June is LGBT Pride Month -- and BART is helping riders take part in the many events celebrating Pride Month in the Bay Area. LGBT stands for Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender; Pride Month is dedicated to inclusion and recognition of diversity in sexual orientation and gender identity.
"From around the world people think of San Francisco as one of the great world centers of diversity and of progressive culture," Gerard Koskovich, co-founder of the GLBT Historical Society, said. "San Francisco has been world-celebrated as a gay mecca since the early 1970s and it's been a regional center of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life basically since the city of San Francisco was founded."
BART will provide longer trains to accommodate crowds for the 41st annual Pride Parade in San Francisco on Sunday, June 26. You can access the parade from any of BART's downtown San Francisco stations. Remember to buy a roundtrip ticket in advance or use a Clipper Card to avoid lines at ticket machines. Find out more about the celebration at www.sfpride.org
Poster celebrating LGBT pride
Also, BART is adding LGBT Pride to its popular ongoing series of cultural heritage posters on trains. Over the years the posters have been used to mark cutural observations such as Black History Month in February and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May. Starting in June, posters on BART trains will feature two icons from the LGBT community: writer and art collector Gertrude Stein and poet and playright Oscar Wilde. BART riders wanting to learn more about Stein's collection can check out "The Steins Collect" -- an exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art running through Sept. 6, and easily accessible by BART. The exhibit brings together dozens of works by Matisse, Picasso, Cezanne, Renoir and other masters.
A sampling of BART riders interviewed Wednesday said they welcome BART's recognition of the LGBT community with the addition of the Pride posters and extra service for the celebration.
"I'm very grateful to see that it's being more welcomed everywhere else," Janneice Hines said. "We shouldn't just see Pride flags and posters when we come to the Castro ... it should be everywhere."
"I think it's great that more people are getting on to supporting it," Bridget Minihan said. "The more support the better."
Craig Schaffer encouraged people from throughout the Bay Area to come check out the celebration. "Everybody's invited, all types of people, anybody can come -- families, friends, whatever," Schaffer said. "Take BART to get here - it's a lot easier on the way home."