Nicole’s 40th Pride weekendBottom Highlights, Conversations with the Mayor of Hillcrest Thursday, July 24th, 2014
Commentary: Conversations with the Mayor of Hillcrest
This 40th anniversary of San Diego Pride was an extra special weekend for those of us who marched in 1974. From the refusal to issue a march permit by the Police Dept., because we were “deviants” to our Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman marching with us this year with almost 100 police officers including gay and lesbian cops!
From then Mayor Pete Wilson refusing to recognize that there were “homosexual San Diegans” and refusing to even meet with GLBT leaders while in office, to our Mayor Kevin Faulconer (national co-chair, Mayors for Equality) walking the whole route to cheering crowds.
From our very own Democratic State Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, to Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari in his first Pride parade.
My Pride week began last Wednesday night, with dinner with the youngest Pride co-chairs ever elected, Romer De Los Santos and Tiffany Gonzalez at Heat Restaurant. The morning before I was at the Gaslamp where our Mayor Faulconer made history by raising the first Rainbow flag to go up downtown for Pride week.
Then it was time for media interviews. (I liked KNSD TV 7 and CW TV 6 the best.) I talked about Vietnam War activist Jess Jessop and Attorney Tom Homann (1974 Pride co-founders) who both died of AIDS – and what great activists they were.
In fact, as many of you know, I had a special banner made with the names of GLBT activists who have passed these last 40 years that was unfolded while I spoke at the Stonewall Rally … “We stand on their shoulders.”
Friday morning, I had breakfast at Harvey Milk’s American Diner with Russell Roybal (deputy director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force). Then I started writing my speech for the Pride rally, which brought back many memories as I also spoke at the first one decades ago. I wish to most sincerely thank the so many of you who reached out to me the entire weekend about my speech. Your kind remarks touched this old queen’s heart, especially the many GLBT youth who spoke to me.
I thought Laverne Cox gave a great speech which was well received, but for me it was emcee Fernando Lopez’s personal family remarks that touched me the most. The raising of the flag with a most remarkable singer’s rendition of “True Colors” brought tears to my eyes.
I marched with Mayor Kevin Faulconer and over 100 supporters, both gay and straight, and our beautiful first lady Katherine Faulconer. Did you know that she is one of only two first ladies’ in San Diego’s history to march in our parade?
Walking with us were City Councilwoman Lorie Zapf and future Councilman Chris Kate. I walked the whole route and so did AIDS Walk founder Susan Jester; we were worn out and thankfully the Faulconers and Police Chief Zimmerman took me right home so I could rest.
Next day, former Councilman Carl DeMaio picked me up and we went to the festival where Stephen Whitburn (Pride executive director) greeted us. Carl told me that he also thought the Rainbow flag raising was his weekend highlight. Carl DeMaio and I spent some time at the Children’s Garden where founder Carolina Ramos gave us a wonderful tour. Over 400 children participated this year.
The first Trans Pride March was also a huge success … congratulations to all.
Immigrant children fundraiser this Friday
A GLBT fundraiser has been set for the immigrant children and families sent here and now staying in San Diego. This Friday, July 25 (5:30-8 p.m.) at Saigon on Fifth in Hillcrest. It’s a birthday party for popular gay civic leader Bruce Abrams. In lieu of gifts checks, donations to Border Angels or stuffed animals, diapers, toys, books etc. For more information: 619-692-1967.
Your hosts: Todd Gloria, Carolina Ramos, Larry Baza, Rabbi Laurie Coskey, Mayor’s GLBT Advisory Board, the Imperial Court and little ole me!
Stuart Milk at The Center, Aug. 14
Mark your calendar for Thursday, Aug. 14 at our LGBT Center, 6 p.m., for a most exciting GLBT global update by world traveler and internationally recognized gay activist Stuart Milk.
Among the co-hosts are: The Center, Mayor’s GLBT Advisory Board, Greater San Diego Business Association, San Diego Pride, Human Dignity Foundation, Imperial Court, Sherriff’s GLBT Advisory Board, GLBT Task Force, Equality California, N.G.L.T.F., Metropolitan Community Church, North County GLBT Center and many more.
Nicole Murray Ramirez has been an award-winning columnist since 1973, and a Latino and gay activist for more than 45 years. He is currently a city commissioner and has served the last seven mayors of San Diego. He is also a national board member of the Harvey Milk Foundation and chairman of the International Court Council of the USA, Canada and Mexico. In 2013 Murray Ramirez was named “Mayor of Hillcrest” by a City proclamation. Nicolemrsandiego@aol.com
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