SAN DIEGO PRIDE CANCELS ALL IN-PERSON MASS GATHERING EVENTS IN JULY
After weeks of thoughtful consideration, today, San Diego Pride’s Board of Directors and staff announced that all in-person gatherings scheduled for July 2020 will not take place as planned. The health and safety of all must come first and foremost. Given the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, large-scale events such as Pride Parades and Festivals are simply not possible and pose too much of a risk to public health and safety.
“This pandemic has impacted all of us. We have had to change how we live our lives and Pride is no different,” said Sue Hartman, Board Co-Chair. “This was not an easy decision, but everyone’s health and safety are paramount. Rest assured, our community will find ways to celebrate Pride together again.”
“We encourage everyone not to see this decision as a setback, but a step forward – this is what we must do so that we can come together sooner rather than later. It is in that vein that we encourage everyone to stay home per local and state guidelines, to check in on one another during this time, and remember that we are all in this together,” said Nick Serrano, Board Co-Chair.
For decades San Diego Pride has brought hundreds of thousands of people together to celebrate, mourn, and protest while raising millions of dollars to support the LGBTQ community locally, nationally, and globally. The commitment of San Diego Pride’s board, staff, volunteers, and community partners is to continue that legacy of work in ways that are virtual and safe until we can be together again. These additional adaptations to programming will be rolled out in the coming weeks and months.
“We recognize how deeply meaningful Pride is to our community. Pride brings us together in times of protest and times of celebration. Pride helps connect us to community and our found family. Pride gives us access to life-saving direct services and provides grant funding to our local and global LGBTQ community,” said Fernando Z. López, Executive Director. “In San Diego, we are privileged to have a Pride organization that does that meaningful education, organizing, advocacy, and philanthropic work all year long, not just one weekend a year. Our programs have continued on in virtual space and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.”
“Pride is not canceled. In-person mass gatherings are canceled. Nothing can strip away our pride. Nothing can deny us the pride our community has built inside ourselves, our community, or the broader world. We will still find ways to raise our Pride flags, celebrate the vibrancy of our community, and bring to light the issues that our movement still faces,” López added.
San Diego Pride, as a founding member of InterPride, is taking a strong leadership position in support of Global Pride, a 24-hour international, virtual event happening on June 27 that promises to bring together Pride organizations from around the globe to share messages of hope for our movement. Additionally, as we have moved all of our programs to virtual spaces, we are currently investigating ways those safe and remote options will allow us to celebrate Pride and to continue to bring to light the issues that still impact our community and our movement. We will update the community as those plans take shape.
Quotes from Elected Officials “San Diego Pride’s mission has always been to bring our community together and now more than ever they continue to do so even while we must be physically apart,” said Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “Today’s decision was not made lightly and with the best interest of the health of everyone in mind. This year’s theme for Pride perfectly expresses how we will get through this: by coming together, supporting our fellow San Diegans, and rising to the challenge before us just as we have done so many times before. Together we will rise, San Diego.” Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, City of San Diego
“San Diego Pride is one of the most anticipated events of the year, and I always enjoy the opportunity to celebrate such a diverse and resilient community. I am sad that I will not be able to participate in this year’s events, however, I agree with the decision to cancel large in-person gatherings for this year’s Pride Festival. July may feel like it is a long way away, but I believe that this is the best move for the health and safety of our LGBTQ+ community and allies. I encourage everyone to participate in their virtual celebrations, and remember that love will always prevail.” Congresswoman Susan A. Davis, California 53rd Congressional District, United States House of Representatives
“For hundreds of thousands of San Diegans and visitors that long anticipate this annual celebration, I have no doubt there will be some heartache and disappointment, but I fully stand by San Diego Pride’s decision to put the health and safety of our community first. It is in our collective best interest. While we won’t be able to march and celebrate in person, I hope we can find creative ways to continue to uplift the LGBTQ community especially during these unprecedented times.” Senate President pro Tempore, Toni G. Atkins, State of California
“I want to commend the board and staff of San Diego Pride for making this tough, but necessary decision during these times and prioritizing the health and safety of our community. We must remember that our pride as a community is not restricted to one particular month or weekend, but rather something we should carry with us always. While this year’s celebration may not take place, we should still celebrate within ourselves who we are and how far we’ve come. Together, we will get through this tough time and I have every confidence that together we will be able to celebrate again.” Assemblymember Todd Gloria, State of California, 78th Assembly District
“For decades, San Diego Pride has formed the cornerstone of our community, fostering a spirit of inclusion, equality and respect for all San Diegans. While we may not be physically gathering together to celebrate this year’s Pride, we stand united in our solidarity and commitment to celebrating our resilient LGBTQ+ community.” Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, County of San Diego Board of Supervisors District 4
“San Diego Pride has always advocated for and supported the health and wellbeing of our LGBTQ+ community. I support Pride’s decision and commend them for staying true to their values and aligning with recommendations from public health experts. We are San Diego Pride, we are resilient, and we will be together again to celebrate when it’s safe for all.” Councilmember Chris Ward, San Diego City Council District 3
“Hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors look forward to San Diego Pride. This event is not just a festival and parade — it’s a place for us to celebrate each other for who we are, one beautiful diverse community. The decision to cancel the event in 2020 is a painful one for me and so many others. But it’s the right decision, to keep everyone safe and healthy. I fully support San Diego Pride and its thousands of volunteers at this difficult time and am grateful for everything they to do support our LGBTQ+ community.” Council President Georgette Gómez, San Diego City Council District 9
“In an effort to protect our community from the spread of CoVid19, I support San Diego Pride’s decision to cancel the mass gathering portions of the PRIDE Celebration for July 2020. While this may have been a difficult decision, they have made the correct decision. The LGBTQ community is no stranger to difficulty. We will soon overcome this, just as we have in the past, and together we will rise up to celebrate all that we have accomplished.” Councilmember Jennifer Campbell, MD, San Diego City Council District 2
“While I am sad to learn that we will not be able to host our celebration of love and acceptance at San Diego Pride this year, I fully stand behind the decision of the board to cancel the in-person mass gatherings that have been part of Pride for many years. As a survivor of COVID-19, I can attest to the importance of continuing to abide by the orders of our public health officials to protect and save as many lives as possible.” Councilmember Stephen C. Padilla, Chula Vista City Council District 3
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.