A Different Kind of Pride

Dear Pride Family,

As I reflect on another fabulous Pride season, I’m reminded that we aren’t like other Prides. Throughout the course of our history, a community of inspired leaders in San Diego set out to see what was possible with a Pride. From hosting a regional LGBTQ civil rights conference in 1972 to founding the regional, national, and global Pride membership bodies to help build global LGBTQ capacity, to becoming one of the few and the most philanthropic Prides, San Diego does Pride differently. 

I just completed my thirteenth Pride on staff and I have to tell you, each and every year I am in awe of what our staff and volunteers do to shift our programming and events with the changing LGBTQ and political landscape and inspired by how intentionally we interweave advocacy and art into nearly everything we do.

Today San Diego Pride produces over 100 events a year. You read that right. Movie nights, inclusive sporting events, educational talks, political organizing conferences, global conferences, LGBTQ youth and educator development summits, voter engagement, intersectional LGBTQ competency training and policy, scholarships, grants, public education, and more

Even our Pride Festival is unlike others in the nation in that no one compares to the number and diversity of LGBTQ nonprofit and community organizations hosted in our space or the number or visual and performing artists who help us celebrate. AA and NA meetings, HIV and STI testing, trans health care, vaccines, senior services, family spaces, and so much more. We build a queer city unlike anything else every single year.

From our iconic Parade and Festival to all of these year-round education and advocacy events, none of this would be possible without our talented diverse community of volunteers from our organization or our partner organizations who all give their time in service to our movement. As a nonprofit nearly all our events are free, so our donors and attendees who purchase Festival tickets and beverages fund the ongoing work of our organization. So from the thousands of volunteers to the 10s of thousands of attendees, all of us are part of building this different kind of Pride.

Now, as we reflect on this year and plan for the next, I invite each and every one of you to step into the future with us. To continue on this path of advocacy, celebration, and solidarity. To keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with Pride. We are San Diego Pride, not just for a day, a week, or a month, but all year round. We welcome you to volunteer, we welcome you to be in the spaces we create together, and we welcome you to invest in building what’s next. Together we can keep building this Pride where all of us can Thrive!

With Pride,

Fernando Z. López
Pronouns: they/them/theirs
Executive Director
San Diego Pride

P.S. You can help sustain and grow our year-round work by donating at the Ambassador of Pride level. Learn more here.


About Fernando

Fernando Lopez was 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.