Lead with Pride

Dear Pride Family,

Throughout our movement, we as LGBTQ people have too often been severed from friends, family, and social support networks. Our queer resilience and ingenuity have made us experts at forging our own found families and securing our own strength. Over the generations, our community’s creativity has shone through in the ways we build organizations, revitalize neighborhoods, change hearts and minds, and care for each other. We see it every day here at Pride.

In the 70s, a handful of community members volunteered their time as they fought for permits, sold buttons for revenue, and hand-cranked mimeograph flyers to distribute around town so we could hold our first Pride events in San Diego. That foundational all-volunteer work built the scale and scope of our organization over the decades. Our commitment to volunteer leadership has never faded, and they continue to lead the way.

In any given year at Pride, there are about 200 LGBTQ community members who take on volunteer leadership roles to envision and produce our annual Pride celebration and year-round programs. These leaders may volunteer anywhere from 4 hours a month to 4 hours a week all year long to ensure each program and event is led by and for members of our community. These inspiring and dedicated community members are always growing, connecting, recruiting, planning, and deeply engaging in intergenerational mentorship and leadership development.

Regardless of what department, event, or program these leaders are a part of, we meet every third Saturday of the month for our Pride Leadership Meetings where we connect, hear organizational and community updates, and engage in training so we’re always leveling up our skills as we grow in our roles with Pride and our daily lives. This month our two presentations will be Trauma-Informed Leadership training and Communication for Difficult Conversations & Conflict Resolution. Next month we will hear about Race & the LGBTQ Community and Project Management. If you’ve ever considered taking on a leadership role at Pride, these meetings are free and open to the public. We’ll even give you coffee and muffins. Come check us out!

Every year, our small but mighty staff helps support these couple hundred volunteer leaders, who oversee about 3,000 volunteers, who help us serve nearly a half million people each and every year. There are so many ways to volunteer with Pride. If you’re interested in taking on a leadership position for our annual celebration or year-round programs, supporting voter engagement efforts, outreach, advocacy, or even helping with a 5-hour clean-up shift, we would love to see you engaged with the Pride Family as we work to help our community Thrive!

With Pride,

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

P.S. If you don’t have either the time or capacity to volunteer, consider supporting Pride through becoming a sustaining donor. By donating monthly to supporting Pride’s community-led programs, your impact will be felt year-round. Learn more and donate here.


About Fernando

Fernando Lopez is 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.