San Diego Pride 2018: What San Diego Pride means to me ...


We asked members of the San Diego community to tell us what Pride means to them. Here’s what they had to say.

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Toni Atkins, California Senate president pro tem

“Pride: It’s a time when our LGBTQ+ community can come together in celebration and recognition of being truly who we are — without fear, with pride and dignity and acceptance. It’s a day of jubilation that is felt by every one of us internally, and that we share collectively to create an overall feeling of pure love and joy. You’ll feel it totally when you are there!”

Assemblyman Todd Gloria, D-San Diego

“What San Diego Pride means to me is authenticity — it’s about being proud of exactly who you are no matter where you come from, how you identify, what you believe, or who you love. It’s about loving yourself for all of these things that comprise your being and sharing that pride and love with your community.”

Kathleen Hansen, artistic director of the San Diego Women’s Chorus

“To me, Pride represents existing in a community of authenticity where our differences are not simply tolerated, but appreciated and celebrated. Pride means loving ourselves and each other fiercely.”

Bob Lehman, executive director of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus

“San Diego Pride started because we were invisible. Those first marchers knew that we needed to be seen. Just like our chorus stood on a public stage and sang for the first time three decades ago, San Diego Pride symbolizes that we will never again be invisible.”

Pierrette Van Cleve, founder and president of Van Cleve Fine Art

“Pride is not a parade, a flag, a place or even an expression of my gender preferences. Pride for me is a deep feeling of personal satisfaction — of freedom. My freedom to be proud of who I am and how I stand in the world.”

Lindsay White, singer-songwriter

“San Diego Pride was one of the first events I attended when I was coming out nearly a decade ago. For me, this was one of the first times I was able to surround myself with LGBTQ people who were comfortable in their own skin and proud of their identities. In the years since my first Pride, I’ve performed at both the main festival as well as SheFest, and attended many associated events. It’s so inspiring to see the growing number of volunteers and artists who work so hard to make San Diego Pride such a wonderful experience for the queer community and our allies. In contrast, it’s also refreshing to see the decline in protests. I live on the same block where police-protected protests take place during the parade, and the numbers have significantly dwindled, to my delight.”

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