The Castro is dressing up for SF Pride this weekend and a good part of the wardrobe will be a special tribute to the victims of the Orlando shooting.
Members of the LGBTQ community say SF Pride is more important than ever on the heels of a terrorist attack that killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Florida.
Richard Sizemore decided last week to form an SF Pride Orlando memorial contingent for this weekend's parade. Volunteers are signing up to carry 49 memorial boards adorned with the faces and names of the Orlando victims.
"It's gonna be a very heavy Pride; I just feel like there's this tension hanging in the air, and sadness," Sizemore said.
Elsewhere, Ray Tilton, of Santa Rosa, also is turning his grief into action, organizing the LGBTQ United March Against Gun Violence in Washington, D.C. The group is waiting for permit approval for an October event, he said.
"I just felt we've gotta do something," Tilton said.
SF Pride events begin Saturday with a free festival at San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza then culminate with the 46th annual SF LGBT Pride Parade on Sunday. Security already is being stepped up at LGBTQ bars and clubs this week, and SF Pride organizers recently announced increased security measures for the weekend celebration, including screening and metal detectors at all points of entry.
There will be a signicant police presence at all activities, with both uniformed and plain-clothes officers on duty, according to the SF Pride website.