If parades and crowded street parties aren’t your thing, we’ve got you covered with 11 alternative ways to celebrate LGBTQ+ pride in San Francisco this year!

There are so many ways to celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride. 

Pride began in 1969 with the Stonewall Riot and a yearly commemoration of that riot. However, it has since become a celebration reaching every corner of the globe. While there are still many, many obstacles queer folks face in the United States, there have also been many victories for our communities. Pride month gives a chance to put our queer identities front and center. We get to be loud about what they mean to us, and how they inform our communities. 

But, because it has become more of a celebration than a commemoration, some Pride events feel like they’re just not for everyone. Maybe you’re not into big parties, maybe you don’t drink, or huge crowds make you anxious. Maybe you don’t have enough money to splurge on a bunch of paid events throughout the month. Does that mean you just get left out of Pride?

Nope! There are just as many ways to celebrate being queer as there are to be queer. 

For this Pride month, we wanted to make it a little easier for you to find some alternative events if a big Pride festival just isn’t your thing. 

Whether you’re on a tight budget, looking to connect with other artists queer folks or wanting to honor LGBTQ+ history, we’ve put together this list of queer-focused events to take part in this Pride month.

To start, cost can be a major obstacle for queer folks looking to celebrate Pride. Many businesses and event spaces are having events to commemorate Pride, but the financial accessibility of those events varies. But lack of financial privilege shouldn’t dictate whether you can take part in celebrating! 

If you’re on a tight budget this Pride Month check out: 

Oasis Tea Dance

Every Sunday | 4-8pm | SOMA, San Francisco

What’s happening:

“Every Sunday from 4-8pm, come to Oasis for disco, funk, and throwback tracks spun by all your favorite DJs for an afternoon of dancing – early enough to still go home at a reasonable hour 😉 Free before 5pm, $5 after!”

Celebrate the joy of being queer without breaking the bank. 

Learn more here


Photo of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, taken from a grassy hilltop at sunset

Golden Gate Park Band: LGBTQ+ Pride Day

June 25, 2023 | 1pm-2:45pm | Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

What’s happening: “The Golden Gate Park Band provides free concerts to the people of San Francisco on behalf of the Recreation and Parks Department of San Francisco. LGBTQ+ Pride day includes music by Randall Standridge, Omar Thomas, and a special guest conductor.” 

Learn more here

The arts are a great way to connect with, explore and express your feelings and emotional needs. Getting creative can help you tap into feelings you don’t know how to express with words, and give you a practical way to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life. And finding queer folks who share your craft or artistic interests can be a great way to build and affirming, and inspiring community.

If you’re looking to get creative Pride Month check out: 

Image of paintbrushes covered in colorful paints in front of an out of focus canvas

Gettin Knit Knitting Night

Mondays | 5pm | SOMA, San Francisco

What’s happening:

“Get together on Monday nights with some very talented and creative knitters. If you can knit (or crochet hooker) or if you want to learn come on by and enjoy the company of like minded folk.”

Celebrate Pride at the Lone Star Saloon by connecting with fellow creative LGBTQ+ artists and makers. (Learners welcome, don’t let your lack of experience hold you back!)

Learn more here

Frameline47 Film Festival

June 14-24, 2023 | Various Locations in Oakland & SF

What’s happening: “Celebrate Pride all around San Francisco and Oakland with 11 days of 100+ queer films, eye-opening panels, and spectacular parties.”

Learn more here

Queer Craft Fair at Arcana

June 18, 2023 | 12pm-5pm | Mission District, San Francisco

What’s happening: A queer craft fair at queer owned greenhouse & bar Arcana; featuring vintage goods, ceramics, plants, candles, desserts & drinks by queer artisans & shops! 

Learn more here

Given the high risk of mental health issues faced by the larger LGBTQ+ community and the positive impact we know community ties have on mental health, it’s crucial that LGBTQ+ folks have safe community connections and spaces. 

If you’re looking to build community this Pride Month check out: 

Point of Pride: Write Letters to Trans Folks

June 1-June, 30 2023 | Contemporary Jewish Museum | SOMA, San Francisco

What’s happening: 

“In honor of Pride Month, visit our Blue Cube this June to create affirmative handwritten notes for trans folks with Point of Pride. Using provided supplies, visitors will be able to write letters with supportive and positive messages that will be sent by Point of Pride to trans youth and adults.”

Celebrate Pride connecting with others in your community. 

Learn more here

Across Prison Walls: Building Community Through Letter Writing

June 22, 2023 | 7pm | Queer Cultural Center, Online

What’s happening: “Join A.B.O. Comix at their new HQ for an introduction to penpalling with incarcerated artists. The workshop is geared towards both first time writers and long term prisoner support advocates looking for community support. By working closely with prison abolitionist and queer advocacy organizations, we aim to keep queer prisoners connected to outside community and help them in the fight toward liberation.”

Celebrate Pride by making space for its original goal: queer liberation! 

Learn more here

If you want to get closer to the roots of Pride, you can use this month as a way to dive deeper into queer history. What do you know about the history of the queer community in your area? Where are the historical queer landmarks around you?

Photo of commemorative rock at the National AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

If you’re interested in LGBTQ+ history this Pride Month check out: 

AIDS Memorial Grove

Daily | Closes 10pm | Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

What is it: “The idea for the National AIDS Memorial was first conceived in 1988 by a small group of San Francisco residents representing a community devastated by the AIDS epidemic, but with no positive way to express their collective grief.”

Mark Pride this year with a walk through an important part of queer history, and remember the ways LGBTQ+ folks have always found to come together as a community in hard times. 

Learn more here

Free Museum Day: GLBT Historical Society Museum

July 5, 2023 | 11:00 am to 5:00 pm | Castro District, San Francisco

What’s happening: “The GLBT Historical Society Museum is free to all visitors on the first Wednesday of every month. Tickets are not available online on free days; all visitors will be welcomed to the museum as long as there is capacity on a first-come, first-served basis.”

Extend your Pride celebration into July with a free trip to the GLBT Historical Society Museum! Learning about the history of your community can help you feel more connected to your role within it. 

Learn more here

But of course, part of the magic of being queer is the joy queer people are able to find and create. While there is still a long fight ahead, don’t forget to make space for fun and joy this Pride. 

If you’re looking to laugh this Pride Month check out: 

Fists of Improv: LGBTQ+ Leather Bar’s Free Improv Workshop 

Every Tuesday | 6:30pm | SOMA, San Francisco

What’s happening: “What if Improv is about creating moments instead of presenting jokes in rapid fire? You’re invited to step inside the dojo to relax and play with all that we know about life. Learn the tricks to create compelling stories in short games and long form!”

Celebrate Pride by making new friends in your community and learning a new craft. All levels welcome! 

Learn more here

two white hands reaching for one another over the Progress Pride LGBTQ+ flag

Queens & Comedy at Cobb’s Comedy Club

June 22, 2023 | 6:45pm | North Beach, San Francisco

What’s happening: “Maybe you’ve seen a comedy show before, and maybe you’ve seen a drag show before, but have you ever seen both at the same time?! Well, that’s what this show is all about!”

Learn more here

No matter how you intend to celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride in San Francisco, we’re so happy you’re making space for it. We hope you find shared joy and pride in your community this June!

Please note that Stella Nova is providing these resources for informational purposes only. We’re not affiliated with any of the events listed and we can’t endorse them — we’re just sharing some ideas for celebrating Pride we found interesting this year!

About The Author

Dr. Maya Borgueta is a California psychologist and the founder of Stella Nova Psychology. Her practice specializes in supporting women women and nonbinary professionals, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and folks of color. She’s celebrated Pride all over California, from San Francisco to Santa Cruz to Los Angeles, and is always excited to find new LGBTQ+ events!

Therapy For LGBTQ+ Folks in San Francisco

If you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community and seeking mental health support in San Francisco, Stella Nova can help.

Our team of queer, trans, and allied therapists work with women, nonbinary folks, and people of all genders seeking an affirming, feminist space to heal. We offer individual and couples therapy for folks of all genders and orientations. Poly and kinky folks are welcome! 

To get matched with a great-fit, LGBTQ+ affirming therapist in SF (or online throughout California!), sign up for a free phone consultation today.