The work of our LGBTQ veteran community helped San Diego Pride to have the first military contingent in our Pride Parade in 2011,
Dear Pride Family,
In many ways, veterans were in part responsible for building our strongest LGBTQ communities across the country.
After serving in WWII and Vietnam, many LGBTQ veterans chose to say close to their newfound families in port cities like San Francisco and San Diego. San Diego has the highest concentration of military personnel and in turn the highest concentration of LGBTQ military personnel in the world.
This fact has meant that our region has been lucky to have LGBTQ veterans who have become activists. People like Autumn Sandeen, Bridget Wilson, Ben Gomez, Jeri Dilno, Alberto Cortez, Ben Dillingham, and so many more have worked over decades to build, shape, and push our movement and community forward.
The work of our LGBTQ veteran community helped San Diego Pride to have the first military contingent in our Pride Parade in 2011, before the repeal of DADT took place. It led us to have DoD approval for active-duty service members to proudly wear their uniforms in our 2012 Parade.
They paved the way for us to reenlist a transgender servicemember at this year’s Parade while trans service members and vets led our Parade and a four-ship F-15 flyover from Cal Guard's Fresno 144th Fighter Wing flew over our heads dedicated to transgender servicemembers.
As we approach Veterans Day this year, I ask that you take a moment to reflect on and thank our LGBTQ service members not only for their service to our nation, but what they have done for our local community and our global movement.
As we fight on for the protections for our trans siblings in service, we know that the LGBTQ veterans are a key part of our Legacy of Liberation.
Fernando Zweifach López