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[VIDEO] San Diego Pride 2016: 'Take Pride in Your Tribe'

"Take Pride in Your Tribe." San Diego Pride 2016.
Photo credit:
Justin Edelman

San Diego Pride 2016 was one to remember, and videographer Justin Edelman documented it from above and below.

Last year when Hurricane Delores brought rainbows of her own to San Diego’s Pride celebration with torrential rains, high winds and lightening, it wasn’t enough to keep people away from the celebration. 

In contrast, this year the sun was out and over 100,000 people lined the streets in 85-degree weather to watch 200-plus floats and brightly costumed people make their way down University Avenue to Balboa Park.

Photographer Justin Edelman decided to create a tribute to the event and the hard working people who spend hours upon hours preparing for the parade.

He got clearance to fly his drone high above the parade route, and partnered with Hale Media publisher Johnathan Hale to create this special video project. 

Edelman says that he was excited to record the feeling of life and the bright colors of a crowd completely emboldened with pride after the Orlando attacks. But, he also wanted to document the backstory, something over which he says Hale gave him total artistic freedom.

“As an artist the best work that I do is that without restraints,” Edelman said. “This was something I've seen year-after-year and telling the untold part of the fun everyone experiences, I thought is important. Johnathan gave us the ability to tell the story.”

Hale Media's SDPIX in collaboration with Grant Foreman Fitness and Paris Sukomi Max created a vibrant float which celebrated the unity of the community, complete with angels and mermaids.

Featured in the video is Paris Sukomi Max; a longtime collaborator on projects with SDPIX. She says that this year was especially important to her and the theme "Take Pride in Your Tribe" was heartfelt. 

"It reminded me of my very first Pride experience as a freshman in high school when I looked out into the crowd and realized I'm home," she said.  

She hopes that with everything that went on in the past year, spectators found solace in the parade and saw how the community rises with flying, vibrant, proud colors.

She adds, "My hope for the kids out in the crowd, much like my ninth grade self, is that we were able to show them that who they are is something to be celebrated, that there's more good than bad, and that they are not alone; we are their tribe."

Although the floats may look effortless in their construction, there is a lot of muscle that goes into them and people work tirelessly preparing each one for their parade debut.

In the video Grant Foreman discusses some of the hazards that go into making a pride float, even getting cut by one of the metal slats on the truck, but he says it's all worth it when he sees the hundreds of encouraging people along the route.

"Knowing that I'm a minority," he says, "and that walking hand in hand with my boyfriend draws attention no matter what, having a sea of supportive people around is a feeling hard to describe. I look for that "brotherhood" aspect in most of my interactions in life and during Pride it abounds."

Edelman manages to capture the sentiment of San Diego Pride 2016, which is that the community consists not only of people struggling every day to be accepted, but friends, family and businesses who support them in their journeys.

Paris perhaps says it best when describing her feelings looking at the masses of people that day as she waved from high atop the SDPIX Pride float.  

"They don't even know me, but these are my people, this is my tribe." 

Click on the square to the right of the YouTube logo to expand the video to full screen.