Dear Pride Family,
Our community needs to be on alert and our allies need to step up. Right now, right here in San Diego and across the country LGBTQ youth, families, educators, and events are coming under attack by anti-LGBTQ extremists. The way these conversations play out in the media, social media, classrooms, and school board meetings can not only impact the physical and mental health of our LGBTQ community and youth, but it puts our lives at risk.
Local schools, school districts, libraries, small businesses, as well as individual educators, parents, and drag queens have been subjected to protests, cyberbullying, threats, and harassment that are part of a larger, nationally coordinated effort to attack our community. This anti-LGBTQ rhetoric escalates during an election cycle to stoke fear and drive anti-LGBTQ voter turnout while draining LGBTQ community time and resources.
We know this is their plan for the 2024 election cycle. At least 4 anti-LGBTQ ballot initiatives have been submitted for the California election next year. We have to be prepared.
Here are some steps you can take right now:
Today is Spirit Day. When Gilbert Baker designed the first Pride flag in 1978, he was intentional about the meaning behind each color. Purple symbolizes the spirit. In 2010, a surge of reported LGBTQ teen suicides related to anti-LGBTQ bullying inspired then-teenager Brittany McMillian to start Spirit Day. People everywhere are encouraged to wear purple on the third Thursday of October to show support for LGBTQ youth and demand an end to bullying during National Bullying Prevention Month.
Ending anti-LGBTQ bullying and suicide is no small task. Each of us is responsible for ending the cycle of bullying and suicide. Each of us can confront bullies in our daily lives. Our legal protections, our future, and our youth require our active efforts to ensure their safety. It’s our job to stand on the front lines for youth today, so they may grow up, and live full and healthy lives, so they and our entire community can Thrive!
Fernando Z. López
San Diego Pride
P.S. To support our work protecting our youth, please consider donating to San Diego Pride’s year-round programming.