Adapting to Serve

In some ways, the last 7 weeks have felt like 7 years. We’ve all had to make major changes to the ways we work, live, and stay socially connected. For our LGBTQ community, which has often endured a lifetime of familial and social rejection, we often rely on our volunteer-driven community nonprofits to heal our physical and emotional wounds, help us find connection, and build us up to thrive. The loss of engagement with our LGBTQ athletic groups, music and art groups, and other meaningful in-person connections has been a devastating blow. 

Our community’s nonprofits have spent decades adapting to challenging social, political, and public health crises while constantly carrying the charge of “do more with less.” A report by Funders for LGBT Issues tells us that “for every $100 dollars awarded by U.S. foundations, 28 cents specifically support LGBTQ issues.“ That’s 0.0028% of every dollar. We know our community is far larger than 0.0028% of the population.

Our LGBTQ nonprofits press on with passion and grit to meet the needs of our community. You can find a list of LGBTQ-specific resources from our region’s nonprofits here.

Organizations like Mama’s Kitchen, which started as a way to help neighbors suffering from the AIDS epidemic, has now answered the call to help our county feed those impacted by COVID-19.

Our steadfast LGBT Community Center, which started as a phone line in a literal closet, is continuing to provide vital resources and care to our community while adding an Emergency Referral & Help telephone line: 619.692.2077 x 211.

Even our beloved Diversionary Theatre, created to explore the issues and lives of our community, is bringing us content online and virtually teaching youth and seniors.

Here at San Diego Pride, our year-round programming has all gone virtual and streaming. We’ve actually increased the number of weekly events built out by our volunteer-led committees. Pride has also started live streaming interviews with community leaders like City of San Diego Councilmember Chris Ward, Council President Georgette Gómez, and with ever more exciting announcements to be made soon.

This year, San Diego Pride’s board, staff, and volunteers are working diligently to provide meaningful community information, education, and most importantly connection. The impacts of COVID-19 are obviously affecting every facet of our lives, and still, our community nonprofits work to adapt and serve. While times are hard, we know that we will make it through by supporting one another. My love to all of our community’s nonprofit leaders, staff, boards, and volunteers. I know how hard you are working, how much you are needed, and that Together We Rise.

In Solidarity,

Fernando Zweifach López
Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs
Executive Director
San Diego Pride

fernando-fixes-his-tie

About Fernando

Fernando Lopez is the Executive Director of San Diego Pride. Lopez’s years of LGBT advocacy, nonprofit management, public education, diversity consulting, media relations, guest lectures, and organizing have made them a consistent presence ensuring the struggles of the LGBT community are ever visible.