San Francisco Pride: Pam Grier, celesbian sightings and dykes as far as the eye can see

It’s not called the Gay Mecca for nothing. If you’ve ever been to gay pride festivities in San Francisco, you know it’s a spectacular-spectacular of unending rainbow flags, homotastic parades, gawking tourists and wildly fluctuating weather. If you’ve never been to a gay pride in San Francisco, hell, what are you waiting for?

This year pride featured a host of women’s events, from the 18th annual Dyke March to the all-women’s weekend parties hosted by Eden. And the celesbians were everywhere. Yep, some of The Real L Word ladies made an appearance. Sure some chefbians showed up. And did I mention I met Pam Grier? Yeah, now you’re jealous.

While the big gay parade is Sunday morning, Saturday is all about the ladies with the ginormous gathering at Dolores Park followed by the Dyke March. If you ever wanted to know what a city park looks like covered in lesbians, it looks pretty much like this.

After an afternoon in the sun, everyone takes to the streets for the Dyke March — or Dyke Shuffle at the pace it always starts at. But at least there are plenty encouraging window signs to look at as the march makes its slow amble to the Castro.

Eden, a collaboration between Curve magazine and Movement Productions in conjunction with BoiBlue Events and FullCircle Events, posted its inaugural slate of all-women’s pride parties with offerings all weekend including comedy shows, dancing, dancing and even more dancing.

Saturday night was its featured event, Eden. Held in the Olivia Travel Building, the party included celesbian guests like The Real L Worders Tracy Ryerson (with girlfriend Stamie, in case you were wondering) and Mikey Koffman (who was alternately texting and dancing in the VIP area). And, yes, Mikey was wearing her sunglasses — at night. No comment from Corey Hart.

Also spotted, Top Chef chefbians Jamie Lauren and Josie Smith-Malave (in the green hat above). But the evening belonged to former The L Word star Pam Grier who popped in to the party to pose with fans and generally grace the planet with her presence. Gracious and gorgeous, she granted an impromptu interview about her new memoir, Foxy: My Life in Three Acts, and the support she has received from the LGBT community.

AfterEllen: How has your new memoir been received by The L Word fans and the gay community at large?
PG:
Brilliantly, brilliantly … I really didn’t know about the unity in the lesbian and gay community before, but I wanted to be a beacon. By doing The L Word I just learned so much more and I gained friends and family for life. It’s just been one of the most fabulous experiences and I had to put it in my book.

AE: Have a lot of your lesbian fans come out to see you on your book tour?
PG:
Oh, absolutely. Full, full force. It’s been amazing and extraordinary. You don’t know if you’re making a difference, you don’t know if you are resonating with others until they do come to your readings in mass, all across the country. To see the lesbian sisters sitting amongst the hordes of people with pride and standing up is just great.

AE: How was the experience of writing the book for you? Was it difficult, was it cathartic?
PG:
I drank a lot, OK. It was difficult because I have such a long lifespan. I’m a cancer survivor, talking about that, talking about other issues that happened in your life you revisit and sometimes it becomes very difficult. But I wanted it to be the events in my life that affected my character and guided me and helped me navigate my life. It was a four-year process, and then to do the writing a year and a half to really construct it. I wanted it to be a historical narrative.

AE: So next up for you is a film with Tom Hanks, right? Where else can fans expect to see you on screen?
PG:
We had the Larry Crowne (with Hanks who also directed co-stars Julia Roberts and Taraji P. Henson) wrap party on Friday. (The film comes out in 2011.) The next film is William Shatner, Free Enterprise 2.

AE: Other projects, big plans on your horizon?
PG:
You know, I don’t define myself by my age, but by my energy — as we all should. I still have so much to say. The book tour goes until March of next year. I am also going to Ireland, London and Scotland.

Tomorrow is not a given in life. So I just want to focus on good projects, my horses and the therapy riding program and just making sure I am a good conduit for people to engage in dialogue. This is an excellent time right now for all of us to improve our lives and really give something back.

See what I was saying about being jealous before?

The weekend concluded with the 40th annual pride parade and celebration. The Civic Center was packed, as usual, with a mix of gays, tourists and people who wanted any excuse to use a dumpster as a dance platform.

Ah, gay pride. In a way it’s good it’s only a weekend. Otherwise, seriously, we’d never get any work done.

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