What our organization, community, and planet are currently facing is unprecedented. The continuing loss of daily connection, income, jobs, safety, security, health, and the devastating loss of life are traumatic impacts that we are all enduring. As those impacts reverberate through us all, know that your Pride Family, from our board, staff, and volunteers, all extend our love, sympathy, and strength to you all.
We are immensely lucky and grateful to live in San Diego, California, where our state and local agencies and leaders acted quickly and decisively to slow the spread of COVID-19. It is with the deepest love, gratitude, and respect for those essential workers who are on the frontlines to keep us safe, healthy, and fed that we implore the rest of us who are able to stay home and stay physically distant from each other to do so. While early indications show us that we here in our state and county may have flattened the curve, it is incumbent upon all of us to continue taking seriously our personal responsibility with regards to public health and abide by the directives given to us if we are to mitigate the spread, keep our losses as low as possible, and expedite being on the other side of this global crisis.
Safety is and always will be our number one priority at San Diego Pride. While the future is unforeseeable, know that we continue to communicate and work closely with government and public health officials and will in no way move forward with our dates as planned if it is not safe and healthy to do so. San Diego Pride is different from other Pride organizations around the world. We have a full-time staff, give out community grants and scholarships, have year-round education and advocacy programs, have healthy financial reserves to protect us against the unforeseeable, and are held together by an incredible base of skilled volunteers who give their time all year long. All of those factors combined are allowing us to continue our Pride 365 programming and planning virtually while we prepare for a variety of possible outcomes for our Pride celebration.
Pride 2020: Our annual Pride events bring our community together every year in celebration, protest, and mourning. These massive events require no less than a full year of the coordination of hundreds of nonprofits, businesses, and entertainers, and thousands of volunteers. While we work to understand when the actual date of Pride will be whether in the summer, fall or in 2021, that work is continuing remotely as it is vital regardless of the actual date of the event. Additionally, we are assessing virtual actions and opportunities to help our community connect as alternatives and additions to our regular programming.
Globally, we are working with the InterPride network, of which we are founding members, to establish a virtual Global Pride that will be held on June 27 and bring together Prides from all over the world. We will find ways for local engagement and our marketing team has taken a leadership role on the planning team.
Pride Programs: Our year-round education and advocacy programs continue to meet remotely to plan their future events and envision virtual community space and educational opportunities. Those include our #MeTooLGBTQ Conference which supports LGBTQ survivors of sexual assault, as well as our women’s, Latinx, trans, servicemember, QAPIMEDA programs, and more. Particularly vital and inspiring are our youth programs, which have increased their (virtual) meetups and have adapted well to this new technology and reality. For more information on those programs and how to connect you can follow us on social media and head to sdpride.org/programs.
Community Support: Our team worked quickly to create an LGBTQ-specific community resource page that is constantly being updated. The page can be found at sdpride.org/covid19resource and contains LGBTQ related health & wellness, legal, spiritual, mutual aids, small business, social support, and more.
We have also worked to use our reach to signal boost ways to support our local LGBTQ businesses, entertainers, and nonprofits and will continue to do so. One of our community’s and Pride’s strengths is an abundance of dedicated volunteers. We have been able to put out calls for volunteers who are healthy, willing, and able to support direct service agencies like Mama’s Kitchen. Organizations in need of this type of support may reach out directly to [email protected].
I truly believe in our community’s ability to address this global tragedy with integrity and compassion. The innovative support I’ve seen our community engage in along with the smarts, grit, and passion of our Pride Family all gives me hope. The ingenuity and resolve of our community that shines through in times of crisis are beautiful to behold and are of greatly needed comfort. We must continue to combat this new virus with a determined and focused response that honors our most vulnerable, and do so while combating the rise in hate and violence that has been targeted at our Asian communities. We will fight this together, and Together We Rise.