Even in the face of a global pandemic, San Diego Pride will bring the Spirit of Stonewall Rally to the community.
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 the first Pride in San Diego, we have had a rally. It is a time for us to honor our origins, celebrate those who are leading the way, and call our community to action around some of our movement’s most pressing issues. Even in the face of a global pandemic, we will bring the Spirit of Stonewall Rally to our community. This year it will be different. We will stream the event live to your homes and mobile devices.
This year, in addition to posting the bios and photos of our awardees on our website and announcing them at the rally, we will be hosting live interactive Q&A sessions with each of our awardees in the lead up to Pride. We want each of you to get to know these activists and organizations on a deeper level. We hope you watch and engage so you can learn, connect, support, donate, and find other meaningful ways to take part in the LGBTQ social justice movement.
- This year our Stonewall Service Award is going to Casa Arcoiris, which has housed LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers.
- The Stonewall Philanthropy Award honoree is John Ealy, owner of Harley Gray, for his years of philanthropy with a focus on LGBTQ youth.
- Damon Shearer, President of the San Diego Black LGBTQ Coalition, is being presented with the Community Service Award for his impressive activism centering on the Black LGBTQ community.
- Linda Barufaldi and Joyce Marieb are being recognized as the Inspirational Couple of the Year as both have been strong community activists throughout their nearly 50-year relationship.
- Allies Jessica & David Mier are being presented with the Friend of Pride Award for their years of ongoing LGBTQ community work as individuals, a couple, and through their employers UC San Diego Health and Congresswoman Susan Davis respectively.
- Our Light of Pride Award is going to Rev. Dr. J. Lee Hill for his work to support the LGBTQ community through his congregation, Christian Fellowship UCC, and interfaith organization efforts.
- The Champion of Pride is going to a true pioneer for trans youth. Bixby Marino-Kibbee is the very first director of the new Center for Gender-Affirming Care at Rady Children’s Hospital.
- Last but not least, our Community Grand Marshals are the front line and essential workers who are carrying us all through the COVID-19 Pandemic.
We look forward to sharing their stories with you in the coming weeks and hope that you share your stories with us. We’re still collecting videos to share during our Pride Live 2020 event on July 18. We know that sharing personal stories connects people to purpose while changing hearts and minds. Submit your personal stories of how Pride has brought joy, love, and belonging to your life. By sharing the stories of these amazing activists together with your stories, we hope to inspire and entertain you all throughout Pride season in a new and creative way as Together We Rise.
Fernando Zweifach López
Executive Director - San Diego Pride