Skip to comments.Changes in San Diego reflected in today's Pride Parade, Festival
Posted on 07/18/2009 6:40:58 PM PDT by TheDon
San Diego Pride Parade
When: 11 a.m. today
Where: University Avenue at Normal Street to Sixth Avenue at Upas Street
San Diego Pride Festival
When: From noon to 10 p.m. today, and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow
Where: Balboa Park, Sixth Avenue at Juniper Street
Festival admission: $20 each day
Hillcrest Community Cleanup
When: 7 a.m. Monday
Where: Park Boulevard at University Avenue
The hundreds of San Diegans who marched for gay rights in the mid-1970s walked through a city largely indifferent, even antagonistic, to the cause.
What strides they have made.
Today, up to 9,000 people will take part in the San Diego Pride Parade, including the mayor, police chief and seven of the eight City Council members. Organizers are expecting 175,000 spectators from across the country and as far away as Australia, Germany and Britain.
While San Diego's parade may never be as big as those in San Francisco or Los Angeles, there are many signs of how San Diego has changed into a city in the forefront of the campaign for gay rights.
In November, in the days after California voted to ban same-sex marriage, the largest protest in the nation occurred in San Diego. More than 20,000 people marched, double any other city's turnout.
The size of San Diego's crowd came as a surprise to many, including Cleve Jones, the gay rights activist and lecturer who founded the AIDS Memorial Quilt and was an intern for slain San Francisco supervisor and gay icon Harvey Milk. Jones is the grand marshal of today's parade and several others around the country.
He called San Diego a sleeping giant in the gay movement.
What's happening in San Diego is very exciting and is in some ways unique, Jones said.
But you see similar things happening around the country, where the front line of the struggle for LGBT equality has really moved from San Francisco and West Hollywood to communities that were originally considered too conservative for much progress to be made.
Max Disposti said he still won't reach for his husband's hand on the streets of Oceanside, but longtime San Diegan Vern Miller has seen a greater acceptance develop.
Fifty years ago, Miller wouldn't answer the phone where he and his boyfriend, Ray Wooding, lived in San Diego to avoid making waves for him at work. Today, the couple will be honored in the parade.
Before, you had to be careful of where you were, what you said, Miller recalled. Now the air isn't as heavy, shall we say.
The huge turnout at the November rally helped to change San Diego's image, along with Mayor Jerry Sanders' tearful 2007 turnaround in support of gay marriage, when he said he could not deny his lesbian daughter the right to marry.
And partly because Republicans have lost their longtime voter registration edge to Democrats, San Diego saw a greater swing in voter support for same-sex marriage between related ballot measures in 2000 and 2008 than either San Francisco or Los Angeles, two cities commonly considered more gay-friendly.
San Diego has a long history of lesbians in public office. Republican District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis was the first openly gay person in the nation elected to a top prosecuting job in 2002. Christine Kehoe and Toni Atkins, both Democrats, served two terms each on the City Council, and Kehoe is now a state senator.
Tracy Jarman was, until recently, the city's first gay fire chief.
Now, gay activists are pleased to note the city has two gay men Democrat Todd Gloria and Republican Carl DeMaio on the council for the first time.
Of the entire council, only Councilman Tony Young declined to take part in today's parade.
Generally, gays and lesbians credit their new clout to an influx of young supporters, backing from local officials, swift digital communication and the same-sex marriage fight that has led people to pick sides.
Despite such advances, many local gays and lesbians, and their friends and families, remain concerned about setbacks and afraid of reprisal.
La Mesa Councilwoman Ruth Sterling recently retracted her earlier praise for San Diego Pride's annual celebration, saying she was shocked and shaken to my core to learn of the lewd and lascivious behavior and unconscionable activities portrayed.
More hurtful is the occasional violence. In 1999, panic ensued when someone threw a tear-gas canister into the parade. Three years ago, assailants wielding a baseball bat and a knife attacked six men after the festival.
The local gay community is also concerned that over the past two months, a musician who'd been kissing her girlfriend was beaten outside a Mission Beach club, and a man holding a rainbow flag at a rally in Lemon Grove was assaulted.
Gay activists are demanding full investigations into an incident involving sheriff's deputies at the Cardiff home of two lesbians holding a political fundraiser, and the murder of a gay sailor at Camp Pendleton, although the circumstances of both cases remain hazy.
The Sheriff's Department has defended its June 26 response to a noise complaint and said it had nothing to do with anyone's sexual orientation; and Navy investigators say no evidence of a hate crime has surfaced in the sailor's June 30 killing.
The more clear-cut incidents left local musician Rhythm Turner with facial fractures, and Ron deHarte, the head of parade organizer San Diego Pride, backing away from slaps and kicks at a rally.
This level of violence is just ongoing, said Jones. That is part of what is fueling our anger and our determination.
DeHarte said those incidents and in Turner's case, a YouTube video where she describes the attack heighten awareness and activism.
When we assemble during Pride weekend, we assemble with a unified voice, deHarte said. We call out for acceptance, and we call out for equality. Even if some people only feel comfortable doing that one weekend out of the year, this is the weekend to do that.
I wonder how much “pride” will be presented consisting of leather S$M outfits and people led around on dog collars.
Talk about getting screwed up the.....
Lol! I thought it was funny that this gay parade was taking place beginning at Normal Street. Then I came to the other street name. You've got to be kidding me! ROTFLOL!!!!
Ah well, I hope all the gals and their husbians had a lovely parade.
*Still cracking up about Upas Street*
From those wonderful people who gave you Andrew Cunanan.
That’s SO funny. Thanks for sharing.
lol...good catch. They start at Normal and end at Upass.
Take your pride and shove it, pervs.
The Same Garbage as Usual will go on ,
Kids on Floats with Trannys,
Dogs with ‘Rainbow’ scarfs,
Flamers dressed as ‘Wonder Women’
PreOPS as ‘Cher’
Sunday Morning Hangovers with an unknown condom,
Just about the LOVE !
How appropriate! (You just can't make this stuff up folks!)
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Don't tempt them...they'll do it. This thread is killing me! Bwaaaaaaaahhhahahahah!!
And the mother of all things gay:
I have to believe deep in their minds they know its wrong
They can have jobs, careers, education, housing, parades and all things any citizen has except call their perverted unions marriages. How about showing America some gratitude that the GLBT crowd gets to live here in freedom. I'm so sick of their selfish demands! Practice their sexuality in the privacy of the bedrooms like the rest of America and don't flaunt it publicly in our faces! Eff them pervs!
Of course they know it’s wrong. The truth to them, is like Kryptonite to Superman, and they react like vampires seeing a cross!
Meanwhile, they make every attempt, with the help of degenerate politicians pandering, to revoke the rights of the rest of America, including those most innocent among us, America's children.
What is it about anal sex that makes one so “proud”? Is it really such an accomplishment?
Imagine having parades to convince yourself how proud you are of your deviancy.
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