Happy Pride!

For one weekend each year in San Diego, tens of thousands of people come together in celebration of everyone's right to live and love as their hearts direct. Pride weekend represents something that I'm grateful for and as an ally this is an opportunity to share why I find the weekend so special.

Eight years ago I drifted into the office of Lambda Archives and decided to do a PowerPoint presentation called "celebrating our shared history." It was a recognition of what San Diego's LGBTQ community has meant as a part of the fabric of San Diego's overall history. When you recognize that fully 40% of America's homeless youth are LGBTQ despite only being 7% of the population, it quickly becomes clear how much many LGBTQ leaders and members of our community had to overcome to lead their lives in peace. I learned about State Senator Chris Kehoe's rise to become a leader on our City Council and about the important historic role the LGBT Center has played in creating a safe place for people to come together, and I was so moved by the project that I joined the Board of Lambda Archives to help support the monetary and administrative needs that enable us to preserve an important aspect of San Diego's history. That experience, along with seeing people I love finally be free and happy in their own love, is a big part of the reason I find Pride weekend to be such a special time.

This year, I'll join friends and walk with Democrats for Equality in the Parade. As we walk along the route I'll celebrate how far our community has come in recognizing everyone's right to love according to the dictates of their hearts.  I will also remember the many youth that we must better protect so that they can grow up and live fully and peacefully in this community as well. Happy Pride!

Omar Passons