Pride in the Parks

More than 80 floats mark Silicon Valley Pride over weekend


Alli Wang

The Billy DeFrank LGBTQ+ Community Center hands out pride merchandise and flags at the Pride Parade on Sunday.

Alli Wang, News Editor

Downtown San Jose was awash in pride flags, rainbow merchandise and glitter as hundreds marked the Silicon Valley Pride, celebrating its 47th annual parade on Sunday.

Parade was a centerpiece of the two-day Silicon Valley Pride festival held every August, later than most pride parades such as SF Pride, which takes place in June.

Under the theme Proudly Authentic, it featured more than 80 floats from groups such as CMT San Jose and the San Jose State University Marching Band.

Local politicians such as councilmembers Rene Spring and Anthony J. Becker showcased their own floats.

Queer Student Union president Ainsley Bateman served as a volunteer, both as a parade guide and setup helper for vendors at the festival. It was Bateman’s third time attending the Silicon Valley Pride Parade.

Fewer COVID logistics made this year’s parade more fun for them, and they said they’d like to bring similar community events back to Branham.

“It’s nice to see community representation – I really like to see the Children’s Musical Theater and marching bands.” Bateman said. “I want to bring that sense of community to our school. And it inspires me to do things for our school that we don’t have.”

The festival, taking place mainly at Plaza de Cesar Chavez, featured entertainers such as the Drag Kings of Wolf’s Den to queer artist SuperKnova.

Chief Executive Officer of the Silicon Valley Pride Nicole Altamiro said that the aim of the festival was to not just celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and its allies, but to make sure their voices are heard.

From restrictions prohibiting trans athletes from competing in sports to bills limiting the mention of gender or sexual identity in the classroom, 2022 has seen a record 162 pieces of legislation so far introduced in state legislatures controlled by Republicans.

“Here in Silicon Valley we’re fortunate to live in an area that embraces our diversity and acknowledges our rights as humans,” Altamiro wrote in the pride parade’s festival guide. “But this is not a time to rest, rather a time to stand up and fight. We are only as free as the most marginalized members of our community.”