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Pink Saturday is San Francisco's largest underground street party held on the Saturday night before San Francisco Pride (Gay) Pride Day) in San Francisco's Castro district attracting more than half a million people and coinciding with the annual Dyke March. The event usually has the air of a house party rather than a more organized and structured event with the organizers providing basic safety and facilities and entertainment. The event is not considered "out of control" as the Castro Halloween party has infamously been and is generally free of the hate crimes that seem to accompany the Halloween in the Castro event. The Castro is widely seen as the gay mecca of the west, if not the world.
The famous "Castro Cross" where Castro and 18th streets intersect has been and continues to be ground-zero for LGBT activists and causes of a wide range and is also a busy commercial district with gay-themed bars and shops plus services. The Pink Saturday party has been compared to a giant house party for the LGBT community of all ages and has nurtured not only gay-identified street artists but also the original Dyke March which used to start in the middle of the event as a protest by gay, lesbian and bisexual women against the homogenized gay men's "Castro clone" mentality. The event is considered "all ages" and so also attracts many LGBT youth who otherwise have few entertainment venues as the drinking age in California is 21 years old.
The original event organizers started off rough and later disbanded but several years later the Merchants of Upper Market and Castro (MUMC) began to organize the event and hired the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Inc. to act as gate keepers collecting donations to pay for the event in the early 1990s. The Sisters fundraised, in part, by collecting local sponsorship for the port-a-potty offsetting the event costs so that more gate donations from the event are used for their "Community Grants" which the Sisters typically award within a few months after the event.
With the leadership from SF Pride's president Deborah Oakley-Melvin and the Sisters' Sister Kitty Catalyst the two organizations took over the event in the mid-1990s with SF Pride giving full control to the Sisters in 1998.
The Sisters being worldwide and outspoken activists served as hostesses and organizers of the event as well as role models of how to run a street party as an "indulgent event" without "blatant" corporate sponsorship (as is seen with many gay pride events); they use an all-volunteer crew.
The Pink Saturday concept has been picked up in smaller forms as tourists from around the world exporting the concept to their cities.
The monies collected at the gate by the Sisters are typically given away by the non-profit group as part of their "Community Grants", which fund a wide variety of mostly gay-identified (LGBT) projects including the giant pink triangle installed atop San Francisco's Twin Peaks for Pride weekend, the Pink Triangle Park and the Rainbow Flags fund which installs flags throughout the Market Street thoroughfare.
LGBT and Queer studies
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