It’s that time of the year again. Rainbow flags are a’flappin’ down Market Street, more glitter than usual seems to be blowing in the breeze, and you’ve likely just realized you still haven’t finalized your weekend plans. It’s Pride week in San Francisco!
Head over to the GayCities San Francisco Pride Guide to peruse the dizzying array of Pride happenings to your heart’s content.
To make things even easier on you, we put together our top five Queerty picks for the weekend. These are all exceptional stand-out parties that are guaranteed to tickle your fancy, assuming you’re a generally chill person who likes to have fun. Hopefully that’s not too great a leap.
1. Best overall pick: Sunday Mass at The Chapel — Sunday, June 26; 8 p.m. – 3 a.m.
We’re going to begin at the end, and only because if you’re only going to one party this Pride, you can’t do better than Sunday Mass. This is the third year the gang is getting together for a pride-stravaganza, and it will be one well-oiled machine of seductive debauchery. They’ve got hedonism down to a science for their most ambitious undertaking yet, as over 40 artists and musicians pitch in to create that magical Pride experience every gayby dreams of. Each room at The Chapel is being transformed into its own interactive art wonderland, the result being a web of pure joy sprinkled with three dance floors, an epic cuddle puddle, body & face painting, tarot reading and virtual reality. Did we mention virtual reality?! While the crowd will skew male, Mass is an inclusive event (as are all the events we’ll feature), so it’s a surefire hit for your whole crew. Save some strength throughout the weekend, you’ll need it. Ticket info here.
2. Best party to avoid a hangover: Pride Nightlife at California Academy of Science — Thursday, June 23; 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
So you want to dip your toes in the Pride party punch, but you’re not the type to rage into the night. It’s cool baby, don’t fret. Pride night at the California Academy of Science has your back. Hosted by Juanita More and House of Babes, this Thursday Pride kickoff is the perfect way to see, be seen and make a scene all before the clock strikes midnight and your Uber Black turns into a 1978 Mercury Zephyr. This year there’s a drag tribute to Prince and Bowie, a bit of vogue flavor with the always-on-point Jocquese Whitfield, and of course all the amazing attractions of the museum to keep you awestruck all night. Plus you can still make it home in time to catch up on Orange Is the New Black, and that’s something to be proud of.
3. Best party for babes: House of Babes Big Queer Pride Party at Public Works — Saturday, June 25; 7 p.m. – 3 a.m.
But seriously, the babes will be out in full force. Who classifies as a “babe?” Anyone and everyone in this gorgeous queer family of ours who believes in themself and wants to spread the love. While all the parties we’re suggesting are inclusive, at this QPOC event you’ll see a truly beautiful mix across gender, sexuality, body type and style. This party is for everyone except haters, and that can mean so many different things. Hip hop, twerk and club beats will keep the crowd going strong, and some very special live performances from NoLa sissy bounce babe Katey Red and NYC-based rapper babe Dai Burger are sure to blow the lid off the place.
4. Best pick for the ones who want it all: Hard French at Mezanine — Sunday, June 26; 3 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Perhaps you’ve been to one of the monthly Hard French parties in the Mission? Well this is that, plus so, so, so much more. It’s really two (three?) events in one — an outdoor street party with a similar ’60s soul vibe as the ever-popular monthly iteration (helloo sunshine!), as well as a full indoor club experience featuring some of the best DJ talent from Los Angeles and around The Bay. As if that weren’t enough, these guys went and fully outdid themselves by booking Psychic TV to perform a live set. Yes, that Psychic TV — the influential trans-fronted ’80s/’90s industrial psychedelic rock group famous in part for their intense shows. It’s going to get weird it all the right ways.
5. Best place to dance on a budget: Civic Center — Saturday & Sunday; Noon – 6 p.m.
The great thing about San Francisco Pride is that unlike many cities, event tickets remain relatively inexpensive. That being said, for anyone who is hard on funds this Pride, don’t think for a second that your dancing ambitions are squashed. Don’t forget that the Civic Center Pride Festival is FREE, as in F-R-E-E, both Saturday and Sunday. There will be multiple dance stages, many incredible performances and people-watching up the wazoo. Help keep it cute! Remember to hydrate, and be aware that security this year will be amped up, so expect to have your bag searched when you enter the event. Other than that, go crazy and have the time of your life.