Strength in AAPI Joy

Dear Pride Family,

We fight hate by centering joy. We build capacity by organizing.

In 2018, LGBTQ AAPI Pride employees, volunteers, and community members began to have conversations about what it would look like to create specific programming for people at the intersection of their identities similar to what the San Diego Black LGBTQ Coalition and San Diego County LGBTQ Latinx Coalition had created, and the Queer Asian Pacific Islander Middle Eastern Desi American Coalition was born.

In the first couple of years, the volunteer-led program developed year-round social justice and social connection events as well as hosted a contingent in our Parade and a new space in our Festival. They never could have anticipated the rise in violent API hate driven by xenophobic misinformation around COVID-19. 

In response we took the lead with our longtime partners, another arts and culture organization, Pacific Arts Movement, to bring together over 80 API-serving organizations to condemn hate, form the broader regional San Diego API Coalition, and play a key role in mobilizing intersectional solidarity work around the redistricting process to ensure the integrity of the San Diego API empowerment district.

For a decade we have enjoyed our partnership with PacArts as they have included APIMEDA LGBTQ film tracks and tentpole films highlighting stories at the intersection of these lived experiences throughout their year-round programming. 

San Diego Pride with QAPIMEDA also led the effort and hosted two National States of the LGBTQ API Movement where our partners included Planned Parenthood, The Trevor Project, The National LGBTQ Task Force, the National Center for Trans Equality, Equality Florida, and the National Queer API Alliance. It’s impressive to see how in just these few years, QAPIMEDA has stepped up to this national stage.

Our QAPIMEDA committee produces and highlights a wide range of intersectional artists, musicians, cuisine, events, and resources all year round throughout the county, at the Asian Night Market inside the San Diego Pride Festival, and during Queer Trans API Week.

QTAPI Week, May 28 to June 3, denotes the blending of the end of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and the beginning of International Pride Month.  

I hope you will join us at any of the events planned for QTAPI Week this month and at the expanded Asian Night Market at Pride Festival this July. I also hope you will join us in not only ending API hate, violence, and erasure but in celebrating the rich cultural diversity and social justice contributions of the LGBTQ Asian Pacific Islander Middle Eastern Desi American that help all of us Thrive!

With Pride,

Fernando Z. López
Pronouns: they/them/theirs
[email protected]
Executive Director
San Diego Pride


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.