Top 19 of 2019

2019 brought our community a great many challenges to overcome and painful moments from which we are still healing. Through it all the brilliance, resilience, and love our community has to offer shone through.

I hope you take a moment to look back at some of our year’s highlights as they were all made possible by your time, investment, and belief in our organization and community.

Thank you for being part of our Legacy of Liberation.

1. Build OUT
We started 2019 with our second year of partnering with Habitat for Humanity San Diego to build homes & community! This county-wide effort engages different parts of San Diego and helps kick off our year of volunteer opportunities happening at Pride. There’s still time to join us for 2020’s Build OUT!

Build OUT 2019 with PFLAG San Diego

2. #MeTooLGBTQ
In April, we hosted our second annual #MeTooLGBTQ conference which is designed to increase culturally competent services in San Diego county for victims/survivors of sexual violence who identify as LGBTQ. Although sexual violence is a difficult topic, this conference serves as the first step in a long-term solution and is a healing day for many. Next year’s #MeTooLGBTQ conference will be held on May 2.

#MeTooLGBTQ Conference

3. Latinx Coalition
The San Diego LGBTQ Latinx Coalition continued to grow in 2019 by hosting monthly get togethers, having meetings, marching in the parade, hosting the Latinx area at the festival, and capping off their year with a very successful Migrant Posada raising over $1,500 for Casa Albergue Arcoiris!

4. Queer APIMEDA Coalition
In their first full year, the Queer Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, Desi, American Coalition hosted some great events! They partnered with the San Diego Asian Film Festival to present two Queer APIMEDA films, “Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga” and “Straight Up“, hosted meet ups, marched in the Pride parade, had a book talk led by R. Zamora Linmark, and hosted San Diego Pride’s very first night market.

QAPIMEDA Coalition with R. Zamora Linmark

5. POC Coalitions
The people-of-color coalitions of San Diego all worked together during the festival and created a fun POC passport that allowed participants to learn about each coalition and then enter to win some amazing prizes, including a Sony TV! During Pride month, the Queer APIMEDA Coalition, the San Diego LGBTQ Latinx Coalition, and the San Diego Black LGBTQ Coalition hosted a mixer.

Pride Month POC Mixer

6. Youth Empowerment
In 2019, our youth programs continued to grow! Our youth met every Friday and on a monthly basis for Lunch Bunch to create and lead their own programming. This year we had the Youth Art Show in March. The Youth Leadership Academy was hosted at the San Diego History Center. In addition, a number of youth went on various field trips including one to Sacramento for LGBTQ Advocacy Day and one to the Imperial Valley to network with other queer youth. The San Diego Youth Marching Band continues to be a Pride Parade favorite. It placed 2nd in the Best Musical Contingent category. And our youth program coordinator helped coordinate a GSA-led contingent in the parade. Over 3,000 youth of all ages were granted free entrance into the Pride Festival. The San Diego Queer Youth Chorus was created in 2019 under the leadership of Artistic Director Lindsey Deaton. They’ll be performing with Jason Mraz in 2020!

2019 Youth Leadership Academy hosted at the San Diego History Center

7. Interfaith
The DevOUT interfaith coalition continued to organize communities of faith for LGBTQ justice and inclusive faith-based programming. Community activities included Light up the Cathedral, a Pride interfaith workshop during Pride week, marching in the parade as open and affirming people of faith, and hosting a series of workshops at the Pride Festival. Additionally, DevOUT rallied behind the Chula Vista Public Library and their Drag Queen Story Hour in a show of support.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral – Light Up the Cathedral

8. San Diego Public Library
San Diego Pride had a blast coordinating the volunteers for the San Diego City Public Library book pass as they transferred books from the old Mission Hills Library to the new Mission Hills / Hillcrest library in January! The San Diego City Public Library also joined us at the 2019 Pride Festival where they hosted a Lit Cafe full of library resources and handed out their special edition Pride Unicorn library card!

San Diego Public Library in the San Diego Pride Parade

9. LGBTQ Sports
2019 was a big year for LGBTQ sports! San Diego Legion, San Diego Fleet, San Diego Gulls, and the San Diego Padres all hosted nights celebrating their LGBTQ fans! The San Diego Padres also celebrated their 50th anniversary with a special edition Stonewall 50 / Padres 50 hat!

(L:R) Carlsbad City Council Member Cori Schumacer, Encinitas City Council Member Joe Mosca, San Diego City Council Member Chris Ward, San Diego Pride Executive Director Fernando Z. López, San Diego City Council Member Georgette Gómez, California Assembly Member Todd Gloria, San Diego City Council Member Jen Campbell

10. International Advocacy
Part of our mission is to foster pride, equality, and respect for our international LGBTQ siblings. In partnership with the San Diego Diplomacy Council, we met LGBTQ delegates from around the globe throughout the year to talk about LGBTQ rights and issues on a global scale & have hosted 498 delegates from 134 countries in total. Pride staff members also flew to Athens, Greece where they meet with over 400 people representing 145 prides from 42 countries for the annual InterPride conference!

San Diego Pride World Forum hosted at the San Diego History Center

11. She Fest
The She Fest team hosted a number of events throughout the year from speed dating, bingo, L Word Trivia Night, and more! This year’s She Fest featured an amazing lineup of LGBTQ performers, a dog fashion show, and was the largest She Fest ever! Save the date and invite friends to next year’s She Fest here!

She Fest 2019 Recap

12. Military & Trans Servicemembers
In a year when the Trump Administration consistently attacked the trans community through harmful shifts in policy, San Diego Pride’s Military Department stepped up to support their siblings. At the Spirit of Stonewall Rally, the national anthem was sung by Mila Jam as a group of all-transgender veteran honor guard presented the colors. At the parade, California Army National Guard Major General Matthew Beevers was recognized as the Military Grand Marshal for his work to champion the rights of our trans community members and to defy Trump’s despicable policies. A group of trans servicemembers led the military contingent and a four-ship F15 flyover from Cal Guard’s Fresno 144th Fighter Wing was conducted in honor of our transgender servicemembers who bravely serve this country every day. Hear from our Executive Director and Navy Operations Specialist Sean Sala about how the military department began here then learn more about how you can support the San Diego Pride military department here.

Transgender Troops: Leading From the Front. Military Contingent in the San Diego Pride Parade

13. Stonewall Generation
Our theme this year was Stonewall 50: A Legacy of Liberation. We took this year to honor our Stonewall Generation for all they’ve done for the community. They were honored at the rally and parade as our community grand marshals. In addition, at the festival, our Stonewall Generation enjoyed free and discounted admission as well as a free brunch on Sunday! Later in the year, our very own Jeri Dilno was honored with an honorary street renaming for her years of advocacy and leadership.

14. Parades
If our parade wasn’t enough, San Diego Pride team and volunteers marched in a number of parades this year to continue to be out and proud members of our community. We marched in the MLK Holiday Parade, Palm Springs Pride Parade, Veterans Parade, and Toyland Parade! Join us for next year’s MLK Holiday Parade in January.

San Diego Pride at the Toyland Parade

15. Queer Headliners
For Stonewall 50, we had a number of LGBTQ artists join us as we celebrated and honored the last 50 years. The Mundo Latino stage was headlined by Snow Tha Product. The Movement stage was headlined by Mykki Blanco, and the Stonewall stage had two headliners: King Princess and Melissa Etheridge. Other notable acts included Greyson Chance, Aquaria, Kim Chi, TT the Artist, Sateen, and more!

16. Equality Act
Days before Pride weekend, community leaders, including San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, gathered in Balboa Park to voice their support for the Equality Act.

17. Grant giving
Stonewall 50: A Legacy of Liberation and the 2019 Pride celebrations led to our most successful Pride ever! San Diego Pride strives to return proceeds from the celebration to the community, and this year we’ve given out $210,000 in community grants! Our grand total this year for charitable giving was $340,000. With that total, Pride has donated over 3.3 million dollars since it began its charitable giving in 1994.

18. Trans Power
In 2019, trans people, especially trans women of color, continued to be murdered at an alarming rate (as highlighted in our executive director’s op-ed). We took time to honor and remember our siblings at the rally, at the parade, and during the Trans Day of Remembrance vigil by holding up their images, names, and the ages they were taken from us. We also took time to uplift trans excellence during Trans Day of Empowerment by sponsoring the Tracie Jada O’Brien Transgender Scholarship fund. In 2019, the all volunteer committee for Trans Day of Empowerment was proud to award 22 scholarships to deserving trans students across San Diego whose collective GPA was 3.5.

San Diego Trans Coalition Contingent in the 2019 San Diego Pride Parade

19. Highest Attendance Ever!
Stonewall 50: A Legacy of Liberation was the most attended Pride we’ve seen. From the rally to the festival, our community came out to celebrate the last 50 years, to honor our Stonewall generation, and to celebrate with our community in the daylight as proud and out people.

300-foot Rainbow Flag at the San Diego Pride Parade

As we continue to honor our collective legacy of liberation and commit to the work ahead, we hope you will join us again next year as together we rise.


About San Diego Pride

San Diego Pride raises funds primarily through festival ticket and beverage sales, and through sponsorships, and exhibitor fees. These funds support San Diego Pride’s community philanthropy which has distributed more than $2.5 million in advancement of its mission to foster pride, equality, and respect for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities locally, nationally, and globally.