Celebrity Grand Marshal
Sarah Silverman is a comedian, actress and your favorite Jewish friend. Over the last two decades she has made guest appearances on dozens of television series and in feature films, as well as being the star of three seasons of her own Comedy Central series, The Sarah Silverman Program.
Celebrity Grand Marshal
Athlete and actress Dot Jones began her performing career two decades ago as Lady Battleaxe on Knights and Warriors. She currently stars on the hit FOX series Glee as football Coach Shannon Beiste. She says, â€śI love playing not just the big, tough chick; but the big, tough chick with a heart!â€ť (For more information regarding Jones, please see the feature about her on page 25.)
Celebrity Grand Marshal
A svelte artiste, Carmen Carrera is best known for her roles on RuPaulâ€™s Drag Race and RuPaulâ€™s Drag U on LOGO TV. But few know this sophisticated beauty is more than a polished drag queen. Carrera is a transgender woman. â€śTransitioning is a life-changing decision,â€ť she says. â€śItâ€™s empowering. I plan on finishing the long and risky hormone replacement therapy process, while continuing my work in television and movies. I look forward to being a positive role model for the transgender community.â€ť
The Gilbert Baker Pride
Gilbert Baker was born in Kansas in 1951 and served in the US Army from 1970-1972. He was stationed in San Francisco just at the start of the gay liberation movement. After being honorably discharged, Baker stayed in San Francisco and taught himself to sew. It was this skill that he put to use making banners for gay and anti-war street protest marches, often at a momentâ€™s notice and at the behest of his friend Harvey Milk â€“ later elected to office and assassinated on Nov 27, 1978.
Milk rode triumphantly under the first rainbow flags Baker made at their debut on June 25, 1978, for the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade. Early in 2008, Baker returned to San Francisco to recreate the banners and flags he made in the 70â€™s for the Academy Award winning feature film MILK starring Sean Penn.
In 1994, Baker moved to New York City and created a mile-long Rainbow Flag for the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Riot. Measuring 30 ft. x 5,280 ft. and carried by 5,000 people, it broke the worldâ€™s record for largest flag. Baker gives speeches and lectures about the Flag and LGBTQ history in cities large and small around the world. His message is about human rights. Baker lives in New York City, where he continues to evolve the Rainbow Flag.
Honorable Willie L. Brown, Jr.
Two-term mayor of San Francisco, legendary Speaker of the California State Assembly, and widely regarded as the most influential African-American politician of the late twentieth century, Willie L. Brown, Jr., has been at the center of California politics, government and civic life for an astonishing four decades. His career spans the American presidency from Lyndon Johnson to George W. Bush, and he has worked with every California Governor from Pat Brown to Arnold Schwarzenegger. From civil rights to education reform, tax policy, economic development, health care, international trade, domestic partnerships and affirmative action, he has left his imprimatur on every aspect of politics and public policy in the Golden State.
As Mayor of Californiaâ€™s most cosmopolitan city, he refurbished and rebuilt the nationâ€™s busiest transit system, pioneered the use of bond measures to build affordable housing, created a model juvenile justice system and paved the way for a second campus of the University of California, San Francisco, to serve as the anchor of a new development that will position the City as a center for the burgeoning field of biotechnology. Today he heads the Willie L. Brown, Jr., Institute on Politics and Public Service, where this acknowledged master of the art of politics shares his knowledge and skills with a new generation of California leaders.
Global Grand Marshal Bishop Christopher Senyonjo
Selected by the Pride Celebration Committee in May, The Rt. Rev. Bishop Disani Christopher Senyonjo is perhaps best known for his courageous advocacy on the part of LGBTQ persons in Uganda, where he spent his entire ministerial career prior to his 1998 retirement.
Following his retirement from the bishopric, Senyonjo began counseling services for singles and married people. His counseling services for LGBTQ people began in 2001. In 2010, he founded St. Paulâ€™s Reconciliation and Equality Centre for LGBTQ/Straight Alliance. Bishop Senyonjo has been a keynote speaker at multiple international human rights conferences, including two at the United Nations in 2010. These two conferences helped to reinstate language protecting LGBTQ people against â€śextra-judicialâ€ť killings. He has been recognized by the California State Assembly for his leadership on LGBTQ issues and was named one of Huffington Postâ€™s Ten Most Influential Religious Leaders for 2010. Bishop Senyonjoâ€™s courageous stand against anti-LGBTQ bigotry in Uganda was the subject of a profile in â€śReligion Dispatchesâ€ť in February 2011. He is executive director of the St. Paulâ€™s Reconciliation and Equality Centre, Kampala, and will be visiting the United States from June 13 to July 30.
Organizational Community Grand Marshal
ACLU of Northern California
Selected by community vote in March, the ACLU of Northern California is the nationâ€™s largest affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, protecting and advancing civil liberties, including LGBTQ rights, throughout the region.
Grand Marshal Edaj
Selected by the Pride board in May, Edaj is a versatile artist whose career as a choreographer, producer, emcee and DJ began in 1991 while she served in the US Air Force in Okinawa, Japan. In 1996, she made her debut in San Francisco where she has become an influential entertainment specialist throughout the Bay Area. From 1996-2000, she was co-choreographer/dancer for Club Q.
Her most celebrated performance is at MANGO, where she has amazed and delighted patrons since 1997. From 2002 â€“ 2010, she was executive producer of the Womenâ€™s Stage at San Francisco Pride. She ensured there was a space for women at the celebration and showcased a diverse, multi-talented global representation of the womenâ€™s community on the stage. Her work supporting and empowering women through artistic expression stretches across the nation and internationally through her company, Mizdj Creations. She is an advocate for the womenâ€™s community and constantly lends her expertise toward establishing opportunities for women to excel in the arts.
Grand Marshal Rebecca Prozan
Selected by SF Prideâ€™s members in April, Rebecca Prozan is the director of Community Outreach for the District Attorneyâ€™s Office where she is creating a community relations model based on her 17 years of experience as a community organizer, prosecutor and neighborhood leader. In 1995, Prozan cut her teeth as an organizer for Willie Brownâ€™s campaign for mayor. Following his victory, she worked as the mayorâ€™s liaison to the queer community, where she secured funding for LGBTQ nonprofits, advocated for LGBTQ representation on commissions and organized the first LGBTQ civil ceremonies. Since that time, she managed Kamala Harrisâ€™ bid to become San Franciscoâ€™s first African-American and first female district attorney, and also worked as a legislative aide to Supervisor Bevan Dufty. In 2004, Prozan joined the District Attorneyâ€™s office, where she eventually launched the Neighborhood Prosecutor and Community Courts program under current District Attorney George GascĂłn.
Prozan was elected as a 2008 Obama delegate and has received leadership awards from the FDR and Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Clubs. In 2010, Prozan ran for District 8 Supervisor by waging a non-ideological, common sense campaign. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Castro Country Club. She and her wife, Julia Adams, were married in 2008 and are residents of the Castro, along with their rescue dog Mika.
Grand Marshal Sister Roma
Selected by community vote in March, the year 2012 marks Sister Romaâ€™s 25th year as one of the most continuously active, outspoken and highly visible members of the San Francisco Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Inc. Roma has dedicated half of her life to serving the San Francisco LGBTQ community as an activist, fundraiser, public speaker, hostess/master of ceremonies, columnist, talk show host and an arguable San Francisco gay icon. Since taking her vows, Roma has been on the front lines in the war against HIV/AIDS, homophobia and hate crimes as the original creator of the â€śStop the Violenceâ€ť campaign. One of San Franciscoâ€™s most colorful and outspoken civil rights advocates, Roma has graced the main stages of San Francisco Pride, Folsom Street Fair, Castro Street Fair, Halloween in the Castro and Easter in Dolores Park - just to name a few.
While it is impossible to know exactly how much money Roma has helped accrue for the global LGBTQ community, she has contributed her time and talents to events helping raise an estimated total of over $1 million in 25 years of service.
Grand Marshal Olga Talamante
Selected by the Pride board in May, Olga Talamante is the executive director of the Chicana/Latina Foundation. The Chicana/Latina Foundationâ€™s mission is the empowerment of Chicanas/Latinas through their personal, educational and professional advancement. She is well
known for her activism and community leadership.
Over the years she has worked in the Chicano, farm workers, human rights and LGBTQ movements, always striving to bring together the various issues that intersect our communities. She is a past co-chair of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). She currently serves on the boards of Horizons Foundation, the Greenlining Institute, on the advisory board of GELAAM (Latino LGBTQ organization in San Mateo County) and on the Latino Advisory Council of the Oakland Museum of California.
Grand Marshal Morningstar Vancil
Selected by the Pride board in May, Morningstar Vancil identifies as Two-Spirit, Butch and as a folk-artist, veteran and community builder.
Vancil came to the United States to gain political asylum in 1984. Recently she was featured as a filmmaker for the Queer Women of Color Film Festival and the American Indian Film Festival (2011). She is an active member of FABLED ASP.
Vancil has been an advocate for people of color in the areas of immigration, human rights, domestic partnership and tribal alliance building.
She served as a volunteer for the Two-Spirit Groupsâ€™ Archives of the GLBT Historical Society. She is a member of Kreatibo (a queer-Pinay performance troupe), Butch Magic (a drag king troupe), Fat Bottom Revue (big burlesque) and Neshkinukat, a coalition of Native American artists in Northern California.
Vancil is a founding member and former officer of the Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits, serves on the LGBT advisory board of the SF Human Rights Commission and is a former LGBT board member of the American Cancer Society. Presently, she is the Womanâ€™s Commander of Post 448 (LGBTQ veterans). She is also recovering from gynecological cancer, diagnosed in 2003, and has been very active in creating community for LGBTQ cancer survivors.
Grand Marshal Gary Virginia
Selected by SF Prideâ€™s Electoral College in April, Gary Virginia is a tireless fundraiser, venerable activist and 24-year HIV/AIDS survivor who has produced numerous benefits for AIDS, breast cancer, emergency humanitarian relief and US and international LGBTQ civil rights.
Virginia is active in many organizations. His public service history includes past president of Positive Resource Center, SF Human Rights Commission LGBT advisory committee, Gays Without Borders/SF executive committee, columnist, podcast radio host, San Francisco supervisor candidate, Pride Brunch co-founder (honoring the other Grand Marshals), and founder of Krewe de Kinque Mardi Gras charitable club. The 18th annual Mr. San Francisco Leather contest took place at the Alcazar Theater on April 20, 1996. After the judges put the seven well-qualified contestants through their paces, the winner was Gary Virginia, the first Mr. Daddyâ€™s Leather. Virginia won the title of Mr. San Francisco Leather 1996. He is an outstanding member of Mamaâ€™s Family, the social fundraising group of community leaders in the leather/fetish world who help charities such as AIDS Emergency Fund and Breast Cancer Emergency Fund.
Virginia currently serves on the advisory board of the Bay Times and the Positive Resource Center.