Max Disposti | North County Update
On Oct. 11 — National Coming Out Day — North County Pride will celebrate its seventh years of pride-related activities.
Like our cousins of the South (Bay), there are so many reasons to be visible in areas where being LGBT is still a struggle. While the 200,000 marchers in the San Diego Gay Pride Parade may give the impression of an already achieved state of gayness, here in the North, South and East Counties visibility is a true effort.
The season of pride celebrations around the county is a boost to our local youth and something that will support them for the rest of the year, when they feel all alone and there are no other places to celebrate who they are.
This is also why Pride By The Beach this year has decided to become even more visible — we are “taking it to the streets” of Oceanside, and we are asking the local business community to display our rainbow flags outside their stores. The City of Oceanside is officially sponsoring the event and because we are in downtown, more people are expected to come, and entrance to the festival will be free.
Not many folks understand that our local pride celebrations are often 100 percent organized by volunteers. Our Pride Director Shannon Rose has taken the task to lead this year’s Pride very seriously and so have the many volunteers that are supporting her.
Prides are not just parades or festivals, they make our communities better, they make change a possibility and they show the existence of a community that can thrive. We have experienced these changes since opening our own LGBT Resource Center in Oceanside. Our families feel more comfortable to come out, young LGBT couples are finally seen everywhere and our service members are not as shy as they used to be.
So if you have not yet planned your Coming Out day, I hope you decide to spend it with us and all those kids and other folks who really need your support and solidarity.
Catch the Coaster if you want and make it a fun day at the beach, you never know, you might just really like it.
—Max Disposti is a human rights activist, a community organizer and the founder and executive director of the North County LGBTQ Resource Center. He currently serves as a board member on the Oceanside City Library and Main Street Oceanside, and he previously served on Oceanside’s Community Relations Commission. He can be reached at email@example.com.