The Official Band of San Francisco
The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band (SFLGFB) is the first openly gay musical organization in the world, inspiring the formation of LGBT bands, choruses and performing groups around the globe. On a local level, SFLGFB is the Official Band of San Francisco, having been given that honor by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in honor of the Band’s 20th and 25th anniversaries.
Founded in 1978 by Jon Sims at the height of Anita Bryant’s anti-gay crusade, the Band has made music to build understanding among communities of all sexual orientations and identities for more than three decades. SFLGFB first appeared in public when it marched up Market Street behind Harvey Milk’s convertible in the 1978 San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade, an event recreated in the Oscar-winning film “Milk.”
The Band welcomes everyone in its ranks, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. We love our allies!
Come Join Us!
Our marching and pep program is non-audition and especially friendly to people who haven’t picked up their instrument in a while or are switching to something more marching-esque. The music we play is a good mixture of some easier pieces and some things more challenging, so there is something for everyone at every level.
Similarly, our marching style is low impact and easy to pick up. We use a core-style roll step and low mark time with an easy to follow 8 steps to 5 yards stride. We also have some pieces with moving choreography! Whether you’ve been involved with DCI or have never marched before in your life, it is easy to integrate yourself into our band.
If you’re new in town or just looking to expand your circle, the band is perfect place to make new friends. Beyond performing and rehearsing together, we enjoy having social events like bonfires on the beach, eating out at restaurants after a gig, or having a few drinks after rehearsals.
Be a Part of Social Change
Through our music, our band is dedicated to forwarding the cause of Gender and Sexual Diversity in all aspects of society. We regularly perform both in San Francisco and across the greater Bay Area, bringing visibility to a broad range of communities. Some of our regular events include the Hayward Gay Prom, the Fourth of July Parade in Larkspur/Corte Madera, and one of the Pride Parades in Santa Cruz, Sacramento, or Guerneville.
Here in San Francisco we perform in the Veteran’s Day Parade, LGBT Night at Giants’ Stadium, and the Annual Pilgrimmage to Colma, which honors Jose Sarria AKA The Empress Norton of the Imperial Court. We have a strong showing during Pride month where we help dedicate the Pink Triangle and wind our way through Castro Street on Pink Saturday in addition to marching the parade.
We also try to plan pep gigs at places like the Berkeley Senior LGBT Center, The New Year’s Senior Luncheon in the Tenderloin, and Walk for the Cure in Golden Gate Park.
Where and When
Before a parade or season, our Marching Band typically rehearses on two or three Sundays. Pep Band rehearsals and music rehearsals for Marching Band typically occur once-a-quarter on a Tuesday evening. Contact us at membership [at] sflgfb [dot] org or marching [at] sflgfb [dot] org for location and other details. If you need an instrument, we can help you find one to borrow, rent or purchase.