NORTH COUNTY PRIDE CELEBRATES STONEWALL 50
The North County LGBTQ Resource Center’s annual Pride By The Beach took place on October 12 at the Oceanside Civic Center Plaza. A combination street festival / social resource fair, the event was supported by the local communities of Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista, and Encinitas. This year’s theme was 50 Years Of Pride, We March On. It commemorated the half-century anniversary of the queer community fightback after a local police raid on New York City’s Stonewall Inn.
The entertainment was inaugurated by the Calpulli Omeyocan Aztec Dancers, with an indigenous blessing by James Trujillo of the La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indian. The ongoing show was emceed by local entertainer Mariam T, dispensing banter and wit. Performers included singer/songwriter Hailey Wild, and drag artistes The Uptown Starlets and American Idol contestant Ada Vox. Live bands, and a special dance tent featuring latin, hip hop and country/western music were other elements of entertainment available.
Social service organizations represented were the American Civil Liberties Union, Community Resource Center (CRC), The Human Rights Campaign, and the San Diego County LGBTQ Latinex coalition. Health organizations included Vista Community Clinic, Planned Parenthood, and the California LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network. And the Transgender community was represented by Transfamily Support Services, The North County Resource Center’s Gender Advocacy Program (GAP), and Neutral Corner.
LGBTQ Youth organizations also tabled. The North County Center’s Project Youth (www.ncresourcecenter.org/project-youth-1) works with local schools to develop their own Gender & Sexuality Alliances (GSA). These student led clubs create safe spaces for gay and transyouth. Several GSAs present included El Camino High School, Pacific Ridge Middle School, and Cesar Chavez Middle School. Project Youth also helps provide genderjunk, transyouth items of need, such as chest binders for transboys or breastforms for transgirls. Every year they have a transyouth salon where they provide free hairstyling and makeup classes. Other youth supporting organizations at the event included The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (www.glsen.org) and North County Lifeline (www.nclifeline.org).
The Church, the police, and the military also had information booths. This year’s Pride featured Holy Cross Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church, the Unitarian Universalists, and Welcome Home Catholics. The Oceanside Police and San Diego Police representatives were on hand to cordially answer questions. And the US Army recruiting center offered resources for those exploring enlistment options.
Some of the T-shirts of attendees offered their own special pride messages: We are all Human, Build Bridges Not Walls, No pride for some of us without liberation for all of us, We Will Not Let Hate Win, and Stonewall 1969-First Pride was a Riot.