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Posted: May 1st, 2015 | Columns, Featured, South Bay Alliance | No Comments

By Dae Elliott | South Bay Alliance

South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival has a new entertainment coordinator; everyone welcome William Felix to the team. William holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and hopes to pursue a juris doctor degree in the near future.

Dae Elliott, President South Bay Alliance

Dae Elliott, President South Bay Alliance

His experience last year as entertainment coordinator with San Diego Pride, along with being a longtime resident of Chula Vista makes William a perfect addition to our great team here at South Bay Pride.

Growing up and attending Chula Vista High School has given him a special insight into some of the struggles our youth face. When discussing why he wanted to be a part of South Bay Pride, William voiced what many of the LGBT youth feel here in the South Bay.

“I did not have the proper support while growing up in this region,” he said. “This made it difficult to come out in my teens and live a proud life as a gay Chicano. I knew about the LGBT Center and LGBT friendly areas like Hillcrest, but they were unfamiliar to me.”

The need to extend the supportive environment felt in the Hillcrest area is paramount to meeting the needs of the youth, but also, of continuing the move towards LGBTQ equality. South Bay Pride has always worked to be inclusive and represent the specialness of the South Bay.

“What makes the South Bay region a wonderful place to call home is its rich diversity,” William said.

We wholeheartedly agree.

“I am proud to work with the South Bay Pride family of volunteers to showcase at this year’s Art & Music Festival how the LGBTQ community adds to this rich diversity,” he said. “I believe we succeed when we put on an entertainment experience our family and diverse neighbors enjoy, while at the same time promote dignity and equality for all people in the South Bay region.”

In addition, we are proud to announce that the Tidelands Activation Program Advisory Committee has recommended an increase in the Unified Port District’s support of South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival as a great way to encourage the economic development of and investment in the South Bay.

The South Bay is a hidden jewel that encompasses the many communities such as Coronado, National City, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, San Ysidro and South San Diego and is one of, if not the last, undeveloped waterfront areas in California. The increase in support will allow South Bay Pride to extend the number of both vendor/exhibitors and artists to the celebration, as well as make use of the great beach and Chula Vista harbor at Bayside Park with even more water sports.

The move to Bayside Park will also give us more parking and greater access to public transportation. Many past attendees of South Bay Pride have discovered what an amazing area this is and much of our growth has been through our returning attendees telling their friends.

Our expectation to break 10,000 attendees is only limited by our ability to get the word out. Everyone help us with this by posting the event on social media through Facebook and Twitter.

But also, be an even greater help in making a difference and keeping this event FREE by visiting our website at southbaypride.org and donating. For your tax-deductible donation of $20 or more, we will give you a VIP parking pass and list your name as a “Friend of Pride” on our webpage.

Show your support, give now, and keep this FREE Pride going for all of those that cannot afford to contribute but still need the LGBT community to be there and visible in order to break down the barriers to equality and acceptance. It is only through you that we can continue to grow.

— 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 southbayalliance@gmail.com.

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