Pride Month at Equator

Gay Pride: My Story by Brooke McDonnell, Co-Founder

In 1978, I settled in San Francisco at the age of 20, not fully formed, tentative in my sexual identity and blithely unaware that history-making events in the life of San Francisco’s gay community were just around the corner. I was about to come of age.

I first spied Harvey Milk while sitting at Cafe Flora on upper Market Street. He sometimes stopped for breakfast across the street. This was his turf and the unofficial “Mayor of Castro Street” was about to be the first openly gay city supervisor. The cafe was a great perch for a wide-eyed newbie like myself. An unforgettable cast of characters passed by and through its portals - poets, writers, musicians, trans-people, gays, lesbians, black, brown and white queer folk. I loved the vibe which nurtured the unconventional.

If the cafe expanded my cultural awareness, Harvey opened my eyes to the politically possible. He sounded the clarion call to push back when a bill, proposition 6 (a.k.a the Briggs Initiative), made its way onto the ballot - prohibiting gay people from teaching in public schools. Ominous political forces were circling and Harvey channeled a warrior, galvanizing into action a wary community that was in midst of its own carefree Woodstock moment. His passion and sense of justice was contagious, eventually leading to an unprecedented victory for the gay community. When he stopped by a victory party on Market Street to thank his supporters I had the thrill of witnessing an ecstatic crowd savor their moment while cheering madly for Harvey. Pride.

I still hear the echo of Sylvester singing “you make me feel mighty real” with its joyous spirit even after all that followed.

Stories of Pride

What makes you proud? This month we're reaching out to our vibrant cafe communities to capture the sprit of Pride and demonstrate its far-reaching impact. Simply visit any of our cafes, fill out a postcard and place it in the nearby kiosk. We'll then assemble and display them at our Market Street cafe during SF Pride to celebrate the many faces of Pride on its biggest day.

Market Street Cafe

Join us for SF Pride! Our Market Street cafe is located right along the SF Pride parade route making it the perfect spot to join the festivities. Stop in and grab a cold drink, check out our Stories of Pride wall and head back to the parade whenever you're ready.

986 Market St // San Francisco, CA 94102