided the Stonewall Inn, a homosexual membership positioned in Greenwich Village in New York Metropolis. The raid sparked a riot amongst bar patrons and neighborhood residents as police roughly hauled staff and patrons out of the bar, main to 6 days of protests and violent clashes with regulation enforcement outdoors the bar on Christopher Road, in neighboring streets and in close by Christopher Park. The Stonewall Riots served as a catalyst for the homosexual rights motion in the US and world wide. The primary delight parades (in New York, San Francisco, and elsewhere) occurred a 12 months later, on June 28, 1970.

I first marched in a delight parade in Boston within the late 70’s, with a homosexual good friend who had simply realized that he was HIV constructive. For my good friend, who skilled being HIV constructive as a demise sentence (which it was for a lot of homosexual males at the moment) marching within the parade was a joyful expression of being alive. For me, it was an antidote to the loneliness I had felt in my adolescence and early maturity. Popping out had been a troublesome course of for me. I saved getting messages that there was one thing mistaken with me for loving ladies. I didn’t know different lesbian ladies; most had been closeted.

Marching in that Boston delight parade was exhilarating as we celebrated collectively — all genders, young and old, same-gendered mother and father with their youngsters, buddies and fogeys of lesbians and homosexual males with their PFLAG banner. Bells rang as we walked by the Arlington Road church and other people regarded out of their home windows waving, or cheered from the sidewalks.

I moved to the Bay Space in 1990 on the invitation of a girl I cherished, and a 12 months later we had a ceremony of dedication on Pleasure weekend. It was as if the whole metropolis was celebrating with us.

I’ve missed collaborating within the Pleasure parade these previous two years when it was canceled as a result of Covid. This 12 months’s parade theme, “Love Will Maintain Us Collectively,” appears deeply related on this time, when states are passing laws that bans details about sexual orientation or gender identification in some grades, or prohibits mother and father from acknowledging the wants of their non-binary or transgender youngsters.

This 12 months, we’re on the lookout for marchers, planners, decorators, and security displays. We’ll depart from the steps of 300 Web page Road in San Francisco at 9:30am and take Muni to our assigned spot (TBA). For additional data, contact You may also register on-line.

By Tova Inexperienced


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