One Equal World

San Diego’s Pride Weekend Recognizes LGBT Activism

Posted on: July 22, 2014

Between 200,000 and 300,000 people attended the annual LGBT Pride Parade in San Diego, a celebration of the 40th annual Pride Weekend. Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, the first lesbian and San Diegan to run the lower chamber of the state Legislature, was the parade’s grand marshal. Republican candidate for governor Neel Kashkari was another of many other notable politicians expected to participate.san-diego-pride

“Oh my gosh, I could not be prouder to be walking in the parade,” parade attendee Valerie Lacaba said.  This year’s celebration was even more special than normal: It was titled “Reflections of Pride” since it was the city’s 40th year doing it.

The first San Diego Pride was 1974, a time that far preceded today’s much more accepting view of LGBT people. We still see discrimination today, of course, but back then things were fare worse for LGBTs. The first Pride consisted of four hundred men and women, who showed up at Balboa Park for a rally and a march. San Diego was a right-leaning California city back then, but the Hillcrest neighborhood had begun shifting into a more safe and accepting place within the city.

Today, Hillcrest remains one of the most prominent LGBT communities in Southern California, a place where LGBTs can feel loved and accepted for who they are. What was once a small on-day gathering is now a full weekend of joyous celebrations, bringing in tens of thousands of people in each year.

Speakers for this year’s event included Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, veteran activist Nicole Murray-Ramirez and San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria. “Orange is the New Black” star and transgender icon Laverne Cox also served as the keynote speaker.

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