Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 3 / 18 January 2018

Sisters: Don't call it Pink Saturday


Sister Selma Soul. Photo: Rick Gerharter
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The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have decided that organizers of this year's event can't use the name Pink Saturday.

The decision Tuesday night, April 14 concerning the annual pre-Pride parade street event in San Francisco's Castro district leaves the city, the LGBT Community Center, and E. Cee Productions with just over two months to figure out what to call this year's party, which is expected to draw thousands of people to the neighborhood June 27.

"The order has voted to retain the name 'Pink Saturday' and will pursue a new manifestation of Pink Saturday in a new venue in 2016," Sister Selma Soul, who coordinated the event from 2012 through 2014, said in an email Tuesday night. "We wish the center the best with their new event in the Castro and look forward to hearing what they decide to call it."

Speaking for the center and E. Cee Productions Wednesday morning, Ruth McFarlane, the center's programs director, said in an email, "The center will be choosing a new name for the party on Castro Street on the Saturday of Pride weekend. ... The Sisters have asked the center to choose a different name for the event this year. We expect to announce the new name next week."

Despite the vote from the Sisters, which own the Pink Saturday name, it's likely that many will continue to use that moniker.

Following years of concern about violence, in February the Sisters decided to end their oversight of the street party.

In March, gay Supervisor Scott Wiener, whose District 8 includes the Castro, announced that the community center had agreed to oversee the event, with help from the city. The center has brought on E. Cee Productions to assist.

Soul, who's also known as James Bazydola, said in an interview last week that she was leaning toward voting to keep the Pink Saturday name for the Sisters.

"They'll still have a crowd," Soul said of this year's organizers, and they'll "still have a great event," but for more than 20 years, the Sisters "have put all our blood, sweat, and tears" into the party. "I personally don't want to give up the name."

Soul said she'd like to see the 2016 event be in a youth-oriented site, possibly outside the Castro, "where we can actually maintain a perimeter" to keep the party safe. Details haven't been worked out yet.

McFarlane, who identifies as a cisgender lesbian (meaning her gender matches the sex she was assigned at birth), said the city, which for years had declined to directly fund the party, "has agreed to cover the cost of this year's event." The budget is being finalized. The 2014 festival cost the Sisters $80,000, though this year's celebration is expected to cost more to produce.


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