We’re here. Pride is different this year, but we are here. After what has seemed like an endless endurance marathon of isolation we are beginning to reconnect. For more than a year we held fear, raged, mourned, and struggled. We’ve asked of ourselves and the world to envision and execute a future that none of us were certain we’d see. We are here.
So many Prides around the world didn’t happen this year as usual or at all. Several Prides went into debt, went bankrupt, or dissolved entirely. The damaging impacts of COVID-19 on the LGBTQ community will echo in our movement for years to come, but we have prevailed. You have prevailed. We are here.
I have had the joy and privilege of attending all of our in person events so far over the past week. I have witnessed longtime friends embrace, overcome with emotions, sobbing with joy and relief after being kept apart by the pandemic.
I have seen us awkwardly attempt to recognize each other through masks and sunglasses, the first time we’ve seen real faces or made eye contact. Do we hug? Do we elbow bump?
I have seen queer youth, formerly too afraid to speak up, take a megaphone as they marched through the streets with thousands of people calling for justice. Their diverse Pride flags worn like capes, as they look like the superheroes and hope for our future that they truly are.
I have seen LGBTQ people stand in awe as we take in the fact that this is the first time we are celebrating Pride with an openly LGBTQ mayor of color; our events filled with LGBTQ and ally elected and appointed officials more so than any time in our history.
As you take to celebrating Pride this weekend, in person or virtually, I hope you find your Pride moment. That moment that feels like Pride, community, connection, safety, joy. If you’re dancing in the streets, a club, or your living room. If you’re holding hands with the one you love in sunlight or on your sofa. All of it can feel like Pride.
The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over. The fight against the ongoing HIV/AIDS pandemic isn’t over. Our fight for equality, equity, justice, and liberation is not over. We are still here. We are still fighting. We are Resilient.
Happy Pride San Diego!
Fernando Zweifach López
San Diego Pride