The first time I went to the Spirit of Stonewall Rally was in 2000. It was only a few weeks before that I had been homeless and living in my car. For the first time in my life, to hear the words “gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender” said with pride on a loudspeaker instead of as a slur or behind a whispered hand. As I listened to the speakers that day, I was filled with hope for the first time and a sense that I wasn’t alone. I found my community. I found hope.
The Spirit of Stonewall Rally is a time for us to honor our origins, celebrate those who are leading the way, and call our community to action around some of our movement’s most pressing issues. Here are this year’s awardees!
I think that sometimes in the giant celebration, glitter, and rainbows of Pride Week it can feel to some like “Pride is just a party,” and while it is an opportunity to celebrate, our Spirit of Stonewall has always been there. We are both. We are the party with a purpose, the art with advocacy. It’s my personal favorite part of Pride. It calls me home, lifts my heart, and helps me remember what we’re fighting for. I hope you will join me there this year as we all pursue Justice with Joy!
With Pride, Fernando Zweifach López Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs Executive Director San Diego Pride
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.