Tuesday, June 28, 2011

San Francisco Pride Weekend Recap

by Chris Barnett

Out4Immigration's Pride Weekend in San Francisco was a big success. On both Saturday and Sunday Out4Immigration was present at the Marriage Equality USA and GetEQUAL booth, and it was great working alongside other community members demanding equality for all families—and our families!

If you have not seen this week’s petition on Change.org, please check it out (and sign and share!). Volunteers collected signatures all weekend to add to the petition, and had opportunities to talk and connect with a wide range of people, including a number of people in same-sex binational relationships. And as always, Mother Nature pulled back the fog to reveal glorious late June weather, it was pretty great to be there. Plus, when you’re standing in the shadow of City Hall with a veritable rainbow of humanity, beauty, and outrageousness, how can you want to be anywhere else? Thanks to the O4I volunteers and our friends from Stop The Deportations, MEUSA and GetEQUAL for their camaraderie and help!

We had great energy with our contingent and throughout the weekend's celebration. Many thanks to all the wonderful people who turned out to march with us, and helped us have such a great presence! We were delighted that the parade organizers put us right behind Marriage Equality USA, giving that section of the parade a strong equality-oriented presence.

Several rolls of stickers and a whole box or so of our “green cards” later, we found ourselves already turning off at 8th Street, the end of the parade route! Some of us have been in this struggle longer than others, and while we all care and see the injustice, there were years where we might as well have been yelling into the dark. This year, we were greeted with shouts of approval, whistles, smiles, and applause. People are taking note of the injustice same-sex binational couples face, and we claimed Market Street as our own. People like the idea of equality!

Out4Immigration also co-presented "A Few Days of Respite," a film shown at the Castro Theater on Sunday afternoon as part of the Frameline San Francisco LGBT Film Festival. I have not, in all honesty, been able to catch up with O4I members who were there, so I have to report back on that—but I have no doubt they put their best feet forward and hope the film was good!

Thanks to everyone who turned out to represent and celebrate with us. From parents to small children, friends and loves, it was a proud moment indeed to come together and feel the energy of a crowd beginning to wake up to the injustices we’ve been struggling against for so long. It was a proud day indeed to be in San Francisco. If you couldn’t make it this year, you’ve got almost a whole year to plan for next year! By then, we hope our work and those of our allies in the struggle to stop deportations and recognize our relationships for immigration purposes will be in the past, and we will truly have a reason to celebrate. Help us make this happen--send an email to info@out4immigration.org and let us know you are ready to volunteer.

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