Youth Art Show!

Dear Pride Family,

I have very recently become acquainted with the lives and works of Lesbian artists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Painters, photographers, writers, poets, and bohemians whose voices have been relinquished to the shadows of history, their names and works largely forgotten or overlooked. Radclyffe Hall, Natalie Barney, Renée Vivien, Colette, the names go on and on. 

I have never read The Well of Loneliness. Before this week, I had never seen the paintings of Romaine Brooks, whose portraits of women in masculine dress would have deeply resonated with a younger me. I wish that younger me could have seen these portraits, could have found myself in the suits and ties a century gone by, could have seen my reflection etched in 100-year-old paint.

The work of these trailblazing artists remains both defiant and daring and I wish they could have known how their bravery would be rediscovered and witnessed now, so many years later. 

Just as these artists painted and wrote their truths in the face of violence and hostility, so too do our LGBTQ+ youth today. They are shaping the landscape of art and expression with their boldness and unwavering authenticity. This year, our Queer Youth Art Show embraces the theme “Making History Now,” inviting young artists to reflect on the legacy of those who came before them and to forge their own path forward.

As we prepare to showcase the talents of our young artists on April 6, let us also reflect on ourselves. Generations of queer people have endured a life devoid of representation, unseen and lacking connection to art and community. But, this history need not remain lost. Together, we have the power to rewrite history and ensure that the contributions of Queer artists are recognized and celebrated. We can make history now, one brushstroke and one story at a time.

With Pride,

Cris Sotomayor (they/them/elle)
Senior Manager of Programs

P.S. Speaking of writing and making our own history, we get ready to start April with the holidays of two powerhouse leaders of farmworker, labor, and social justice movements: Monday, April 1 is César Chávez Day, and Wednesday, April 10 is Dolores Huerta Day. These brilliant organizers created a legacy of coalition-building and fearless leadership in the face of brutal conditions and threats – a legacy that Dolores continues to foster, even at age 93! LGBTQIA+ justice IS worker justice, and we encourage you to learn more about César and Dolores: 

One great way to continue the organizing legacies of César Chávez and Dolores Huerta is to learn organizing and activism skills yourself – come join us at our second annual Pride Power Summit, where organizers and activists can learn and practice tangible organizing skills to increase the power of the LGBTQIA+ movement and community. Learn more and register here!


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.