December 2, 2023

San Diego kicked off its Delight Week on Saturday with She Fest. Native and state leaders quoted Dolly Parton and President John F. Kennedy to set the temper.

State Senate President Professional Tem Toni Atkins spoke about widespread animosity towards the LGBTQ neighborhood and thought the nation singer’s nationwide billboards — “Discover the Good in Everyone. Kindness” — carried a becoming message.

Additionally referencing an anti-gay and anti-trans local weather, she quoted the slain president as saying, “The worth of freedom is everlasting vigilance.”

However the environment on the ninth annual occasion close to the Delight Flag in Hillcrest centered on friendship, acceptance and making connections.

“It’s simply wonderful,” mentioned She Fest co-chair Zaide Jurado, who loved seeing pleased individuals really feel a way of dwelling with others amid the music and meals.

All year long, she mentioned, her committee gives workshops and actions reminiscent of the favored queer speed-friending.

The group helps space members socialize, join and construct neighborhood to satisfy their wants and help LGBTQ+ ladies and nonbinary individuals. In addition they pair with teams to supply help programs that individuals might have.

San Diego Delight continues with “Gentle Up the Cathedral” at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral at 7 p.m. Wednesday; Delight Block Occasion at 4 p.m. Thursday and a couple of p.m. Friday; the Delight Parade at 10 a.m. Saturday at College Avenue and Regular Streets; and the delight pageant at Sixth and Laurel starting at 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

She Fest is the signature occasion of the 12 months to focus on LGBTQ enterprise and leisure.

San Diego Councilwoman Jen Campbell hailed a “fantastic day for all the ladies within the LGBT neighborhood.” ”

Regardless of political and cultural opposition from some sectors of society, “you’ve received to maintain hope as a result of now we have been by so a few years of combating,” she informed Instances of San Diego. “We lastly received our rights — a few of them — and now now we have to battle to maintain them.”

Post-It notes at She Fest.
Submit-It notes at She Fest. Photograph by Chris Stone

A state proposition will likely be placed on the poll to nullify Proposition 8, the 2008 measure banning homosexual marriage (however overturned by the courts), Campbell mentioned.

“We’ve received to get it out of there as a result of we’ve received to maintain California robust,” she mentioned. “Now we have to maintain combating ceaselessly.”

Atkins informed the group that extra that anti LGBTQ+ payments exceed 500 throughout the nation, however not in California.

“We’re right here to have a good time us, every considered one of us in our unbelievable, stunning variety,” mentioned Atkins, who on Saturday was performing governor. “That’s what makes our neighborhood robust.”

California has led the way in which on gender-affirming laws, she mentioned — “a beacon for thus many.”

Atkins mentioned state LGBTQ+ supportive acts had been written as a result of that neighborhood’s members are “on the desk.”

In her Virginia upbringing, Atkins mentioned, she attended Bible-related actions ceaselessly and discovered “good individuals exist all over the place, no matter our faith, the colour of our pores and skin … and it’s as much as us to unfold the message of affection and kindness.”

Earlier than the speech, Atkins mentioned in an interview that she thought the Republican Occasion was utilizing LGBTQ+ individuals for political achieve.

“You understand, now we have such an unbelievable neighborhood, and the truth that there could be a lot hate directed at our trans siblings and youngsters,” Atkins mentioned. “It simply pains me as a result of we had come to this point. We had been making strides, and that is such a backlash towards our unbelievable neighborhood.”

Colors of Pride and She Fest.
Delight flags of various colours had been bought at She Fest. Photograph by Chris Stone

However Atkins believes animosity towards homosexual individuals will fail in the long run as a result of increasingly more individuals are accepting of the LGBTQ+ neighborhood.

“We’ll beat it again,” she mentioned. “We are going to.”

Atkins remembers that when she got here out homosexual to her mother and father in that conservative a part of the nation, they didn’t perceive it, however “they beloved me.”

“I sustain my spirits as a result of I do know there are individuals like my mother and pop on the market,” Atkins informed Instances of San Diego. “I do know that we exist in all corners of this nation.”

She Fest co-chair Jurado mentioned of her neighborhood: “I believe that it’s a protected house. It’s a protected house for me. It’s discovering dwelling.”

With tears in her eyes, she added: “It’s discovering someplace I belong … and I’m making a distinction.”