Giving them hope and making history now

Dear Pride Family,

In 1978, after he had made history as California’s first openly gay elected official, Harvey Milk gave a speech that still resonates for me as one of his most memorable, and one I reach back to when I need to remember my “why.” It was a long speech, and Milk talked about the challenges facing our people around the country – challenges that sound awfully similar to the ones we face now about teachers and youth being out in schools, about losing our jobs because of who we are. But he didn’t end on those challenges – he ended with a call to hope: “I know that you cannot live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living…You have got to give them hope.”

Today, on Harvey Milk Day, we celebrate the people here that help give us all hope for that better world, the people that are actively making history in the service of creating liberation and equality for LGBTQIA+ people locally, nationally, and globally. We present to you San Diego Pride’s 2024 Spirit of Stonewall Awardees:

Our 2024 Champion of Pride, Paris Quion (she/her), is a bright light in the San Diego community, and is known as a drag entertainer, businesswoman, activist, and advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community. She is tireless in her commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community and unimpeachably principled in her advocacy. Paris is known best for being a career fundraiser, volunteer and for devoting her life, skills and resources to the betterment of the queer community with a focus on our youth and our most vulnerable community members. Learn more about Paris >>

Our 2024 Community Grand Marshal, our region’s LGBTQIA+ & Allied Educators and Library Workers, have faced challenges that are frighteningly similar to the fights that Harvey Milk fought back in the 1970s, and, like we did in the 70s, are winning, and standing strong for LGBTQIA+ youth and families to be able to be their whole selves in schools, staying vigilant against book bans and censorship of LGBTQIA+ materials in libraries, and creating safer spaces for all LGBTQIA+ people across our County. Learn more about our LGBTQIA+ & Allied Educators and Library Workers >>

Our Stonewall Service Award goes to the fairly new East County Queer & Trans Coalition, creating spaces for joy and celebration in East County while also fighting to make East County spaces – especially schools – safer for LGBTQIA+ folks. The EC QTs, as they’re known by many partners, have created social events, informational meetings, engaged in powerful and effective grassroots organizing, and are currently working to revive San Diego’s historic Dyke March. Learn more about ECQTCo >>

Jordan “Joho” Daniels (he/him) is this year’s recipient of the Community Service Award, recognizing his support and service to the LGBTQIA+ community since he moved ot the region in 2012. Jordan is a a Queer Black and Jewish creative, and uses his talents and skills to tell stories and engage the community through Fat, Black, and Queer intersectional lenses. Learn more about Jordan >>

This movement cannot be won without our allies, whether they’re at our side, behind us, or in front as protection. Dr. Jill Blumenthal (she/her) is this year’s Friend of Pride, in recognition of her fearless and fierce advocacy and work at UCSD Health to make gender-affirming care more accessible and culturally responsive. Learn more about Dr. Blumenthal >>

Making a comeback this year is our Inspirational Relationship Award, which goes to the iconic and powerful couple, Teresa Oyos (she/ella) and Rose Ruybal (she/ella). Teresa and Rose’s relationship has been deeply embedded in and rooted in service to the LGBTQIA+ community, especially the LGBTQIA+ Latine community. Learn more about Teresa & Rose >>

Our Stonewall Philanthropy Award this year goes to Qualcomm, a San Diego based corporation that has led the way in corporate philanthropy and stewardship. Qualcomm was one of the first large corporations marching in the San Diego Pride Parade, and has not only been a strong partner of ours for decades, but has also encouraged other corporations to invest in local LGBTQIA+ organizations. Learn more about Qualcomm >>

Patric Stillman (he/him) is the recipient of this year’s Larry T. Baza Arts & Culture Award. Patric has been a volunteer, activist, and artist for most of his life, and in 2014, he founded the Studio Door, a hub for local artists – particularly those from the LGBTQIA+ community – to showcase their work and forge meaningful connections. Learn more about Patric >>

The Light of Pride Award, given in conjunction with our partners at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral at our annual Light Up The Cathedral event, goes to Dharma Bum Temple, a true spiritual home for the LGBTQIA+ community to study and practice Buddhism, which includes significant service by, for, and with the LGBTQIA+ community. Learn more about Dharma Bum Temple >>

And lastly, our Hero of Pride Award goes to San Diego Pride’s Founding Leadership that lay the foundations of our organization and movement in San Diego. From the first march 50 years ago in 1974 to the first permitted march in 1975 to the tide-turning 15/20 committee in 1989 to the incorporation of the organization as a 501(c)(3) organization 30 years ago, in 1994, these leaders have been integral in our ability to survive, thrive, and continue making history now. Learn more about San Diego Pride’s Founding Leadership >>

Congratulations to these stellar awardees, and more importantly: THANK YOU to these folks above for giving us hope, and for making history with us all.

With Pride,

Jen LaBarbera & Sarafina Scapicchio
Interim Co-Executive Directors


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.