San Francisco Pride has announced the winners of the 2016 Public and Member’s Choice Vote for Community and Organizational Grand Marshals of the 2016 San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration and Parade.
Larry Yang has been chosen as the Community Grand Marshal. A teacher of meditation and mindfulness, Yang is committed to serving multicultural, queer and activist communities. Playing a key role in the development of both the East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC) and the Insight Community of the Desert, Yang helped start a variety of long-running LGBTQI meditation groups in the Bay Area and beyond. He is on the Teacher’s Council of Spirit Rock Meditation Center and is a core teacher at EBMC.
An international network of more than 30 chapters working for the validity of Black life, Black Lives Matter has been chosen as Organizational Grand Marshal. Black Lives Matter is working to (re)build the Black liberation movement and affirm the lives of all Black people, specifically Black women, queer and trans people, people who are differently abled, and those who are undocumented and formerly incarcerated. Centering on those who are marginalized within Black liberation movements, Black Lives Matter imposes a call to action and response to state-sanctioned violence against Black people, as well as the virulent anti-Black racism that permeates our society.
The member’s choice for Community Grand Marshal is Janetta Johnson. Selected by the General Membership of San Francisco Pride at their March 9 meeting, Johnson is the executive director of the Transgender Gender Variant and Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP). Johnson’s experiences as a formerly incarcerated trans person have inspired and informed her work to affirm the value of black trans lives through media, education and community-building. She has developed grassroots re-entry programs designed to reduce recidivism, as well as building the organizing capabilities of trans and gender non-conforming communities of color.