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Kevin VandenBergh

Kevin VandenBergh

Articles (1)

San Francisco Pride: Two longtime locals chat about what the annual celebration means to them

San Francisco Pride: Two longtime locals chat about what the annual celebration means to them

Harry Breaux and I decide to meet at Twin Peaks Tavern, on the corner of Market and Castro Streets. From inside, you can look out and see Harvey Milk Plaza and the huge rainbow Pride flag. The fact that you can view these testaments to LGBTQ history from inside Twin Peaks is what makes it a landmark: It was the first gay bar in the country to feature full-length glass windows, allowing people on both sides of the pane to see each other and recognize their shared humanity, to stand in clarity and brightness, rather than hide in darkness and shame. Harry and I first met as subjects of Last Men Standing, a 2016 documentary by Erin Brethauer and Tim Hussin that explores the unique challenges faced by long-term HIV survivors like us. Harry, a native of Louisiana and a self-described hippie, landed in SF in the early ’70s and became heavily involved in the gay revolution, while I moved here from Chicago in the ’90s after being told that I had—if lucky—a few more years to live.  This is our conversation.   Have you ever been just an observer for Pride? Oh, yeah. For many years, I would watch some of the parade but then did other things after—like go to a party or just go to the Civic Center.   The Civic Center was fun, but the crowd there watches the whole parade. It’s so fucking long.    I think it used to have a much bigger draw for me because it was fun. But now it’s not so much a gay event as a commercial gay event.   I remember the Supreme Court decision [legalizing same-sex

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