In my office hangs a copy of the oldest known San Diego Pride budget. We had a deficit of one dollar. 90% of our income came from button sales. The year was 1975, the first year to have a permitted Pride Parade, but not the first year of Pride in San Diego. I love having that piece of history hanging next to me as I work every day. It reminds me of the legacy gifted to us by the pioneers of our movement – those early struggles and successes of our community as it fought legal oppression, societal norms, and too often internally.
Ad hoc committees would come together each year to produce Pride Parades and Rallies that eventually added a festival. In 1989, Christine Kehoe, Neil Good, and others in our community decided to take Pride in a more professional direction and San Diego Pride became the first Pride in the world to hire an Executive Director, Tim Williams. Together they helped us become our own nonprofit in 1994, a year that marked the beginning of the Parade route and Festival location most people will find familiar.
In 2011 San Diego Pride hired our first Black Executive Director, Dwayne Crenshaw. The board, ED, and staff at the time shared a vision of utilizing the power of Pride’s visibility, economic strength, and volunteer base to turn the organization into a year-round education and advocacy organization. In 2016 the board and staff redoubled that commitment by creating a strategic plan that would guide our expansion and service to the community. In just the last 11 years we’ve quintupled the size of our staff, budget, and festival attendance. We’ve become the most philanthropic Pride in the world and have over 40 year-round programs with local, national, and international reach.
Throughout this year we have been soliciting feedback from community members, event attendees, volunteers, programs, nonprofit community partners, entertainers, sponsors, elected officials, government agencies, and anyone connected to the organization. We want to hear from you. If you haven’t yet completed our 2022 Strategic Plan Survey please do so before you go to sleep this Sunday, August 7, 2022. Over the next few months, we’ll evaluate all the feedback and data we’ve collected from the last year to help us map out the road ahead. It is truly an honor to be a small part of the continuum of this movement and organization and serve alongside so many driven and dedicated people. When I joined Pride over 11 years ago I couldn’t have imagined all that we would become, and I’m excited to envision who we will become in the future as we pursue Justice with Joy.
With Pride, Fernando Z. López Pronouns: they/them/theirs Executive Director San Diego Pride
Printable flyers are available in the link above so you can help educate our community.
San Diego County now has a text update system to provide you with the latest Monkeypox information including vaccine availability.
Sign up by texting “COSD MONKEYPOX” to 468-311.
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.