🌈💪We mean business!

Dear Pride Family,

I can still remember the fear and uncertainty our family went through when my husband was fired from his job after they discovered he was gay, or the time my employer refused to put my husband on my health insurance because our marriage wasn’t legally recognized. Both employers were major multinational corporations. Far too many of us have had those experiences over our lifetimes. Our community’s relationship with big business has been challenging, to say the least.

California has enjoyed LGBTQ employment protections since 1992, but it took the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bostock ruling just recently in 2020 to provide federal protections. Still, nearly half of LGBTQ employees aren’t out at work, and more than one in four LGBTQ employees has experienced employment discrimination. The impacts of discrimination are felt that much more deeply by LGBTQ employees of color.

This year our community watched as the rising anti-LGBTQ sentiment across the country had many companies pulling back from the visible and financial support during Pride month. Pride organizations across the country felt that retreat this year and issued a joint statement asking for these businesses to be unwavering in their commitment to our community. 

It’s not all doom and gloom. Corporate support for the LGBTQ community has grown dramatically in the last 20 years. Nationally, over 90% of Fortune 500 companies have nondiscrimination policies covering sexual orientation and gender identity. 70% of them have a public-facing commitment to the LGBTQ community. Companies like Disney are even on the front lines fighting against some of the most egregious new onslaught of anti-LGBTQ legislation.

Even here at Pride we now boost over 130 corporate sponsors who believe in our mission and invest in our year-round LGBTQ education and advocacy programs. That’s even after we turn away corporations who invest in anti-LGBTQ policies. The companies who stand by us don’t just donate to us. They participate in LGBTQ competency training, and policy reform, and send volunteers to support keeping our events free or accessibly priced. Much of that work is driven by LGBTQ employees who volunteer their time as individuals or through ERGs (Employee Resource Groups) to support their LGBTQ colleagues and redirect corporate giving policies. 

I couldn’t be more grateful to see that even in times of political division there are companies who stand with us, share our values, and are ready to continue investing in our future. Let’s all keep up the work of holding corporations accountable when they misstep and celebrate the companies and people who are committed to helping our community and movement Thrive!

With Pride,
Fernando Z. López
Pronouns: they/them/theirs
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.