Dear Pride Family,
As I write this, there are now well over 400 anti-LGBTQ bills that have been entered into legislative bodies around the country. These bills threaten our families, our health care, and our ability to exist in public spaces. Our visual and performing arts and cultural spaces are even threatened by these bills which can impact how we tell our stories; how we change hearts and minds. Today, rather than fixate on those bills, I want to share about one of my favorite recreational and educational loves, movies and film.
The art of filmmaking has the power to give voice to marginalized communities and provides us a platform to share our stories in compelling, emotionally evocative ways. By controlling our own narrative through our own lived experiences we depict our struggles, triumphs, and everyday experiences of individuals and communities who have been historically silenced, excluded, or erased. These films break down stereotypes, challenge prejudices, and promote understanding and empathy. Especially for those of us who live at the intersection of these identities.
These reasons and more are why San Diego Pride has been a long time donor to and partner with FilmOUT San Diego, ¡SOMOS! Cine LGBTQ+ Showcase at the San Diego Latino Film Festival produced by Media Arts Center San Diego, and the LGBTQ track at San Diego Asian Film Festival produced by Pacific Arts Movement. Each of these organizations works to highlight intersectional LGBTQ stories beyond their tentpole events to help us feel seen while educating non-LGBTQ audiences about our community.
I also have to give a shout-out to our Pride family member, Alex Villafuerte, an openly queer Filipino man who was just announced as PacArts’ new Executive Director. The first LGBTQ person to hold that position.
I hope you find time to support these organizations, LGBTQ media, and filmmakers. In shared spaces like theaters or in the comfort of our own homes, through the lens of cinema, our communities can finally feel seen, heard, and valued. As the diversity of on-screen and behind-the-scenes talent has been elevated over the decades, film has increasingly served as a catalyst for social change, sparking conversations and inspiring action that can help to address systemic inequalities and create a more equitable society where all of us can Thrive!
Fernando Z. López
San Diego Pride