Gay Pride and Bare Asses

San Francisco's gay pride parade celebrates its 40th anniversary with Nancy Pelosi, the Backstreet Boys, and some dudes riding bike's nekkid.

So, the top story on YahooNews this morning is “SF gay pride event celebrates 40th anniversary.”    Again, slow news day.   But let’s just say that it wasn’t the headline that caught my eye, but rather the sight of some middle aged dude’s bare ass used to illustrate the story.

Aside from the standards of propriety — it’s not like YahooNews is an adult’s only site — one wonders about the editorial judgment.  What does riding a bicycle bare-assed have to do with being gay?  (Although, one supposes a certain amount of pride is helpful.)   Here’s the caption that accompanies the photo:

A member of the Mike’s on Bike rides his bike nude down Market Street during the San Francisco’s 39th annual gay pride parade on in this June 28, 2009 file photo. San Francisco’s 40th annual gay pride weekend drew thousands to Civic Center Plaza, with even more expected Sunday June 27, 2010 for a parade, a Backstreet Boys concert, and a prerecorded address from U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)

A veritable hootenanny.    But, still, not sure why this dude best illustrates the parade.   Now, this, I could see:

Rather stereotypical, to be sure, but surely more representative.

The story itself isn’t very helpful:

San Francisco’s 40th annual gay pride weekend drew thousands to Civic Center Plaza, with even more expected Sunday for a parade, a Backstreet Boys concert and comments from U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Organizers kicked off the event Saturday in front of City Hall where thousands converged as vendors sold barbecue and burritos and DJs spun tunes on a large stage.

Advocates for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community shared booths alongside corporate sponsors.

“It’s part political, it’s part a party,” said Darryl Groom, 55, explaining the elements that brought him and his partner, Tobey Tam, 41, to San Francisco from Cape Coral, Fla.


Today, the march attracts tens of thousands of people, and a growing number of those are not in the LGBT community, Koskovich said.

“That homophobia that says, ‘Eek, I’m not going to hang out with these people,’ has turned into, ‘Boy, these people throw a great party.'”

San Francisco Pride Executive Director Amy Andre said the fight for equal rights for lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people has also come a long way since the first pride celebration in 1970. At the time, gay sex was a crime in California.

This year, a prerecorded address will be delivered by Pelosi and The Backstreet Boys will perform.

Andre said this year’s theme, “40 and Fabulous,” is partly intended to celebrate the movement’s progress. “But we’re also reflecting on the fact that we still have a long way to come for equal rights,” Andre added.

But, if equal rights is the goal, I’m not sure bare-assed bicycle riders are the way to go. If that was part of the civil rights marches of the 1960s, it’s been underplayed by history.

This is also interesting:

The explanatory note:


So, it’s apparently fit for the Internets but not so much the family newspaper.

FILED UNDER: Gender Issues, LGBTQ Issues, Media, , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Pete says:

    James, edit your title!

  2. Rob Miles says:

    You know, it occurs to me that any cause that faces an uphill battle, like Gay rights does (and I support Gay rights), only hurts themselves when they have a naked parade. They lose a lot of credibility when they’re walking around with their bits flopping and asses shining.

  3. G.A.Phillips says:

    “Gay rights” for the trillionth time would someone please explain what in the great glitter covered booteed hell this means?

  4. Mr. Prosser says:

    I think Gay rights does get hurt. A series of photos of couples waiting to be married or celebrating their marriage does more for Gay pride than semi-naked leather boys and nude bike riders cavorting down the street. The photo reminded me of Dom DeLuise as the emperor in History of the World, “Wash this!”.

  5. Steve Plunk says:

    Ever wonder where the stereotypes come from? Here’s your answer. As a political group the hypocrisy is a problem. ‘Don’t stereotype me!’ they yell and then they do it to themselves.

  6. KipEsquire says:

    G.A.Phillips: For the trillionth time, read the Fourteenth Amendment.

  7. floyd says:

    The 14th amendment is not relevant here, although I am sure people like you are willing to subvert any truth , to have your way, or even deny it’s very existence and pretend it’s only a philosophical position.
    Some say that truth is only subjective and anyone who disagrees is wrong! [lol]

  8. G.A.Phillips says:

    Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
    Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

    Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

    Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

    Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

    I see some constitutional stuff and some non constitutional stuff but nothing about about “GAY RIGHTS”

  9. just me says:

    I have never quite gotten the marching in the parade naked aspects of it either.

    I mean I have never seen a St. Patrick’s Day parade with naked bicyclists in it.

    I can’t help but think it is intentional and meant to stir up controversy-and intent coming from both parade aprticipants and the media.

  10. All I can say, as a middle-aged man, is that riding a bicycle can be uncomfortable enough fully clothed (or so I have noted the older I have gotten), so the notion of riding one nude is cringe-inducing.

    Of course, I now have Queen’s “Bicycle Race” in my head…

  11. An Interested Party says:

    “‘Don’t stereotype me!’ they yell and then they do it to themselves.”

    Oh? And what about the frothing, foaming at the mouth Tea Partier who questions the president’s birthplace and claims he has something in common with Hitler? Should such a person be held as an example of all the people in that movement? What about a fat, uneducated redneck from some obscure part of Alabama who proudly flies the Stars and Bars and uses colorful, unfriendly terms to describe black people. Should this person be held up as an example of all white Southerners? The fact of the matter is that in any subgroup, you can find people who represent a negative stereotype of that group. That doesn’t mean that any significant portion of that group is anything like the few stereotypical people that any news organization would care to highlight.

    “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    As sad as it is to have to spell it out for some people, this is the portion of the 14th Amendment that is relevant…

  12. anjin-san says:

    they yell and then they do it to themselves.


    There are millions of gays in America. I am pretty sure “They” do not think and act in unison.

  13. floyd says:

    “”As sad as it is to have to spell it out for some people, this is the portion of the 14th Amendment that is relevant.””

    You spelled out nothing, except your opinion that a portion of the amendment is relevant.
    You and your ilk are simply wrong in this case.

  14. An Interested Party says:

    “You and your ilk are simply wrong in this case.”

    I am more than happy to agree to disagree with you…but as gay people gain more and more rights, I guess that will cause you to think what an abomination our country is becoming? Perhaps you will think to yourself how could all these wrong people be getting their way? Enjoy the ride, floyd…

  15. An Interested Party says:

    …as well as the people you might meet along the way…

  16. floyd says:

    As usual you get all of your exercise jumping to conclusions.
    Claiming that the 14th amendment is irrelevant in this case is not an expression of opinion on the issue of Gay tolerance.
    Your guesses are , of course, just that.
    You have a right to your opinions , but no proprietary right to mine.
    So tell us , if you choose, what you think.

    BTW; Many Wrong ideas were held by majorities in this country for many years, and not all change is for the better.
    I’ve enjoyed the “ride” so far… and fully expect to enjoy the balance of it, Thank you for the sentimentality![lol]

  17. floyd says:

    Explain ,if you will, how rights can be gained or lost…. That sounds interesting.

  18. An Interested Party says:

    I’m hardly jumping to conclusions, considering the veiled hostility you have already shown…if you have so much tolerance, do express it, as your previous comments haven’t…gay people will gain their rights just as, previously, blacks and other minorities did…if you want to play some kind of game of semantics, go play with yourself…

  19. Gustopher says:

    I’m sure there were some more attractive, younger, firmer, bare asses they could have used to accompany the story.

  20. floyd says:

    More of the same excercise with the addition of a nice knee-jerk.
    Good show!
    Of course sticking to the subject is out of the question for you as usual.