Despite the name, there’s not a lot of real pride at SF Pride — it was mostly dominated by listless stalls, thumpy music, and booth-food. Ho hum. And worst of all, the exposed skin was far less plentiful than what we’d been led to expect. The whole shebang was getting a little dull on Saturday when suddenly a throng of cheerleaders appeared to rejuvenate the proceedings.
This certainly was a stand-out show: they cleared an intersection, then proceeded to flip, kick, split, grind, and bounce, all with big grins and sparkly pom-poms. And suddenly, the assembled onlookers weren’t just milling around looking for shade, but cheering — yaaaaay! And also, gasping; some of these folks were achieving serious air time — and they were doing it over asphalt.
We only saw one near-disaster: during a contest to see which group could throw someone the highest, one girl was tossed up and to the side. Incredibly, despite flying in a totally unexpected direction, she tucked herself and landed intact, caught by one guy who was able to make it underneath her in time. It all happened in about a second and a half.
Local heroes Cheer SF (who, BTW, are holding tryouts in July) were joined by groups from San Diego, Los Angeles, and elsewhere. (We think — there doesn’t appear to be any mention anywhere on SF Pride’s site of who was there) It was, by far, the highlight of Saturday’s Pride; it reminded us just what it’s like to burst with pride on behalf of some folks who can really accomplish amazing things.