Protect Our Children

Dear Pride Family,

In 2015, a rash of LGBTQ teen suicides in San Diego hit the news. At the time, several regional LGBTQ-youth serving organizations were just starting to come together under the newly formed Youth Services & Advocacy Committee, under the Center’s Community Leadership Council; all of us wanting to better coordinate our efforts in service of our next generation. On the way back from a memorial service for one of the youths, Josh Coyne and I talked about how we could bring our organizations, San Diego Pride and The Trevor Project, together to create new LGBTQ youth-led programming.

The recent loss of 14-year-old Salvador Rios, a bright and passionate young soul from our community, reminds us of the pressing and painful realities LGBTQ youth face even today. Our love, strength, and support to his family and friends.

In an era where anti-LGBTQ political polarization is on the rise, it’s all the more essential to remember that the target of these debates are real, living individuals with hopes, dreams, and vulnerabilities. Each time we hear of another youth struggling or tragically succumbing to bullying, harassment, and hate, it brings to sharp relief the work that remains. That work rests on each of us.

Here is how San Diego Pride is helping and how you can get involved:

Policy & Practices: Learn from our LGBTQ+ Youth Standards of Care

Connection: Sign-up for Programs by and for LGBTQ Youth

Direct Action: Join our Advocacy Team here

Capacity Building: Register for the Youth Leadership Academy

Donate: Fund our youth programs

Every large and small action we take to protect our LGBTQ youth can save a life. Even one loss of one life is one less too many. Above are ways you can get involved with us, and below are regional LGBTQ-youth resources. We ask you to educate yourself, engage, and help us create a world where don’t just survive, we Thrive!

In Solidarity,
Fernando Z. López
Pronouns: they/them/theirs
Executive Director
San Diego Pride

Resources for LGBTQIA+ Youth

Hotlines / Warm Lines:

Community Organizations:




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.