A city of unconditional love

July 6, 2017

S

ure, Paris is the internationally renowned city of love. Couples go there all the time to celebrate their love by eating dinner on boats that drift down the Seine River. They kiss while the Eiffel Tower glitters in the background and eat sultry macarons from Ladurée. While all of this can be cute or disturbing – depending on one’s perspective – the love in San Francisco cannot be overlooked.

Back in the 1960s, San Francisco became an epicenter for human rights. In the Castro, the LGBT community followed in the footsteps of the Civil Rights Movement and marched to declare their needs for rights after Harvey Milk, an openly gay councilman, was assassinated. The literary movement known as the Beat Generation began in San Francisco. The group of writers and poets gave the United States a taste into the visibility of today’s society by experimenting with LSD and exploring the broad spectrum of sexuality. The activism and exploration of the past has a long-lasting effect present in San Francisco and will only bring more for the future.

The neighborhoods of San Francisco make up a mosaic of multiculturalism that smash the idea of a melting pot. Market Street hosts a variety of people of every type and bleeding away from the main artery of the city leads to outlets of culture and expression. The tense national politics that handcuff the nation seemingly are not present in this city. The anger and disdain in the shadow of the regime currently occupying the White House is a weapon for unity and progression among San Franciscans. The streets are avenues for voices to be heard and calls to action that are undeniable by the majority who simply let the problem persist. Love in San Francisco is an umbrella term for love that withstands any challenge thrown at the people, whether it be for better or for worse.

Under all the love that radiates from this city to beyond, there are wounds. The class divide that is seen throughout the United States is a reality in San Francisco. White men in the newest designer suits and holding the latest iPhone hustle down the street while a homeless woman of color has nowhere to go, displaced by hardships that cut deep wounds into a person’s self-confidence. Transgender women face Mount Everests of challenges compared to gay men that work in the tech industry. Hardships that are played out all over the United States are not immune to this equitable city. What is even more sad is that people with enough agency to move mountains remain comfortable and let the tears of the displaced turn into oceans.

As journalists, the pen we hold has monumental power and untold stories must be heard in order for wrongs to be righted. San Francisco has so much good potential. Catalysts that take shape in words can kickstart uplifting actions, healing the deep wounds of the displaced and discriminated.

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