by Connor Maddocks
It’s Time to Show Your Pride
Pride time is here! While Pride is celebrated in June in many parts of the country, July is Pride time in San Diego.
Did you know that we have one of the biggest Prides in the world? Did you know San Diego Pride is one of the most philanthropic Pride organizations in the world? Did you know that San Diego Pride is one of the few Pride organizations in the world that runs programs and events throughout the year?
We are pretty lucky here in San Diego to have such an amazing Pride organization that is truly committed to our community. With a staff dedicated to social justice, anti-discrimination, youth empowerment, real partnership and support to the transgender, military, Latine, QAPIMEDA and other local communities, San Diego Pride is a true leader in our community. Through their Pride 365 program they work tirelessly all year to meet the needs of as many people they can reach. It’s important to know that San Diego Pride isn’t just an event that happens in July every year. They need our support and donations to continue the amazing work they do.
So how can you support Pride?
Buy a ticket! Money raised from ticket sales helps fund San Diego Pride’s local grant giving program. Each year, Pride gives back to local LGBTQ organizations through their Community Grant Program. This can be a real boost to our smaller organizations that struggle to get up and running. It’s incredibly important to help sustain our very own activists and small social service agencies in their work to make our community better.
Volunteer! Can’t afford a ticket to the Pride Festival? Volunteer! All volunteers will be given admission to the Festival as a show of gratitude for volunteering. San Diego Pride needs hundreds of volunteers to make it all happen and it is such a fun way to give back to the community and help assure a smooth running fantastic Pride event.
Besides the dedicated staff at Pride, there are an incredible number of folks who give of their time year-round to make sure the work gets done. Pride has an amazing leadership team – of which I am proud to say I am a member – comprised of volunteers who give countless hours throughout the year. Not only do these volunteers help plan the next Pride celebration, they also assist with many of Pride’s programs and lend a helping hand to the organizations Pride helps support.
The leadership teams meet monthly year-round to make sure everything is in place and ready to go by July. The managers and coordinators from all the departments that make up San Diego Pride Parade and Festival work tirelessly to bring this amazing event to life.
There is still time to volunteer with San Diego Pride and here are a few of the ways you can do it:
You can choose to help with set up on Thursday and Friday, July 12 and 13. Wouldn’t it be amazing to be part of setting up this huge festival? It is truly fun to watch the space slowly become this huge village we call San Diego Pride. Volunteers who can do physical work as well as those who could help in the office for all those last minute details are all needed. You can pre-register to volunteer at sdpride.org/volunteer, or just show up at Balboa Park (between Laurel and Juniper Streets along Sixth Avenue) on Thursday or Friday.
Volunteer to help either at the Parade on Saturday morning or anytime during the Festival on Saturday and Sunday. Want to work the front gate? Help keep our wonderful vendors and community partners happy? How about taking care of other volunteers? There are so many options for you to choose from and volunteers can pick one shift or multiple shifts.
Lastly, volunteers are needed to help out on Monday after Pride to break down and clean up the Festival site. Pride could certainly use some new folks to get this job done and I am calling on all our Trans folks out there to give back, help out and be a part of and show San Diego Pride and the San Diego LGB community that we are strong and committed members dedicated to creating a greater and more inclusive community.
There are many wonderful organizations who will be at the Pride Festival, and I encourage you to stop by and visit them all — but now my shameless plug for my community: This year at the Trans Village, in partnership with Project Trans at The Center, we bring you TransTopia!
The TransTopia village is located at the bottom of the loop at the festival, and I hope you drop by. Each year, the village gets better and better and this year is no exception. There will be a host of fantastic resource tables again, including the UCSD Gender Health Clinic, with some surprise visits from the doctors who make it all happen. Other resources include Kelly Owens Amplified Speech, mental health providers Darlene Tando and Donna Chapman, and local trans organizations like Gender Health and Wellness, Family Health Centers of San Diego, Transgenero2000, transgender affirming haircuts, and a lot more.
The Transtopia space will also be full of entertainment provided by local trans artists, including singers, spoken word, music and more. There is space available to relax, enjoy a beverage and chill with your friends. It will be a great experience and an awesome way to get to know more folks from our community. Again, we are so very lucky here in San Diego to have such an inclusive and vibrant Pride. Please show your support and stop by the Transtopia Village, you might just find some joy and love there.
See you all at San Diego Pride, July 14-16. Happy Pride, San Diego!
–Connor Maddocks (he, him, his) is a Transgender activist, trainer, speaker, and advocate. You can reach him at [email protected].