By Dae Elliott | South Bay Alliance
We celebrated the one year anniversary of marriage equality recently in stark contrast to the feelings we have experienced surrounding the Orlando Pulse tragedy and the ongoing increases of both hate speech as well as hate crimes such as the murders of our trans* siblings.
As much as we wanted to breathe that moment of victory surrounding marriage equality, many of us recognize that it was one battle in the long ongoing culture clash that will hopefully end with deconstruction of our current heteronormativity and heterosexism.
This year’s Pride season is even more poignant due to those many reminders that our struggles have not ended. My heart goes out to the victims, their families and loved ones who have been impacted by the Orlando shootings.
Many are feeling that fear again that we so wanted to leave behind. Yet, with courage and resolution, we are stepping out to claim our human right to exist, be respected and feel safe as we live authentic lives.
This is the purpose of Pride, recognizing all of our diversity and embracing each of them as an essential and vibrant part of our community. As Audre Lorde spoke so eloquently 30 years ago, “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”
With that in mind, South Bay Pride is starting a tradition of selecting an artist who represents and affirms our diverse LGBTQ community.
We are proud to announce our featured LGBTQ artist for this year’s celebration is Sergio Cabrera.
Sergio is producing our custom South Bay Pride poster art. The original artwork will be raffled on the day of South Bay Pride and Sergio will be there to sign your posters as well as display his other artwork. He has been painting and creating since he was 6 years old, initially drawing Disney characters and other cartoons over the years. He then began to do more portrait art, adding his unique touch by putting a glitter background or adding Swarovski crystals to it.
“I’m influenced by Frida [Kahlo] a lot,” Sergio said. “She expressed everything in her art and I hope to can do the same with my art.”
Is that not the very essence of what we hope all of us in some way can feel able to do?
I also want to thank our very own Joe Burke, as well as the many others that made our recent partnering with San Ysidro Health Center for outreach and free HIV testing in the South Bay during HIV Testing Week such a success.
It is wonderful to see expanded access to testing throughout our community and to be a part of making it happen.
South Bay Alliance continues to expand their partnerships in the South Bay, working collaborating with the goal of making our community stronger, safer and healthier.
Our “Show Your Colors” program continues to provide our palm tree logo stickers to all South Bay organizations and businesses requesting one, so that they can display it and let the LGBTQ community know that they are welcome.
If you haven’t received your sticker yet, come by our booth at the San Diego Pride Festival, July 16 and 17, at Marston Point in Balboa Park to grab one.
Happy Pride San Diego!
— Dae Elliott is a founding executive committee member and the current executive director of South Bay Alliance, a 501(c)3 nonprofit and organizer of the annual South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.