Fred Scholl is a San Diego native who went on to co-found San Diego’s LGBT Center. He served on their Board of Directors in those early years, and he marched in the first Pride march, in 1974, that was informally organized by the Center. He later went on to co-found organizations such as Auntie Helen’s, Stepping Stone and the Gay and Lesbian Police Liaison Committee. He was also the first openly gay president of the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
In 1974, Fred and a number of other folks met at the Center to prepare for a march. They couldn’t march on the streets because they didn’t have a parade permit, but they marched on the sidewalks, being careful not to obstruct other pedestrians, and proceeded up C Street to Fifth and then north to Balboa Park. They didn’t have a rally or anything, but they went straight back to the Center to congratulate themselves on what they did.
According to Fred, a number of people who marched wore bags over their heads in order to protect their identities. One of the people who had to protect their identities was Gary Reese, who was a lieutenant in the Navy at the time.
In the late ‘70s, Fred participated in the fight against the anti-gay backlash started by Anita Bryant’s victory against gay rights in Florida in 1977. A year later, California State Senator John Briggs sponsored Proposition 6, which would have prevented homosexuals from teaching in public schools. The fight against Prop 6 was responsible for uniting the San Diego LGBT community against a common enemy.
These days, Fred divides his time between his home in San Diego and traveling through Europe. He often remains on a European time schedule while he’s here, but he still finds the time to do his civic duty by reporting for jury duty and he helps his community by supporting Auntie Helen’s.