Students, faculty, staff to show their Pride

SF State students, faculty and staff will be among the thousands marching down Market Street this Sunday during the world-famous San Francisco Pride parade. The University is marching in the parade for the third year, and some 60 students, faculty, staff and community members are expected to join the Gator contingent and show their support for the LGBT community.

Pam Su, director of campus recreation, displays the fabric

Pam Su, director of campus recreation, displays the fabric "Gator skin" that will be attached to SF State's Pride parade float.

New for this year will be SF State's first-ever float, which will feature purple and gold balloons, rainbow-colored signage, cloth "Gator skin" trimming and a DJ. The float will be built Saturday on the bed of a pickup truck.

"Having a float this year will help show that SF State has a presence at Pride and is proud to be a part of the event," said Ryan Fetzer, assistant director of campus recreation. "Plus, it makes it more festive."

The San Francisco Pride celebration, which includes the parade and a festival, is described by organizers as "the largest gathering of LGBT people and allies in the nation." Last year roughly 40 students, faculty and staff participated.

Participating in Pride is a natural fit for SF State, according to Director of Campus Recreation Pam Su, given the University's history in social movements and its commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive community. "Pride is such a big San Francisco event and it's well known worldwide," she said. "Social justice is part of our mission at SF State, and having the opportunity to celebrate that publicly will be wonderful."

SF State students, faculty and staff marching down Market Street during San Francisco Pride 2013.

Students, faculty and staff march in the 2013 San Francisco Pride parade. This year's parade will mark the University's third year participating. Photo: Student Life Marketing Team

SF State offers a number of organizations and resources for LGBT students and allies, including the PRIDE at SF State Committee; student organizations EGAY and Queer Alliance; the Safe Zone Program; and the LGBTQ & Questioning Support Group. In addition, the Family Acceptance Project has conducted groundbreaking research on the link between family acceptance or rejection on the health and wellbeing of LGBT children.

-- Jonathan Morales