SAN DIEGO — San Diego Pride weekend officially kicked off Friday evening with the “Spirit of Stonewall Rally.”
Instead of the traditional two-day festival and parade, event organizers planned a two-day block party. The block party is one of several events across San Diego County.
“It is the way that our organization and community honor the origins of our civil rights movement and LGBTQ rights movement that in 1969 LGBTQ folks fought back against the police who would raid our bars,” said Fernando Lopez, executive director for San Diego LGBT Pride.
The rally awarded people in the community for their hard work towards the LGBTQ community in San Diego, with this year’s theme focusing on resilience.
San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria addressed the crowd as the city’s first openly LGBTQ person elected mayor.
“This is not my victory, this is our victory,” Gloria said. “A lot of people worked very hard over many, many years.”
Lopez added a decade ago, military members marched for the very first time in the Pride parade after the government repealed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy.”
“I’m a transgender women, I’m a veteran from the Navy and I’m free,” attendee Peggy Suegillen said.
“It’s always somebody’s first pride here and we always remember that is the time when people find a new family, connection and support,” Lopez said.