2019 Pride Guide - Compton Cafeteria Riots 1966

San Francisco’s storied queer history has been rightfully brought to light over the years, and while the 50-year anniversary of the pivotal Stonewall riots in New York City seems to be the main attraction for World Pride, the City by the Bay certainly won’t be sitting idly. Pride was a riot, after all.

What better way to honor and recognize the contributions of activists, artists, and the cultural contributions of the LGBT community than through music? Whatever your preferred mode of liberation may be, chances are there’s something alluring calling your name.

Here are some of this weekend’s best music offerings.

If the glistening glow of the disco ball is calling your name, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better chance to throw on your best lewk than these balls.

High Tide Pride
Thursday, June 27
It’s a fabulous party on a boat. Do you need a better reason? Well, if the the thought of a sunset cruise with drag queens doesn’t seem magical enough, some of the best local queer DJs from the Bay’s recurring parties will be soundtracking the celebration, including Bézier (Honey Soundsystem), 8ULENTINA (Club Chai), and DavOmakesbeats (Swagger Like Us).

Hard French <3 Los Homos
Sunday, June 30
Although the Bay lost this gem of a monthly party, their yearly celebration for Pride is truly euphoric. The organizers always book incredible talents of yesteryear (Ronnie Spector and CeCe Peniston, to name a few), and this year is no different. This year’s draw is 80’s synth-pop icons Book of Love. The best part? You can dance to some killer soul music outside all day until the headliner comes to seal the deal.

Divas, pop stars, and their screaming fans are forever linked in queer canon. Why not dig in and enjoy the bombast? There truly are no guilty pleasures this month.

Kim Petras
Wednesday, June 26
Transgender German pop star Kim Petras sure seems bound for success in the States. If the slew of recently released singles are any indication, Petras should have a captive, dance-ready audience at Mezzanine.

Carly Rae Jepsen
Friday, June 28
Is there really anything better than Carly Rae Jepsen and her sword? The queen of being just-under-the-radar will make her mark at Bill Graham in support of  her latest album, Dedicated. In a world that is fraught with complications, Jepsen’s straightforward pop seems like a breath of fresh air and the perfect way to slide into Pride weekend. $1 from each ticket sold will benefit the Trevor Project, an organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth.

The Bay wouldn’t be quite what it is without hip-hop, and the scene for queer artists is one of the most interesting in the country. Here are a few of the best gatherings this weekend.

Swagger Like Us
Friday, June 28
You’ve never known what an energetic, sweaty dance floor is until you attend a Swagger Like Us party. The best queer hip-hop party in the Bay is expanding into 1015 Folsom this year, with special guests Leikeli47 and Oakland-based Mahawam on the bill alongside DJs Juliana Huxtable and Jasmine Infiniti. This one’ll rattle your bones.

Saturday, June 29
In on of the more baffling offerings, Oakland native Kreayshawn (remember her?) will have a DJ set at DNA Lounge. This one is 18+, so expect a plethora of pretty young things and plenty of absurdity. Happy Pride, indeed.

Looking for something a little more low-key? Step into these museums and learn something new while hearing some tunes.

Pride Nightlife at Academy of Science
Thursday, June 27
The DJs from Hard French, Daytime Realness, and Hella Gay Dance Party will be in tow at this state-of-the-art science museum in Golden Gate Park. Local drag legend Heklina will also perform.

AFTER DARK: PRIDE at Exploratorium
Thursday, June 27
Ah-Mer-Ah-Su‘s performance at this year’s Phono Del Sol was a highlight of the year, so this appearance at the Exploratorium’s event to honor and celebrate LGBT heritage and culture is a welcome recognition of QTPOC contributions, a too-often overlooked population.

Friday Nights at OMCA: Pride Night
Friday, June 28
If you’re looking to get cute in the East Bay, look not further than the Oakland Museum of California. Friday’s showcase will highlight the special exhibition Queer California: Untold Stories. DJ Kream (Passionfruit/Oakhella) will soundtrack the block party.

If all of this sounds too polished, don’t worry. Feel comforted by loud guitars at the Bay’s best queer spaces.

Pelvic Thrust
Thursday, June 27
DJs Bulldog Mike and MetalBob will host Lonestar Saloon for a night’s worth of heavy guitars.

Saturday, June 29
Queer-adjacent DC post-punkers Priests are returning to Starline Social Club in support of their second album, The Seduction of Kansas. Though the new release has more sheen than previous material, this is a band that knows a thing or two about making deft political statements through music.

If Pride month means rolling up your sleeves and helping vulnerable queer people, there are a number of ways to put your money where your mouth is.

Sex Work Is Gay:PRIDE Benefit Show
Saturday, June 29

San Francisco-based rock group Copyslut are throwing a benefit show with Salami Rose Joe Louis and others.  Proceeds will benefit the Homeless Youth Alliance, a Bay Area charity that provides direct services to homeless youth in SF ages 13-29, most of whom are queer. They will be using our proceeds from this event to help their trans youth access gender affirming surgeries.