July 24, 2012
The San Diego LGBT Pride Festival made history as it drew a record of nearly 200,000 people to Hillcrest and Balboa Park for a weekend marked by monumental movements towards our government’s acceptance of the equality of its citizens, no matter the sexual orientation. In doing so, the celebration lived up to its chosen theme – America’s Pride. It did so on its own terms, without pretense and without problems, and for a first timer, the festival was all I could ask for – good vibes, kind people, music, food, and fun in an accepting and glorious setting. And although it was my first experience at Pride, the event consisted of a series of firsts for all participants and organizers alike. While we at SanDiegoVille.com greatly appreciate the direct progress made by the LGBT community and are thankful for the enjoyable experience, I’m taking cue from the weekend and staying true to me in this recap article, and you all can take from it what you wish.
|An impromptu Pride proposal|
|We thought Comic |
Con was over!!
|City Council members (and maybe a |
future mayor) in attendance
at the flag raising
While I’m all for openness and celebrating personal expression, when you’re trying to attract families to an event, and/or to gain the understanding and support of the community at large, it may be a good marketing strategy to establish some code of conduct (dress code, language, etc.), whether express or implied. A stroll through the Kid Zone was all I needed to see that the family-friendly marketing failed, as it was like a ghost town in there. I understand the tactic of fostering productive change by shaking the sh*t out of preconceived conceptions, societal norms and mores, but this technique may be offsetting when trying to thrust into mainstream acceptance in a city with a conservative majority.
As humanitarians and devoted advocates of forward thinking and progress in the global acknowledgement of human rights and equality, we greatly appreciate how certain events at this year’s festival signified a shift toward a nation more accepting of sexual equality, and equality in general. The specific purpose of San Diego Pride is “to produce civic, cultural and educational programs, which support and encourage pride within San Diego’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.” While I’d love to say that I was swept away by the elated passion of the Pride community, I wasn’t. Sadly, I was somewhat disengaged by the overwhelming number of individuals acting out in the spirit of sheer shock value as the weekend progressed. You either know what I mean, or you don’t. But still, the event was a valuable and groundbreaking demonstration of the vibrant, but marginalized community of people who contribute to make this America’s Finest City, and for that, we salute you! Thank you for bringing San Diego to the forefront of the equality movement in America!