❤️ & thanks from your Pride Family

San Diego Pride Staff & Board of Directors

Over the last few weeks, in working with different community partners and in particular with our youth, I’ve been reminded more and more about the fear, pain, and depression that many in our community deal with as the holidays approach. Many of us feel the disconnection of familial rejection, and far too many, especially our youth, fear holiday gatherings where family members will be outright hostile.

While I know all too well the hardship that the holidays can bring to our community, I’m also grateful for our resilience. It is a thing of beauty to watch our community come together in support, as we always do, with innovative approaches to friendship, family, and love. Seeing our youth from all across Southern California connecting at our recent Youth Leadership Academy empathize with their shared struggles – now connecting and supporting one another over social media, hearing about queer Friendsgivings, and folks inviting their LGBTQ friends over to supportive-family gathers where they need not fear misgendering, transphobia, or homophobia – these all give me hope.

Our community is strong and brave and we know how to pool our passion and resources to ensure that none of us is left behind. Whether it’s the Scott Carlson Thanksgiving Community Dinner giving us a place to eat, or our local LGBTQ businesses staying open on Thanksgiving to give community members places to connect, or people and agencies all across San Diego coming together to support our LGBTQ refugees just south of the border—I’m inspired by our community’s resolve to heal and love one another. It is that moral compass and drive that will help us all Persist with Pride, and for that I am eternally thankful.

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About Alex Villafuerte

Alex Villafuerte is San Diego Pride's Marketing & Communication Manager. He oversees the marketing for all of Pride's events & programs. Outside of Pride, he has a love for the outdoors, the San Diego brew scene, and naps.