Locals Took Pride in the LGBTQ+ Community
By Robert Bernstein
Pacific Pride hosted their annual celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ+) Pride at Chase Palm Park on Saturday. Unlike last year, there was no march before the rally.
Here are all of my photos from the Saturday event!
The first order of business when I arrived was to get some food before the rally began. The main food service was "Flip Side Filipino Fusion" from Ventura. It was OK, but not as good as what I get at home!
The rally kicked off around 12:15 with music and short speeches by LGBTQ youth.
The organizers were kind to provide chairs for seating near the stage
Of course there were plenty of rainbows all around
Next on stage was an affirmation of Pride where local residents expressed their personal association with sexual identity,
A point was made about bisexuality that this is a matter of pride, rather than a matter of ambivalence about being gay vs straight.
A member of the Bucket Brigade spoke about the importance of coming together as a community
People listened attentively to these speakers
Many of the speakers posed for a group photo
Then it was time for various elected officials to speak. Starting with Ethan Bertrand - Board President at Isla Vista Community Services District (IVCSD)
Bertrand talked about several hate crimes that have occurred in Isla Vista. He also talked about the verbal assault that occurred to him while he was walking on State Street. It was from landlord James Gelb who reportedly has agreed to plead guilty to disturbing the peace charges.
A number of speakers noted that since the election of Trump as president there has been an increase of hate speech and action in general.
Congressional Representative Salud Carbajal, State Senator Hannah Beth Jackson and State Assembly Member Monique Limón posed for a photo before going on stage to speak
Supervisor Das Williams talked about the Montecito disasters that occurred in his district. He noted that climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of such disasters. He also noted that this is not just affecting us locally, but that it is creating more climate refugees globally.
Congressional Representative Salud Carbajal spoke about President Trump's attempt to prevent transgender citizens from serving in the military. As a military veteran of the Marines, Carbajal takes this very personally.
The Anti-Defamation League fights discrimination of all sorts. Their speaker explained that Trump's divisiveness has given permission to hate groups of all sorts to be more open in their hate and divisiveness. She warned that if one group is targeted for hatred, that hatred easily spreads to other groups. Which is why everyone must stand together.
State Assembly Member Monique Limón praised Assembly Bill 2943 which targets so-called "conversion therapy". "Conversion therapy" is based on the theory that people who are gay or transgender can be "converted" to being straight. All evidence indicates this theory is incorrect and that such "conversion" is not possible. This bill would treat it as a form of consumer fraud.
State Senator Hannah Beth Jackson was brief, noting that the other speakers did an excellent job of covering the key points. But she said that people accuse her of just hating Trump. She is very quick to say that, yes, she hates what Trump is doing to our country. Creating divisions that had already healed in the past.
A speaker from Planned Parenthood explained that Trump has done worse than just his divisive rhetoric. His appointments have done material harm. She mentioned Pompeo, Brownback and Kavanaugh in particular
After the rally began a series of musical performances called "Love Period"
This was the start of a long entertainment schedule that continued into early evening
There were also plenty of information and sales booths and other fun activities