On June 26, while the Castro District’s streets filled with celebrants and dance parties and at least one enormous blow-up penis, Oakland’s celebration at 19th and Telegraph was more reminiscent of a neighborhood block party or backyard BBQ. Mayor Jean Quan served up sheet cake off of a folding card table. Fists of Flour sold slices of fresh pizza. Kids scrawled chalk hearts on the sidewalk and played limbo with a rainbow flag.

I didn’t see any tears, but possibly those happened earlier in the day in the more private moments and long silent hugs. Possibly they’re being saved in earnest for the weddings and ceremonies that will happen in these next months and years ahead. This neighborhood celebration had an air of frolicking to it — Oakland’s old and young alike joining hands and dancing in the streets to the tunes of ,“Yaaaay, love won!”

There are still things to fight for, of course: full marriage equality for the remaining states containing 70% of the American population. Educational access. Protecting the right to vote for those recently and historically disenfranchised. Access and knowledge and rights to make decisions about our own bodies. Access to mental health services. Access to healthy food. Justice in all kinds of forms, across all kinds of intersections. We could go on and on.

But before going back to work, here is this moment to let it in. Love won this week in this incremental, expansive, crushing, humbling and crucial way, brought like a steady tide by the work of so many who did not get to see these days, and upon so many who get to celebrate these days.



Day of Decision Oakland

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Oakland Social is a weekly arts and culture column devoted to upcoming events, new places, and narratives about going out in Oakland. Have ideas for what to cover? Contact goingout@oaklandlocal.com.

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