Pride Month

We don’t have Pride because we are free. We have Pride because we are not. 

The origin of the global Pride movement was a direct response to state-sanctioned police violence. The Stonewall Riot, which Pride organizations are charged with commemorating, was not the first or last clash with our community’s ability to live freely. We have to look no further than this moment in time to know our fight is far from over. 

Across our country, we are seeing violent attacks against the LGBTQ community, the murder of our trans siblings, and anti-LGBTQ legislation all on the rise. As courts and legislatures target our community, some legislation has proposed jail time for our community with laws that would separate children from their parents and put them in prison. Our country has gotten all too comfortable with this practice, which is why California is joining 18 other states in offering legal refugee to trans youth our the families displaced by criminalization. This is happening now.

Ever since the passage of Proposition 8, which ended California’s brief legal marriage equality in 2008, our community has been too reliant on major court victories. The Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion that threatened to end abortion rights also had woven into its words direct threats to recriminalize LGBTQ intimacy in the United States. We have to change our approach.

As international Pride month is here, we are all being bombarded with rainbow swag and logos. Fine. Cute. What we really need is LGBTQ policy reform. We need corporations to divest from anti-LGBTQ legislators. 

At San Diego Pride this year you will notice that we have not invited some sponsors back because they refused to stop funding anti-trans, anti-LGBTQ values. Some of them argued with us, “You’re discriminating against us and our employees.” We beg to differ. Their employees want full equality more than rainbow swag. We will gladly forfeit their funding to have them reflect on how their funding of discrimination impacts those employees and all of us. I’m proud that as we made these decisions, the sponsors that we’ve gained in their place are partners who know they are directly funding our year-round education and advocacy work. They are investing in our values.

I know we are all eager to jump back into Pride. I have no doubt that this year will be one of the largest San Diego Prides in our history. Our Stonewall commemorations became celebrations because lives are an act of liberation. Our celebration is justice. Our joy is defiance. Our love is insubordinate. How you choose to honor your Pride is in your hands. How you hold those in power accountable is in your hands. As we near San Diego Pride, I welcome you to take our hand, join us, and know that your support of our organization is directly fueling Justice with Joy.

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

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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.