Spirit of Stonewall recipients an example in serving community
Each year, the San Diego Pride organization honors several people, organizations and groups for their contributions to the community, whether that be volunteering, donations, leadership, activism or, for the first time this year, in the arts. These honorees are nominated by the community and selected by Pride.
“Since Pride’s first permitted march in 1975, we honor 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,” said Pride Executive Director Fernando López. “Our LGBTQ community is under attack across this country. Honoring our heroes and connecting ourselves to our history, reminds us all that we are still not equal under the law and drives us to pursue justice with joy.”
The awards will be distributed at the Spirit of Stonewall rally. The annual rally kicks off Pride weekend on Friday, July 16 at 6 p.m. at The Hillcrest Pride Flag (1500 University Ave.) and commemorates the Stonewall Riots of 1969, when the LGBTQ community fought back against state-sanctioned police violence and discrimination. Hosted by the Hillcrest Business Association and held in conjunction with the annual Pride of Hillcrest Block Party, this year’s rally will be a scaled back, in-person event and streamed online.
This award goes to an individual who does not identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community but who has stalwartly supported the LGBTQ+ community. Nathan Fletcher, Chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, was honored for using his elected position to advocate for the rights of LGBTQ+ people.
“I am honored to be recognized by San Diego Pride as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. To make real progress, it requires intentional action by privileged individuals, and I proudly use my platform as an elected official to support and uplift the LGBTQ+ community,” Fletcher said in an email.
While in the California State Assembly, he delivered a speech on ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy and voted to end it as well. He was also the officiant of the first sam-sex marriage ceremony to take place in County Chambers. While serving the County, he has led events with LGBTQ+ county employees and pushed for the County Administration Center (CAC) to be lit up for Transgender Day of Remembrance and Visibility. In 2020, the county flew the Pride Flag above the CAC for the first time.
“As an ally, I championed many LGBTQ+ firsts including flying the pride flag at county facilities. This year, the Progress Flag will fly at the County Administration Center for the first time and the building will be lit in rainbow colors in celebration for the longest time ever. The continued marginalization of LGBTQ+ folks here in San Diego and elsewhere necessitates the value of visibility. However, we also recognize as an office that while these powerful symbols of support are important, they must be accompanied by actions which truly create equity for all LGBTQ+ folks here in San Diego County,” Fletcher said.
The increased visibility of LGBTQ+ people from the county comes as the Board of Supervisors switched from being Republican led to Democrat.
“I make a conscious effort to amplify LGBTQ+ community members. With our new board, there is even greater amplification of LGBTQ+ values, and later this year I will introduce a policy to ensure cultural competency is present in our contracting processes – this is the result of feedback my office directly received from LGBTQ+ leaders,” Fletcher said. “I am proud of the progress we have made, but there is more work to do, and I am committed to doing it.”
All awardees will be honored at the Spirit of Stonewall Rally on Friday, July 16. READ MORE