Top 20 of 2020

The full impacts and implications of everything we have collectively endured in 2020 will be felt for years to come. Our 2020 theme, Together We Rise, was intended to remind us all that in a world that can often feel divided, our community is stronger together. I know that, together, we answered that call.

Through seemingly impossible circumstances our organization, community, and movement, met the challenges of our time. With hope resting clearly on the horizon, I invite you to take a look at all we accomplished together through our collective queer excellence, innovation, and resilience.

We kicked off the year by hosting over 276 people from 45 cities representing over 50 LGBTQ serving organizations from throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada for the annual Pride conference, CAPI! Organizers shared resources and best practices, while forging new friendships and partnerships to further the movement.

San Diego CAPI 2020 Attendees

2. COVID-19 Response
Our community is no stranger to being resourceful and banding together in times of crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic is no different. We saw LGBTQ resiliency shine through as our staff and volunteers answered the call to provide masks to LGBTQ seniors, grocery relief to employees from LGBTQ owned businesses, and brought all our programs to virtual spaces. We also created a COVID-19 resource page with specific LGBTQ competent health, civic, and community resources.

Former San Diego City Council President Georgette Gómez delivering masks to North Park Seniors Apartment

3. Denouncing xenophobia
Our San Diego Queer APIMEDA Coalition led the charge and put out a joint statement with over 80 local Asian Pacific Islander organizations denouncing xenophobia, racism, and increasing acts of violence towards API communities. This united front led to many milestones within the API community including Human Relation Commission appointments and the creation of the San Diego API Coalition which acts as a hub for API Organizations to collaborate and connect.

CBS8 Recap of the API Press Conference following the release of the joint statement.

4. Going virtual
To keep our community connected and safe, we moved all of our events and programming into virtual spaces including San Diego Pride weekend where we highlighted our amazing community and told their stories. Throughout the year we spoke to community leaders, LGBTQ artists, and elected officials to discuss important topics that matter to our community. We even played bingo and hosted a resume workshop. Rewatch 2020 livestreams here. In 2020, Pride’s virtual programming reached over 750,000 viewers!

Vibe with Pride: Mila Jam

5. Healing & Safety
In June, San Diego Pride released a plan to chart a course forward to better address the public safety needs of our LGBTQ community and to hold law enforcement agencies accountable for bias in policing that disproportionately harms our transgender, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color community members. We honor the progress that has been made, and recognize that some in our community have been left behind. Learn more about our Path to Healing & Safer Communities plan which intentionally centers BIPOC LGBTQ San Diegans. Please take our LGBTQ+ Healing & Safer Communities Survey to help inform this critical work.

Call to Action! Make your voice heard by taking our survey.

6. San Diego LGBTQ LatinX Coalition
The San Diego LGBTQ Latinx Coalition increased their efforts to create intentional virtual space for Latinx community members to stay connected, create new friends, and advocate for their community. They also commemorated the Pulse Orlando Shooting by setting up an altar at the Pride office and held a virtual event where Latinx community leaders read the names of those we lost & discuss how that event has affected them personally.

7. Global Pride
The Pride movement was hit hard by the pandemic with almost every Pride celebration being cancelled worldwide. Pride organizers got together and spent months creating Global Pride, a 27-hour virtual celebration. San Diego Pride lent staff resources to assist with entertainment, marketing, and outreach. Global Pride took place on June 27, reaching a worldwide audience of 57,050,978 viewers in at least 163 countries, making it the largest LGBTQ event to-date.

Recap of Global Pride 2020 by Todrick Hall

8. Title VII – Local & National
On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 6-3 that existing federal law prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. San Diego Pride staff and volunteers assisted with the local and national coordinated responses to this historic ruling built on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and had speakers at both events. The virtual national and local rallies can still be viewed online. While our community still does not have full equal protection under the law and you can learn more about our work on the Equality Act here.

National #DecisionDay Rally

9. Queer the Census / Get Out the Vote
San Diego Pride worked hard to make sure every eligible LGBTQ and allied voter was counted in the census and made their voices heard by voting in 2020! With the help of our Civic Engagement Coordinator, Pride made nearly 60,000 voter outreach attempts turning out thousands of LGBTQ supporters out to the polls. Stay up to date on our voting efforts here.

10. She Fest
Our LGBTQ womxn-led She Fest committee kept their programs going with events like virtual meet-ups, comedy hours, and, as always, kicked off Pride week with their annual event. Over 21,000 folks tuned in making it the most attended She Fest! Shortly after, the She Fest committee also joined forces with other women-centered organizations to put on SQ:UAD!

Watch She Fest here!

11. Interfaith Organizing
Members of the DevOUT Coalition started the year by having an online roundtable discussion titled Reconciling Faith & Queer Identities where DevOUT Co-Chair Brandan Robertson was joined by LGBTQ interfaith leaders. Our annual Light Up the Cathedral event with St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral focused on the intersections of the LGBTQ community and the fight to end anti-Black racism and violence. Watch the full event below!

12. Spirit of Stonewall Rally
The Spirit of Stonewall Rally is a time to recognize and honor leaders who are working hard to preserve our gains and meet the many challenges still facing our community. This year we had the opportunity to reimagine how we told these stories and created the Spirit of Stonewall series; an online discussion where we heard from each Spirit of Stonewall awardee to learn what drives their activism. The rally was still held on the Friday before Pride weekend where we continued to honor our awardees, heard from inspiring speakers including Assemblywoman Dr. Shirley Weber, and raised the Pride flag over Hillcrest.

Watch the full rally here.

13. Making Healthy Strides
This year we had two runs that folks could take part in virtually; the Pride 5K and the national Pride Stride. Front Runners and Walkers of San Diego kept with tradition and held the annual Pride 5K during Pride week all while raising money for San Diego Pride and the San Diego LGBT Community Center. In October, as part of National Coming Out Day, Prides throughout the United States hosted Pride Stride! Both runs came with great running swag so participants can sport their swag all year long!

Team Options for All participating in Pride Stride 2020

14. Pride Live 2020
After months of planning, we debuted Pride Live 2020 on Saturday, July 18, 2020. The 7-hour live event, featured historic stories of resilience, local LGBTQ groups from grassroots activists to employee ERGS, and talented queer excellence ranging from local to international performing artists right into your living rooms. Watched by over 300,000 people, Pride Live 2020 showcased the many facets of our community that bring us Pride and are worth celebrating. Catch a few of the segments below!

Local drag queen, community leader, and business woman Paris Sukomi Max performs during Pride Live
Community leader and businessman Chris Shaw shares a story of resilience during Pride Live 2020

15. MeTooLGBTQ
Originally held in May, the #MeTooLGBTQ Conference was postponed until October so that the committee could strategize and move the program to virtual spaces. The third annual #MeTooLGBTQ Conference was able to reach more community members and service providers and featured keynote speaker Jaden Fields of Mirror Memoirs, an art as advocacy workshop, a youth track, and more! Follow them on Instagram to stay up-to-date on upcoming 2021 plans.

16. Youth Leaders
Our youth leaders started 2020 by traveling to Dallas for Creating Change where they led a workshop on how to create youth-led programming and led that same workshop at our CAPI Conference. When the pandemic forced schools to close, many LGBTQ and questioning students were stuck at home and in possibly unsupportive households, so our youth leaders created more opportunities for students to connect with Pride Youth Power Hours being available during the school week and the Pride Youth Collective happening every second Saturday of the month. Our annual Youth Leadership Academy was virtual this year, adding a parent/caregiver track for the first time. Our keynote speaker was YouTube celebrity and transgender activist, Miles McKenna, and every YLA attendee was gifted a copy of McKenna’s new book!  Stay up to date on our youth programs here.

17. Transgender Excellence
Although we weren’t able to have the annual in-person Transgender Day of Empowerment event, founder Tracie Jada O’Brien was still able to honor transgender excellence through the virtual San Diego Transgender Day of Empowerment Honors. In addition, the hard-working Trans Day of Empowerment committee raised enough funds to award 33 Tracie Jada O’Brien Trans Student Scholarships to deserving trans students. Want to help out next year’s cohort of scholars? Donate here!

Watch San Diego Transgender of Empowerment Honors here!

18. Drag Queen Pumpkins
With the loss of Halloween community events, we put out an open call for Drag Queen Pumpkins as part of a spooky contest! Folks submitted their best drag queen pumpkins and community members voted on which gourd-geous pumpkin got to take home the crown. We’re looking forward to making this an annual tradition!

Check out these gorgeous drag queen pumpkins!

19. Volunteers Get It Done!
What makes Pride special is that it is built by and for our community and 2020 would not have been possible without volunteers donating their time, talent, and treasure to the organization. This year we created the Pride Ambassador program as a way for community members, small businesses, and employee resource groups to support our year-round education and advocacy programs. Learn more about the ambassador program here and register as a volunteer here.

Congratulations to our 2020 Volunteers of the Year!

20. Culture of Philanthropy
In a typical year, profits from our Pride Festival are turned into a Community Grants. Since 1994 we’ve given out over $3 Million to LGBTQ serving organizations making us the most philanthropic Pride in the world. Despite not having our biggest fundraiser of the year and operating at a loss in 2020, San Diego Pride was still able to continue our philanthropic giving this year by distributing $56,500 in direct aid to local LGBTQ community members with the help of volunteers, staff, board, sponsors, grants, and community donations. Our theme for 2020 was Together We Rise and we know that as a community we answered that call, showed our resilience, and sustained our culture of philanthropy.

2020 Grocery Relief Fund: Thank you essential workers!

Without our biggest fundraising event of the year, the only way we can continue this meaningful work is with support from our community. Please join us by participating in our culture of philanthropy and consider making an end of year gift or becoming a sustaining monthly support of Pride here. Thank you for all of your support and another meaningful year of Pride.


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.