Black Lives Matter to Help Lead San Francisco Pride Parade

By Kenrya Rankin Mar 14, 2016

In a move that illustrates the intersectionality of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and the work of activists who advocate for LGBTQI rights, the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Celebration Committee has named BLM as one of its grand marshals for the 2016 pride parade.

The 46th annual San Francisco Pride Parade is scheduled for June 26, and this year’s theme is “For Racial and Economic Justice.” SFist reports that the parade typically has about 13 grand marshals each year. Black Lives Matter will serve as the organizational grand marshal; co-founder Alicia Garza was a grand marshal in 2015. It’s an honor that closely aligns with the mission of the organization, which includes the following passage:

[Black Lives Matter] goes beyond the narrow nationalism that can be prevalent within Black communities, which merely call on Black people to love Black, live Black and buy Black, keeping straight cis Black men in the front of the movement while our sisters, queer and trans and disabled folk take up roles in the background or not at all.

Black Lives Matter affirms the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, black-undocumented folks, folks with records, women and all Black lives along the gender spectrum. It centers those that have been marginalized within Black liberation movements. It is a tactic to (re)build the Black liberation movement.

The group also announced two other grand marshals, both of whom are people of color. Larry Yang, who has helped to create several LGBTQI meditation groups in the Bay Area, will be the community grand marshal. And Janetta Johnson, executive director of the Transgender Gender Variant and Intersex Justice Project, is the member’s choice for community grand marshal.