Grass Roots Gay Rights Foundation Mission:

“The Grass Roots Gay Rights Foundation changes lives by supporting organizations that promote a happy, healthy and connected Bay Area LGBTQ community.”
“Grass Roots” refers to how the Foundation raises resources, which is primarily from the work of volunteers who organize our events and from our Circle of Friends who host, buy tickets and attend our events. Grass Roots also refer to what we look for in our beneficiaries, meaning the ability to create measurable local positive social impact for the diverse populations that make up San Francisco’s LGBTQ community. We celebrate and support a diverse range of beneficiaries that represent the wide range of people and issues in the Bay Area’s LGBTQ community. This includes beneficiaries that serve several populations, sustain any single distinct group, or focus on important issues that affect these diverse populations.

Today, as the Grass Roots Gay Rights Foundation, our board, working group, hosts and members work year-round to create world-class events that dazzle our guests and raise significant grant funds to support Bay Area organizations that create a happy, healthy and connected LGBTQ communities.

Board of Directors

Philip is our board president. He joined the board of the Foundation in 2018 as the 2018 Events Committee Chair… Read more ↓

and has now been added as a permanent member. He has been part of the REAL BAD Events Committee for six years, including leading production, marketing, and communications. His impact in the community additionally includes producing events with Folsom Street Events and Paradigm SF, both of which benefit local non-profits. Philip is also a well-known DJ and has spun some of the best nightclubs and events in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Seattle.

Andrew joins our board this year after 3 years on the events committee …” Read more ↓

Miguel joins the board this year as the Events Committee Chair…” Read more ↓

for REAL BAD 32.‬

Ken joined the Foundation Board in 2020. He started his service with the REAL BAD XXII Events Committee in 2010…” Read more ↓

 He was Production Chair for REAL BAD XXV and Event Chair for REAL BAD XXVIII. Ken has supported nine years of fundraising for and networking with the Bay Area GLBT community through REAL BAD. He is excited to help drive Board initiatives that reinvigorate deep connections from the dancefloor that lift up the organizations and venues that serve as anchors for our vibrant community..‬

Read more ↓

Events Committee

2021 Events Chair
Miguel Jimenez

Our Legacy

The legend lives on…
thirty years
and beyond…

The tradition of the Circle of Friends began in 1989 when a group of friends came together to host a celebration of life. Though the first REAL BAD dance event was small, those who attended knew the event was special and that it would continue for years to come.

In the early 90s, many event organizers in the LGBTQ community focused primary on raising money for AIDS- and HIV-related organizations. The organizers of REAL BAD, however, wanted to emulate an East Coast organization with a broader focus—Grass Roots Gay Rights Fund (GRGRF). The goal of that organization was to support groups defending LGBTQ rights and working for policy change. Inspired by GRGRF, Grass Roots Gay Rights West (GRGR/West) was founded in 1991 to pursue similar goals in the Bay Area through the REAL BAD party.

Initially, the organizers chose a different beneficiary each year, and they selected organizations dedicated to the advancement of LGBTQ civil rights. The beneficiaries received grants from the event proceeds, and many nationally recognized non-profits were recipients. Over time, the success of REAL BAD allowed for a second organization to receive funding from the event proceeds each year.

Now some 30 years later, REAL BAD has become the preeminent dance event of the Folsom Street Fair weekend with over 2000 men and women dancing the night away and generating funds to support many valued service organizations that serve the Bay Area LGBTQ community.

The REAL BAD event operating and production costs are covered by the event sponsors, in-kind donations, and funds from host registrations. This approach allows 100 percent of general admission ticket sales to go directly to the beneficiaries.

For a complete history of the evolution of the REAL BAD party, please click here.

In more recent years, the Foundation has branched out to present other fundraising dance events during the year including RITUAL over Dore Alley weekend. These events generate additional funds that go to our beneficiaries. The Foundation is also pleased to work closely with organizers of and support the beneficiaries of Flagging in the Park a premier outdoor flow-arts fundraising event held monthly between May and October in the National AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

And most importantly, over the last 30+ years, we have raised and granted to charitable organizations over $3 million!



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