In 1970, the first Pride March was held on June 28 in New York City to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion that put LGBTQ rights in the spotlight. Since that original 51-block parade, as more and more LGBTQ people have come out and our visibility has increased, Pride is now celebrated around the world — including all the fun and meaningful events San Diego Pride puts on every July.
Like so much in our lives right now, Pride this year is going to be different. To help protect people and prevent the spread of COVID-19, San Diego Pride has moved all of its in-person gatherings online and will be hosting events in virtual spaces. That smart and responsible approach keeps our community connected while it keeps our community safe. Other cities, including New York and San Francisco, have done the same with their Pride celebrations.
I am very excited about all the creative ways San Diego Pride has come up with to honor the gains LGBTQ people have made, to recognize all those who helped us get here, and to re-energize us for the hard work ahead to achieve true equality and justice.
Thinking about the changes to Pride this year, I’m reminded of a scene written by one of our local treasures, Dr. Seuss. Remember when the Grinch sees that the Whos are still celebrating Christmas despite all his worst efforts? “How could it be so?” He said. “It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags.” Pride’s like that. Now that we have found each other, Pride won’t go away. In-person or virtually, we will continue to celebrate and support each other no matter what. No ribbons required. Though maybe some boas, which there is time to make, and will look just as fabulous online.
I hope you have a wonderful Pride season, I look forward to celebrating with you, and, as always, please stay safe.
—Toni G. Atkins represents the 39th District in the California Senate. Follow her on Twitter @SenToniAtkins.