Please, Remain Resilient

February 3 Press Conference, Hillcrest. Left to Right: San Diego City Council President Dr. Jen Campbell, San Diego Pride Executive Director Fernando Z. López, San Diego Pride Co-Chair David Thompson, City of San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. Photo Credit: Carlos B. Solorio.

Our city, region, and nation have seen a rise in violent White Supremacist activity over the last several years, the increase has been palpable the last few months. The recent attack on an LGBTQ open and affirming congregation and LGBTQ-owned business, both showing visible support for the Black Lives Matter movement and LGBTQ community, was a direct message and part of a long term pattern of behavior.

We know these incidents are not new, nor are they isolated. They are part of the persistent and pervasive continuum of White Supremacist activity that has plagued our region for far too long. For months outsiders have come into Hillcrest to incite fear in the LGBTQ community by throwing eggs, brandishing weapons, tagging buildings, harassing patrons, and targeting business owners. Our community is no stranger to this violence. 

We need to look no further back than 2006 when men with baseball bats attacked our Festival attendees or the 1999 tear gas attack at our Parade to know our community is a target.

We need look no further than the White Supremacist protests and rallies that shook our community and in Pacific Beach or the insurrection at the Capitol just last month. 

We must acknowledge and reckon with the fact that the Asian community, particularly elders, have been violently attacked here locally, in the SF bay area, and across the country. We have to call out and see the connective threads when we know that a gay man was stabbed in Oceanside this last NovemberBlack trans women have been murdered at epidemic levels, there was a shooting at Chabad Synagogue in 2019, a White Supremacist rally at Chicano Park in 2018, and that xenophobic militias have plagued our border region for far too long. These incidents aren’t happening in a vacuum. Racist, sexist, and homophobic attacks have been targeted at our local LGBTQ elected officials like Steve Padilla in Chula VistaCori Schumacher in Carlsbad, and our very own Mayor, here in the City of San Diego.

As we create a path forward to combat homophobia and transphobia, we must also address systemic racism and White Supremacy, and as we work to combat racism and White Supremacy we must also address homophobia and transphobia. It is not us at the intersection of these lived experiences who are broken; it is our society and systems that need to be reimagined in service to all of us.

These issues cannot be addressed unless we are vocal. We have to speak up, we have to be loud, and we have to report these issues as we are made aware of them, or we risk giving those who seek to harm us passive permission through our inaction. Historically, in times of great progress, there is also a great backlash. We must continue to organize, educate, and advocate for our intergenerational intersectional movement and build capacity and strength, so through it all, we remain Resilient.

With Pride,

Fernando Zweifach López
Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs
Executive Director
San Diego Pride

P.S. Learn more about Pride’s Training Institute and refer organizations that could benefit from our work 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.