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Honoring Gay Pride in San Francisco

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Honoring Gay Pride in San Francisco

Last weekend was Gay Pride in San Francisco. Now, I know that they have Gay Pride celebrations in other cities, but Pride was born here in my neck of the woods — and yet, I’ve never been there to celebrate. So this year, I lost my Gay Pride virginity. Matt, Siena and I showed up for the Gay Pride festival at the Civic Center, the Dyke March at Dolores Park, and the Gay Pride parade down Market Street.

I probably grew up like many of you when it comes to all things homosexual. I was raised to think that homosexuality was a sin and that gays could be reformed, if only they accepted Jesus Christ as their personal lord and savior. So when one of my dear friends in college informed me that she couldn’t hang out with me any more because she was secretly in the closet and madly in love with me, it totally freaked me out.

But I’ve evolved since then. Half of my best friends are gay, and many of my patients are lesbians and post sex-change transsexuals. These people are some of the Pinkest people I know. They OWN who they are, even when it means being judged by their families, their employers, their friends, and society at large. I think it takes so much courage to live out loud (and really let your freak flag fly!).

Way out of the closet

We were staying at a friend’s house in the Castro, where the rainbow flags fly high from most of the neighbors’ houses and the party was rocking right down the street, and where the hot, buff security guards wore thigh-high striped tights and pink tutus. Lady Gaga blared from loudspeakers and people came way out of the closet. T-shirts read “Can’t Think Straight” and “I Can See Queerly Now” and (this one made me smile) “I LOVE PINK.”

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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.  She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.  Lissa blogs at and also created two online communities - and She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.


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6:14PM PDT on Sep 17, 2010

I could not have made it thru high school without my gay guys.
I could not imagine life without gay and lesbian friends and family.
Life is getting better but we have a long way to go end discrimination.

7:11AM PDT on Aug 18, 2010


11:58PM PDT on Jul 30, 2010

I always find these articles intriqueing. I enjoy learning different views. =)

6:02AM PDT on Jul 29, 2010

I think it's cool that people can rally together like this. People are people!

2:54PM PDT on Jul 27, 2010

Well it is highly unfortunate that some felt the need to judge & preach intolerance in their comments :/ Ignoring the ugliness posted by these people, I can say I think this is a great article. May we all find love that speaks to our hearts & have the courage to truly & honestly be ourselves, as soon as we find out who that is. Thank you.

3:40PM PDT on Jul 22, 2010

=) =) =) =)

11:46PM PDT on Jul 20, 2010

Lissa, if you're trying to be accepting and Queer-friendly, PLEASE don't use the word "tranny". It's a negative slur.

Say instead trans woman, trans man, trans person - and that's only if you really must. Otherwise, just woman, man and person work quite well. :)

11:51AM PDT on Jul 17, 2010

I really enjoyed reading your article. I've been to Pride parades a couple of times and loved the fun and accepting atmosphere!

11:46AM PDT on Jul 17, 2010

Thanks for the article. Having been
born and raised in the Ca. Bay area,
I feel like I was blessed with learning tolerance towards diversity.

10:55PM PDT on Jul 15, 2010

Wow, some heated discussions on this one.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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