1. OUT at the Park!
OUT at the Park has become a celebrated annual tradition for LGBTQA Padres fans! Athletics, and more specifically professional sports, is one of the last remaining areas that could use some more OUT and proud attention! Former Padres player, and current MLB Ambassador for Inclusion, Billy Bean has made OUT at the Park appearances in the past as his current role is to help Major and Minor League Clubs encourage equal opportunity. With that said, we’ve got some big plans for next Year’s OATP. Stay tuned.
2. Marriage Victory
Marriage equality had been a long-fought battle and many San Diegans helped to lead that fight! This year we got to celebrate that historic victory with great pride! While there is still a tremendous amount of work to do before all LGBTQ people are truly equal, what an honor it was to live through the day in history when love won!
3. Pride Flag on Balboa Building
When someone needs a giant Pride flag they typically know who to call! The day the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality, there were monuments lit up with rainbows across the entire country. Here in San Diego, the Museum of Man took a historic step by hanging our 30-foot Pride Flag on the iconic Balboa Tower. It was the first time a cultural flag of its kind had ever been flown from the tower. Many thanks to the Museum of Man staff for acknowledging our flag as the symbol of a global cultural community deserving of recognition!
4. Spirit of Stonewall Rally
The Spirit of Stonewall Rally is the event where we honor our local LGBTQA heroes and get inspired about the work yet to do. Our 2015 Pride theme was “Liberty and Justice for All” as we highlighted the need for intersectional social justice. Speakers like Speaker of Assembly Toni Atkins talked about Religious Freedom Restoration Acts that threaten the LGBTQ community and the attack on women’s rights as a shared fight. Immigration Equality Executive Director Cara Desert talked about immigration, asylum and refugee reform as an LGBT issue highlighting the damage done to trans women in detention centers in the United States. Dwayne Crenshaw, former Pride Executive Director and current Executive Director of RISE San Diego, talked about the intersection of #BlackLivesMatter and #TransLivesMatter and the over-policing of our lives based on the shades of our gender and skin. Patrick Loose from the San Diego County Health Department talked about access to HIV/AIDS testing, treatment and prevention as a social-justice issue. Even the State Department recognized the significance of the event and sent 16 delegates from countries around the world to hear our message! Liberty and Justice for All!
5. Pride Youth Marching Band
The creation of safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth to thrive is part of our ongoing mission. In 2015, after 2 ½ years of planning, we were finally able to bring together 15 LGBTQA music educators from around the region to create the Pride Youth Marching Band – a first-of-its-kind program in the nation! The youth performed amazingly and we can’t wait to see them again at next year’s parade! See their story here!
6. Trans Military Service
Even before Defense Secretary Ash Carter ordered a six-month study aimed at lifting the ban on transgender troops serving openly in the military, Evander Deocariza, an active-duty transgender Marine, was already courageously working with San Diego Pride to march openly in our Parade and carry the Trans Pride Flag in our Military Contingent’s color guard. San Diego’s LGBT veteran and active-duty community have helped shape much of our local and LGBT national movement.
Watch as Evander shares his story here.
7. The Rain
Yes. Yes. We know. It rained! While we clearly don’t control the weather we like to joke that we were attempting to solve California’s drought problem as San Diego broke a 113-year rainfall record! Through it all our community persevered and the Parade and Festival went on as you all beautifully danced in the rain!
Take a look at our top 50 photos from the event!
8. Ruby Rose
In 2014, Ruby Rose performed at Pride and had such a great time she wanted to come back in 2015. Of course, at the time, we had no idea that she would be a break-out sensation and, as Orange is the New Black lifted her profile, excitement around her 2015 performance grew. The rain stopped and the main stage was off the hook! It was a Pride performance to remember!
9. Pride World Forum
Over the last several years, we have expanded our international outreach. This year, the State Department brought 25 LGBT activists from 25 countries around the world to San Diego to exchange wisdom, support, and, in partnership with Diplomacy Council and The San Diego LGBT Community Center, share their global concerns with the San Diego LGBT community!
10. Youth Leadership Academy
In San Diego we know all too well the dire consequences of homophobia that our LGBTQ+ youth are faced with, making our commitment to serve and build up these young people even stronger. Our Pride Youth Leadership Academy brings together LGBTQ+ youth from around the region to connect with inspirational community leaders, as well as with vital organizations and resources, so these young people can begin to advocate for themselves and inspire others to do the same.
It was an amazing year for Pride 2015! We can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for us all. Thank you for helping to make this an amazing year of Pride!