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In-person Oakland Pride canceled

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Members of the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band marched in the 2019 Oakland Pride parade. Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland
Members of the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band marched in the 2019 Oakland Pride parade. Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland  

In-person Oakland Pride festivities have been canceled for the second year in a row, according to an announcement made on its Instagram August 31.

"We are saddened that this decision had to be made, we feel it's the best choice considering the obstacles we faced planning a safe event while in the middle of a pandemic," the post stated. "Our number one concern in producing Oakland Pride, is SAFETY. We want our event to be a safe place for all...and this year we can't guarantee that if we gathered in person. The only thing Oakland Pride wants to SPREAD in the LGBTQ+ community is LOVE!"

The announcement stated that "we will be doing an online digital Pride" and that "we look forward to seeing everyone at Oakland Pride 2022."

Oakland Pride did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

An in-person parade and festival was to take place in Oakland on Sunday, September 12. The in-person event had to be canceled last year, of course, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the Bay Area Reporter reported contemporaneously.

The decision comes amid concern about the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, and two days after the conclusion of Silicon Valley Pride in San Jose — the first in-person regular Pride parade to take place in the Bay Area since the pandemic.

The announcement also came the day Governor Gavin Newsom visited Oakland to tout the fact that over 80% of Californians over the age of 12 have received at least one shot of COVID vaccine.

Just hours before Oakland Pride's announcement, the East Bay Stonewall Democratic Club announced it was postponing its annual Pride breakfast fundraiser to 2022.

"Due to public health and safety concerns related to rising COVID-19 cases in our community, we have decided to postpone our fundraiser to early 2022 and to forgo participation in the Oakland Pride Parade," the club stated in an email. "Although we are disappointed to not gather in-person this year, we believe this decision is in the best interest of our members and the community — and look forward to connecting virtually."

Next year the club will be celebrating its 40th anniversary, it stated.

The club stated that it's not in dire need of funds this year given the success of last year's virtual breakfast.

"Given the recent transitions we have had on the board, we are prioritizing building the foundation for our new board and reengaging members," it stated, adding it's planning a fundraiser in 2022.

Updated, 8/31/21 This article has been updated with additional information.

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