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San Diego Pride announces 2021 Spirit of Stonewall honorees

San Diego Pride announces 2021 Spirit of Stonewall honorees

The first time I went to the Spirit of Stonewall Rally was in 2000. It was only a few weeks before that I had been homeless and living in my car. Local community activist Benny Cartwright and his mother saved my life by taking me into their home. It provided me the opportunity, for the first time in my life, to hear the words “gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender” said with pride on a loudspeaker instead of as a slur or behind a whispered hand. As I listened to the speakers that day, I was filled with hope for the first time and a sense that I wasn’t alone. I found my community. I found hope.

Since Pride’s first permitted-march in 1975, we have honored the origins of our movement at the Spirit of Stonewall Rally. Our annual rally weaves together our intergenerational, intersectional movement by honoring those who are leading the way and calling our community to action. As our LGBTQ community is under attack across this country, we are faced with the harsh reality that we are still not equal under the law in this country.

Whether you join us in person at the Pride Flag in Hillcrest or stream the rally live online, I look forward to honoring our heroes, connecting ourselves to our history, and recommitting ourselves to the pursuit of justice with joy. We can’t wait to celebrate with you together. Together, we are Resilient.

This year’s recipients include:

This year’s awards include the inaugural Larry T. Baza Arts & Culture Award. The award is named after San Diego Pride’s first Latino co-chair, the late Larry T. Baza. Larry was known as an LGBTQ, art, and intersectional human rights advocate and activist. Baza was a mentor to countless people across generations. Our community lost Larry to COVID-19 earlier this year.