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Social Observation

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SF Pride 2010 - “Forty and Fabulous” The 40th annual Pride Parade drew thousands of people on Sunday including many who took part in the parade and others who just went to watch. The crowds were diverse and certainly not limited to members of San Francisco's LGBT community; there were people from all over the world and from all ages, races, and backgrounds. I was impressed to see people being very accepting and welcoming of one another. Everyone was able to express themselves without being judged, and more importantly everyone was treated as an equal regardless of their background. After the parade, the party shifted to Civic Center Plaza where the crowds eagerly anticipated a performance by the Backstreet Boys. Chaos emerged as everyone tried to get as close to the main stage as possible. People became irritated because the Backstreet Boys were running half an hour late; meanwhile everyone began to push and shove each other, and due to the unbearable heat and the smell of marijuana some people began to faint. When the Backstreet Boys finally came on stage to perform, everyone began to scream at the top of their lungs. Nobody really knew the words to the first song that they were singing. However, as soon as Nick Carter began to sing “I Want It That Way,” we all sang every lyric of that song in unison. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also made a pre-recorded statement for the crowd which was played on big screens and loud speakers. Pelosi says, “We will not stop working until we pass an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act. This has been a priority of mine for nearly two decades, and your continued advocacy is essential to our success. We must also end discrimination as it relates to the right to marry. We will continue to fight until all loving couples can get married.” Several other politicians such as assembly members, supervisors, and state senators showed their support for the LGBT community by participating in the parade. The parade has gained much support throughout the years; from the 150 participants in 1970 to the tens of thousands of participants today. Gay rights have come a long way and there is much to celebrate because of the movement’s progress. It was people’s sense of pride for the gay culture that truly brought everyone together. As I put on the Durkheim lens, I realize that the parade was an act of social solidarity. Despite the fact that organic solidarity is characteristic of large and modern societies, it is arguable that the type of solidarity demonstrated at the Pride Parade can be classified as mechanical solidarity. This is because people’s feeling of oneness came from everyone believing in the same cause - support for gay rights. Solidarity among the gay community has grown stronger over the years because people have become more aware about the LGBT culture and the right to the liberation of the gays. Another thing that I noticed is the fact that everyone was sporting rainbow colors to symbolize the gay flag, which is sacred because it represents the fact that the gays have their own culture. We all had a shared meaning for rainbow colors because we all advocated the right for gays to get married. Also, people’s love for the Backstreet Boys was apparent as everyone chanted “BSB” in unison when they grew tired of waiting for them. Because it was my first time going to the pride parade, I was surprised to see that everyone was so loving towards one another. When I was younger, I always thought that this event was strictly for gay people. However, I have learned that people from all different backgrounds and sexual orientations are welcomed. It was definitely fun going because it made me feel very united among the thousands of people that went, and it also made me feel accepted in our society.…...

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