By Dae Elliott | South Bay Alliance
Pride season is almost upon us again! In this time, where many are worried about what may come next and anxious that all of our forward motion toward LGBTQ equality may be lost, it is important to persevere.
South Bay Alliance (SBA) is doing just that and as always, we are keeping busy. The South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival will be held Saturday, Sept. 9, at Bayside Park in Chula Vista, so mark your calendars now. Our vendor/exhibitor applications will be opening up May 1. Great things are afoot.
Engaging LGBTQ youth
Our youth outreach is also going full speed ahead. In February, we had our first movie night with the film, “The Year We Thought About Love,” and this month we had our second movie night, where we screened the film, “Before Stonewall.”
Our youth facilitator, Francisco Garcia of the Industry [see more about The Industry below], along with our youth representative, Liren Gonzalez, have been doing a tremendous job. Even with the record-breaking rain, our youth turned out and had a great time in February.
Liren said they didn’t get to this month’s movie night as they were having too much fun planning for the May Prom that SBA and The Industry are sponsoring for the LGBTQ* youth in South County. They are enjoying getting to know each other, learning about their community and being an active part of making South County more inclusive. We are exceedingly proud of the leadership being shown by our youth here. They definitely are the future leaders! SBA and the Industry have a youth night planned once a month throughout the year.
Note: According to The Industry Facebook page, “The Industry is a sacred space where social justice and the arts join to make a difference. Our mission is to create a community of fellowship in the Chula Vista area centered on genuine connection and honest expression. The Industry is also a progressive faith movement that seeks to live out a distinct Christian witness through LGBTQ solidarity, immigration advocacy, environmental justice, mental health wellness, and sex/human trafficking awareness.”
LGBTQ diversity training
We also continue to provide free LGBTQ* training at various times throughout the year but due to the high interest and response, we will be making our three-hour training Safe Zones training available to businesses and organizations at their location for a small fee of $500, starting in June. This will be limited to about 10 different trainings, to be offered throughout June, July and August. Signups will begin mid-April.
If you are interested in employee diversity training around LGBTQ* issues for your business or organization in the South County area, be on the lookout for the rollout of this great opportunity. Sign up for our mailing list at SouthBayPride.org as we will announce through email first.
In addition to this, we will be starting a resource list of organizations and businesses in the South County area that are LGBTQ*-friendly. This list will be put on our website in July so that the South Bay community can check in advance to see if the business or organization is LGBTQ* friendly.
Obviously all businesses that have gone through the training will be included, but we want to extend this to every business/organization in the South County as a free service. Everyone listed will also receive a palm tree sticker for their window. It is our hope that we will be seeing the palm tree everywhere as a show of solidarity with our community by the many allies we have here.
Help us by going out and having fun
Tiger’s Pictionary has been doing fundraisers for South Bay Pride. A shout out to Tiger and Sister Ida for this weekly fundraiser, which takes place every Wednesday night at #1 Fifth Avenue starting at 7:30 p.m.
We are grateful for their ongoing support. Check it out and enjoy an evening of fun while donating to the community. The next Pictionary night that is dedicated to South Bay Pride is May 31. #1 Fifth Avenue is located at 3845 Fifth Ave., in Hillcrest.
And finally, we are looking for some additional people to fill positions on our board. If you are interested, please email SouthBayAlliance@gmail.com with your resume. This is a volunteer position and an exciting way to be a part of making a difference.
— 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.