We do not have Pride because we are free. We have Pride because we are not free. We have Pride because, in the face of violence, pain, grief, and oppression – our community, our movement is resilient.
From the spark of the Stonewall riots and violent attacks on San Diego Pride, the ongoing murders of our Black trans community that have been sustained at epidemic levels, to a global pandemic; our resolve is creative and altruistic.
2020 has been a villain to the world like no other, and yet through the foundry of our year, we have forged innovation while expanding our education and advocacy programs, and have been preparing to bring a whole new kind of Pride directly to your homes and mobile devices.
The pandemic is raging on in the United States with more infections being reported every day. We cannot stress enough the importance of staying home, staying safe, and wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
This year’s Pride, like every year’s Pride, has been built by over a hundred organizations and hundreds of volunteers. We have crowdsourced hundreds of personal stories, organizational histories, photos, videos, and performances from our beautiful and diverse community. We will combine all of those with live spots from some of our favorite San Diego hot spots and some of our community’s most beloved personalities and leaders. I truly cannot wait to show you everything we’ve been working on.
My very first Pride was 20 years ago. Just a few weeks before I was a homeless kid in Hillcrest, tired of fighting for my right to exist, and ready to give up on the world. I was saved by a local young gay activist, Benny Cartwright, and his mother who took me in. Because of them, I saw my first Spirit of Stonewall Rally and marched in my first Pride. 20 years later it’s an honor to serve as the Executive Director of San Diego Pride for what will be my 10th Pride on staff.
I share this because I know what the hardest of times look like. I know what it’s like to try and remain strong when the world seems bleak. I also, know how strong queer resilience is. I know how strong we are. I know how brilliant we can be. I know that we struggle through and fight injustice in pursuit of liberation and joy.
This Pride will look different, but it is no less meaningful. So hang your Pride flags, don your gay apparel, and get ready to celebrate with us online and safely with those you live with. We won’t be in physical space together this year, but we will be together, and Together We Rise.
Happy Pride San Diego!
P.S. Check out these two sneak peek videos from Pride Live 2020!
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.