My father, a devout Catholic man from Mexico, and my mother, a Jewish woman raised by Orthodox parents whose family left Russia and Austria respectively to escape persecution and death, each explained to me as a young person the discrimination I would face because my life encompassed these inherited identities. As a queer, non-binary, Jewish, Latinx, first-generation US citizen, it pains me to see clearly how connected our seemingly disparate struggles truly are.
From the Holocaust of Nazi Germany to the homegrown terrorist white-supremacist groups who live right here in San Diego, our Jewish siblings and the LGBTQ community can far too often trace the targeted violence against us to the same root cause. Over the last few years our communities have seen a rise in anti-LGBTQ and anti-Semitic hate and violence, and earlier this year our interfaith coalition, DevOUT, and the committee that puts together our annual interfaith Light up the Cathedral event wanted to highlight this intersection while uplifting healthy pathways to fight back. Then our hearts were shattered during our #MeTooLGBTQ conference when we learned of the attack on the Chabad synagogue in Poway.
We are resolved in knowing that our committee had made the right choice in selecting Jewish Family Service of San Diego as this year’s Light of Pride award for their service to the Jewish, LGBTQ, and refugee communities in our region. We are proud to have selected Jewish activist Steven Goldstein, who champions interfaith organizing as a method of combating transphobia, homophobia, and anti-Semitism as our Keynote Speaker.
Nothing can undo the hate, death, or violence any of our communities have faced over the generations, but we can stand shoulder to shoulder, ready to take action in our shared intersectional struggles as we all engage in our grand Legacy of Liberation
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 him a consistent presence ensuring the struggles of the LGBT community are ever visible.