Photo courtesy of San Diego Pride
June is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Pride month, with official San Diego Pride celebrations culminating in mid-July.
For some, Pride is about rainbow flags and outfits, partying, and fun drinks. And for us, too! But it also warrants an opportunity to increase visibility of and reflect on the issues the LGTBQ community is currently facing.
“Right now we are seeing so much anti-LGBTQ legislation across the country, targeting specifically our youth [and] our transgender, non-binary, and drag [communities],” says Gus Hernandez, senior director of communications and marketing at The San Diego LGBT Community Center. According to The Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey, these political attacks threaten LGBTQ youth’s access to affirming spaces and support systems, which can affect their mental health.
Additionally, bans on gender-affirming care impact more than 30% of transgender youth in the United States. “The end goal of anti-trans legislation is denying transgender people the words to describe our experience, the means to express it safely, and the community and support we all deserve,” says Gillian Branstetter, communications strategist at the ACLU.
Around the nation, Pride festivities provide a space for LGBTQ individuals to be in community, and they can be a beacon of hope and joy amid a frightening political climate. In San Diego, Pride celebrations have grown from a small grassroots march into the largest civic event in the region. Organizers of the event have donated more than $3 million over the years to support LGBTQ organizations in San Diego, and they run multiple year-round education, advocacy, and community service programs.
“Pride month and San Diego Pride in July is an important aspect of our community, because it creates an opportunity for visibility, acceptance, and participation,” Hernandez says. “You go to the parade, you see the diversity of our community, and you don’t feel isolated.”
Celebrate and honor Pride in San Diego with these 14 events from June 10 to July 16:
Ramona holds its second anuual Pride celebration on Saturday, June 10, starting with a Visibility Walk down Main Street. Afterwards, attendees can head to Collier Park for a family-friendly picnic.
Santee Pride Walk
Participants in the Santee Pride Walk will meet at the Santee United Methodist Church parking lot at noon on Saturday, June 10. At 12:30 p.m., there will be a welcoming address and speeches, followed by a march at 1 p.m. Walkers will trek down Mission Gorge Road from Magnolia to Cuyamaca.
Ofrenda for Pulse Nightclub Shooting Victims
June 12 marks the seventh anniversary of the massacre at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, where 49 people died. To honor their memories, folks can gather at The Center’s patio at 3909 Centre Street in Hillcrest between 12 and 5 p.m. A blessing will be said at noon.
Photo courtesy of Crawl With Us
Don your brightest rainbow attire for the annual Pride Crawl on Saturday, June 17. The event takes places across five locations around Hillcrest and includes two drink tickets and access to the after-party. Twenty percent of all proceeds will be donated to San Diego Pride.
Check-in starts at 4 p.m. at The Loft on 3610 Fifth Avenue, and the party continues at Uptown Tavern, Urban Mo’s Bar and Grill, Gossip Grill, and Number One.
Making a comeback after being missing from the Pride lineup for a few years, San Diego Black Pride celebrates Black joy and body positivity. With a pageant, a ballroom gala, a day party, and a pool house event, there will be plenty of opportunities for fun and community at this four-day event. Ticket sales are on a sliding scale.
She Fest, a free event featuring workshops, live music, activities, and LGBTQ vendors and organizations, takes place at the Hillcrest Flagpole on Saturday, July 8. She Fest is the culmination of the year-round efforts of this volunteer-run group serving LGBTQ women, non-binary people, and all who find community amongst these identities. For the latest information, head to their Instagram.
Photo courtesy of San Diego Pride
Light Up the Cathedral
Calling all LGBTQ people of faith and their allies: Dean Penny Bridges and other spiritual leaders will gather at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral at 2628 Sixth Avenue to celebrate the resilience of the community. Following a religious service, the church will light up with all the colors of the rainbow.
July 13 & 14
Pride Block Party
This family-friendly event takes place in Pride Plaza and kicks off San Diego Pride weekend’s festivities. The Pride Block Party features a cocktail bar, beer garden, food trucks, drag shows, go-go dances, a Ferris wheel, and a DJ dance party. This all-ages event toasts the culture, history, and diversity of San Diego’s LGBTQ community. Event hours are 4 to 11 p.m. on Thursday, July 13, and 2 to 11 p.m. on Friday, July 14. Ticket prices start at $35 for both days.
Spirit of Stonewall Rally
The Spirit of Stonewall Rally was first held in San Diego in 1975 to commemorate the Stonewall uprising, in which trans women, gay men, and other LGBTQ people fought back against police violence at the Stonewall Inn in New York. On Friday, July 14, from 6 to 7 p.m., San Diego’s LGBTQ community will gather around the Hillcrest Pride Flag at 1500 University Avenue to dignify the origins of the LGBTQ rights movement and its leaders and issue a call to action to forge ahead in the battle for equity.
This year, Queertopia takes place Friday, July 14, through Sunday, July 16th, at the Andaz San Diego hotel in downtown. Festivities include the Rainbow Roller Rave on Friday, the Official Women’s Party organized by Eden on Saturday, and a Lez in Waterland pool party on Sunday. You can purchase tickets for the whole weekend or per event.
Photo courtesy of Front Runners & Walkers
San Diego Pride 5K
If you get your dopamine high in sneakers and workout clothes, don’t miss this year’s San Diego Pride 5K Run & Walk. In 2022, 1,700 runners and walkers participated, raising $40,000 for San Diego Pride and The LGBT Center’s Youth Housing Project. The event starts Saturday, July 15, at 8 a.m. You can register here.
San Diego Pride Parade
Attracting more than 300,000 people each year, the annual San Diego Pride Parade is among the largest parades in the United States. Cheer on floats and parade participants from the sidelines or party at one of Hillcrest’s many bars, restaurants, and cafés. This is a free, family-friendly event.
San Diego Pride Party Cruise
For those wanting to continue the fun in true SD style, the San Diego Pride Party Cruise features music from live DJs, festive drink specials, tray-passed appetizers, a photo booth, and panoramic bay views. Hosted on the William D. Evans sternwheeler boat, the cruise begins boarding at 8:50 p.m. at the Bahia Resort Hotel and returns to shore at 12:30 a.m.
Photo courtesy of San Diego Pride
July 15 & 16
San Diego Pride Festival
Pride events wrap up with this two-day fest celebrating diversity and inclusion in Balboa Park with community resources, booths, and four stages of live entertainment. Festivities occur on Saturday, July 15, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Sunday, July 16 from 11 a.m. to 9p.m. on the west side of Balboa Park off Sixth Avenue at Marston Point. Buy your tickets early online or in person during the weekend.