The North County LGBTQ Resource Center’s 11th annual Pride By The Beach Celebration took place Saturday Oct 13th. Despite cloudy skies and cooler temperatures, thousands of attendees and participants joyously celebrated diversity and culture.

In recognition of the recent Columbus Day holiday, the event started with chants and blessings from indigenous American Wendy Schlater and the Kumeyaay Bird Singers. She noted native American longstanding sympathy for the LGBTQ community: “For thousands of years, [indigenous] people never judged anyone by whom they slept with, or what they wore”. In addition, Latin American culture was celebrated with the hip-gyrating Bachata dance from the Dominican Republic.

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were on hand to provide their unique brand of outrageous dialogue and humor. This coming year, the Sisters will celebrate their 40th anniversary. They have chapters in over 65 US cities, as well as in Canada, Australia, and Europe. Sister Nora Torious proclaimed the Sisters mission to “Rid us of that negative messaging we all grow up with that tells us we are not okay…We will not hide who we are, we will celebrate our queerness and everyone who fits into our rainbow”.

This year’s pride event featured TWO performance stages: East-end for the official entertainment, and West-end one for the local community. This extra grandstand provided visitors a chance to sing, perform, and be part of the festival.

Young people were present in large numbers. Kid-themed activities included games with balloons/darts, ping-pong balls/cups and spin-the wheel, beanbag toss, design your own flag, face painting, and tie-dye cloth coloring. Pride by the Beach makes special efforts to provide a carnival event for families to bring children, as well as a safe space for LGBTQ youth to celebrate being themselves.

Event participants included the Lambda Archives, Transfamily Support Services, the Imperial Court, San Diego Pride, Stepping Stone Recovery, Palomar College LGBTQ Pride Center, Gender-Sexuality Alliances from Miracosta College and Carlsbad High School, and the US military (

Neutral Corner participated for the third year in a row with an information booth. We spoke to inquiring passersby about our work in charity and education, and provided copies of our new 2018 yearly report. Many were impressed by the fact we are San Diego’s oldest transgender support group, active since 1987. Special thanks to Veronica and Melanie for booth staffing. Additional thanks to Zander Kieg of the Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) who shared the booth and outreached to both retired and active military.

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