Happy Gay Pride Weekend
It's Gay Pride weekend here in San Francisco. Parties, films, comedy, live music, street theatre and marches are taking place over the next two days. It's nice to live in a city that respects and celebrates gays.
The grand marshal at tomorrow's big march will be Elliot Blackstone, a retired 81-year-old sergeant, who in the 1960s befriended the transgender community in the Tenderloin and helped advance the GLBT movement:
"They hated me. They thought it was wrong for a policeman to associate with these faggots," Blackstone said at his home in Pacifica. "But they needed help, so I helped."
Blackstone worked with what were then called "homophile" organizations, such as the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis, to end police entrapment of gay men in public bathrooms. He trained police recruits on how to handle the community by bringing in gays, lesbians and transgender people to talk about their lives.