In case of an emergency, find a dyke.

Dear Pride Family,

I walked into Lestat’s on Park to find the unmistakable wit and wisdom of She Fest founder Kelcie Parra awaiting me. Fresh off my first year as a San Diego Pride Festival volunteer, I heard there was a squad of 2SLGBTQ+ women and non-binary people assembling to produce what would become one of my most cherished spaces.

Next thing I knew, I was dispatched to a North Park Community Association meeting to help explain why this one-day, community event, She Fest, was unlikely to devolve into a massive lesbian rager (such a pity). That day, and every day since, has been influenced by the magnificent strength of queer women. 

Joslyn tabling at She Fest

We could use some of that big dyke energy for the challenging road ahead. It is not lost on me that there are those among us who may take issue with this word choice. But rest assured, the invocation of this word is intentional to honor a community of queer women who have defiantly reclaimed it from its hateful origins. 

A decade after that fateful fall meeting, there is nothing I know with greater certainty than this, in case of emergency, find a dyke (thank you Indicatrust). Search your feelings, you know it’s true. Our history is filled with the kind of hope that could only be born from the strength of queer women.

We kick-off Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day (tomorrow) celebrating the vital role of queer women and nonbinary people in our history making. Look no further than your own backyard to find the architects – often unsung – of modern queer history.

The Blood Sisters -of the AIDS epidemic, such as Peggy Heathers, Nicolette Ibarra, and Barbara Vick, responded at a time when doctors, scientists, and our government were still dismissing the growing public health crisis. The work of long time San Diego Pride volunteer leader & Board Co-Chair  Phyllis Jackson is remarkable by any standard. Her service to others has impacted countless community members through education on HIV prevention, particularly among people of color and women.

Christine Kehoe not only became San Diego County’s first openly 2SLGBTQ+ elected official, her long history as a community leader includes her role as co-chair in the forming the Pride 15/20 committee. In Kehoe’s footsteps, California Senate President Pro Tempore Emeritus Toni Atkins became both the first woman and first openly gay person ever to have held both of the Legislature’s top jobs

Business owners and community leaders like Moe Girton continue to create spaces essential to not only queer women, but our community and economy. Devoted community leader, Tinesia Conwright launched a mentoring program (DETOUR) to increase the amount of college-educated girls of color with viable employment in STEAM careers. The legacy of our late foremother, Jeri Dilno will guide countless generations towards liberation. 

The list goes on and generations of queer leaders are either waiting in the wings or will remain anonymous…quietly going about the work unsung, but irreplaceable.

I’m proud to follow in the footsteps of so many dykes and queer women who have been essential to the history of San Diego Pride. You can honor that long line of lesbian, bisexual, queer, and trans women making history at She Fest July 13, 2024. In celebration of the 10 Anniversary of this flagship we are raising $10,000. You can support this work by giving here.

So as you prepare for what lies ahead, remember this: In case of an emergency, find a dyke

You’ll be glad you did.

With Pride,

Joslyn Hatfield (she/her/hers)
Director of Marketing & Communications


About San Diego Pride

San Diego Pride raises funds primarily through festival ticket and beverage sales, and through sponsorships, and exhibitor fees. These funds support San Diego Pride’s community philanthropy which has distributed more than $2.5 million in advancement of its mission to foster pride, equality, and respect for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities locally, nationally, and globally.