Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Dykes on bikes. Mustaches galore. Lovers indulging in grassy slumber. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
From 1984 to 1990, newspaper photographer Saul Bromberger and his now-wife Sandra Hoover documented the San Francisco Gay Pride celebration in a collection of black and white images that now serve as a time capsule into the watershed moments of the gay rights movement. The couple began taking photos of the Pride parade because they rightly believed they were witnessing history.
“It was this kind of test I was giving myself: Can we document this movement that is also a parade?” Saul told Mother Jones. Unlike other photographers, he didn’t “just see people jumping around and dancing,” he said. He saw people “demanding change.”
In the midst of the AIDS crisis, San Francisco Gay Pride festivities was both filled with joy and rage, and Saul and Sandra understood the power of this emotional roller coaster.
The writer of the Mother Jones article, Janet Kornblum, remembers riding the roller coaster — herself a lesbian who lived in San Francisco and met Saul and Sandy in 1988.
“The past lives and breathes in these photos,” she wrote. “And it’s important to remember history. It’s important to see ourselves from a distance, especially when the closet walls have fallen and here we are.”
View more of Saul and Sandy’s photographs from Pride, 1984 – 1990 here. And below is a video of SF Pride from the same time period, enjoy!