We are under threat. Prides are under threat. The diverse dangers we are facing as an LGBTQ community and Pride organizers while differing in nature and intensity, share a common trait: they seek to undermine our love, our identity, our freedom, our safety, and our lives. It’s time we reaffirm the importance of Pride in our current sociopolitical climate, and call all our allies to action.
Pride events have always been about fighting back, building power, and creating a safe space where LGBTQ+ individuals can unabashedly celebrate who we are. Despite the progress we have made together, we are currently under siege. An alarming rise in legal disruptions and targeted intimidation by extremist groups at these events, across the United States, is making our celebratory gatherings feel less safe. The threats are becoming tangible, terrifying, and can no longer be ignored.
State laws have been weaponized against our people. The surge of over 700 anti-LGBTQ bills this year and the escalation of anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, disproportionately targeting our trans siblings, are disturbing and devastatingly, not new. These legislative assaults are fostering an atmosphere that emboldens these threats to Pride events, organizers, and attendees which has forced the cancellation of some and increased violence against us in our daily lives.
The mental health repercussions for our community cannot be overstated. We already experience mental health struggles at higher rates, primarily due to stigma, discrimination, and bias. The wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation only exacerbates these struggles. Volunteers and staff who produce Prides are simultaneously the bullseye of the hate and responsible for community safety while personally coping with the onslaught which culminates in an overwhelming amount of mental and emotional labor for us and our teams.
Pride events are too often treated like political football, used by a variety of corporations and elected officials to advance their interests without consideration for the toll their actions take on our community. Fairweather friends for some and scapegoats for others. What we need is consistent support, not convenient exploitation.
The harsh reality of rising government fees, inflation, and economic downturn make it increasingly challenging for organizers to host Pride events in cities of all sizes. The call for Pride to remain financially accessible while navigating rising costs is a challenge made more difficult by the reality that insurance companies are pricing Pride events out of the market citing the very threat of attack that requires us to need protection. Our cities, states, and communities benefit from our civic, cultural, and economic impact. It’s past time for them to invest more in us than they charge.
Despite these mounting challenges, there are ways we can all contribute to keep Pride events alive and thriving:
Show up at Pride events. Attendance is a form of support and a message of unity and acceptance.
Donate your or your organizational resources to your local Pride.
Volunteer your talent and time for your local Pride.
Use your voice to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and issues, be it through voting, contacting elected officials, or peaceful protest.
Utilize your platforms to raise awareness and rally support.
Change corporate and government policy toward equitable and consistent investment.
Educate yourself and others about the diverse issues facing our community.
Most importantly, in this moment of national crisis, our LGBTQ+ community, diverse as it is, must stand in solidarity. United, we can fight against those seeking to undo the gains we’ve made.
The struggle for acceptance and equality is ongoing. Reach out to organizations producing Pride events to understand how you can help. Let’s keep the spirit of Pride alive, let’s protect our safe spaces, and let’s fight for a world where we can all express our identities freely and safely. Now, more than ever, we must unite together in Pride.
Fernando Zweifach López Executive Director San Diego Pride
Suzanne Ford Executive Director San Francisco Pride
Sandra Pérez Executive Director NYC Pride
This joint statement is signed by 60 Pride organizations, and will be updated periodically. Click here to add your Pride organization.
USAP (United States Association of Prides)
Aloha Maui Pride
Atlanta Pride Committee
Boise Pride Festival
Brooklyn Pride, Inc.
CAPI – Consolidated Association of Pride, Inc.
Caribbean Equality Project
Chicago Pride Fest
Columbus IN Pride, Inc.
Come Out With Pride, Inc. (Orlando, FL)
Druid City Pride
El Paso Sun City Pride
Fort Wayne Pride
GAY & SOBER
Greater Palm Springs Pride
Harlem Pride, Inc.
Hastings NE PRIDE
Huntsville Texas Pride (HTXP)
International Disappear Fear Day
Jersey City LGBTQ+ Pride Festival
Las Vegas PRIDE
Muncie Pride Network
New Hope Celebrates
North County LGBTQ Resource Center/Pride by the Beach
North Idaho Pride Alliance
Northern Nevada Pride
Orange County LGBT+ Pride
Out Boulder County
Ozark Pride Inc
Panhandle Pride, Inc.
Pride Corpus Christi
Pride Myrtle Beach
Pride Northwest, Inc
Reading Pride Celebration
Riverside LGBTQ+ Pride
Sacramento LGBT Community Center & Sacramento Pride
San Diego Black LGBTQ Coalition
Siouxland Pride Alliance
South Bay Alliance Association Incorporated
South Bay PRIDE
Spencer Pride, Inc.
Tristate Black Pride
Tucson Pride, Inc.
Memphis Union County Pride, Inc
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.