Pacific Pride March and Rally

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Pacific Pride March and Rally
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By Robert Bernstein

Pacific Pride hosted an annual celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) pride at Chase Palm Park. But this year they added a "Visibility March" down State Street as well.

Here are all of my photos from the Saturday events!

At 10 AM people gathered in De La Guerra Plaza and heard talks by elected officials and LGBTQ leaders.


Isla Vista Community Services District Board President Ethan Bertrand spoke as Goleta City Council member Kyle Richards looked on:

Other elected officials in attendance included Supervisor Das Williams, Supervisor Janet Wolf, Senator Hannah Beth Jackson, Assembly Member Monique Limon, Mayor Helene Schneider, Congress Member Salud Carbajal, SB City Council Members/Mayor candidates Cathy Murillo and Bendy White, Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley and many of them spoke.

Salud Carbajal read the famous poem by German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984):

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

President Trump had spoken at the Republican Convention last year about LGBTQ inclusiveness. But he recently went on the attack, calling for a ban of transgender people serving in the military. This helped fuel concern and the need to rally

Solstice Artist In Residence Laura Smith was in attendance. The Visibility March was organized by Patrick Lyra Lanier (PPF LGBTQ+ Program Manager), Jordan Killebrew, Tyson Halseth, Ethan Bertrand, and Jackie Van Lingen (PPF Development and Events Manager).

And the younger generation was there as well

A number of corporate sponsors were there to show support and turned out their straight and LGBTQ employees for the occasion. My (straight) neighbor Theresa (R) was part of a large contingent from the Carpinteria office of Linked In showing support:

Many other straight people were there to show solidarity and support, including my dental hygienist Stacey and her family

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union UFCW 770 was there in solidarity

Many speakers talked of the need to emphasize rights for Transgender people as a group that has especially been targeted for hate and that has been left out of discussion in the past. Right on time at 11AM the march left De La Guerra Plaza, led by a pair of Transgender women:

and they continued to lead the march all the way down State Street

and into Chase Palm Park

The State Street march was low key, remaining on the sidewalk

Monitors gave the GO or STOP signal as needed

Only a few police were in attendance to help with traffic safety

The mood was festive and calm as hundreds strolled down State Street to Cabrillo








And into Chase Palm Park



Where marchers were greeted by a chorus

In the park were more speakers

and booths from a wide range of organizations, including the Unitarian Society

Congregation B'nai Brith and Trinity Episcopal Church


and lots more



And, of course, food!

And DJ Darla Bea showed up to spin tunes

I was thrilled to see this Star Trek fan with a rainbow logo

Star Trek star George Takei is one of the most famous LGBTQ figures, but Star Trek founder Gene Roddenberry made inclusiveness of all sentient beings his central theme. There are many struggles ahead, but seeing mainstream corporations like Kroger in official attendance gives me hope that we are moving forward and there will be no turning back.


[Editors Note: An earlier version of this article inaccurately identified Laura Smith as an organizer of the Visibility March.]

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Roger Aug 28, 2017 07:32 PM
Pacific Pride March and Rally

My gal Belinda was bisexual she loved women more than men her family treated her like crap so I became her family love aien't about sex either just sayin.

REX OF SB Aug 29, 2017 12:06 AM
Pacific Pride March and Rally

Roger, you have that EXACTLY right! Bless you for being there for Belinda. It never ceases to amaze me how terribly some families treat each other. Belinda was fortunate to have you.

420722 Aug 28, 2017 05:32 PM
Pacific Pride March and Rally

Those that don't get why these marches are important are those whose sexuality has never been threatened. I can't believe someone could get upset or question these events but then again I can't believe where we are in 2017 either. We are repeating history, the bad parts!

Flicka Aug 28, 2017 03:03 PM
Pacific Pride March and Rally

MESARATS and REX got it right. And, Resident, Pride is being proud of who you are, not needing to hide it as in the past. Granted, there are evil thinking people out there who would have all homosexuals (and anyone not a WASP) deported or jailed or something, but those of us who are more enlightened and non-bigoted can be supportive. While you, Resident, by your own admission are no spring chicken, REX and I aren't either. We remember the horror it was for homosexuals who didn't dare admit to it.

sbrobert Aug 28, 2017 02:55 PM
Pacific Pride March and Rally

Thank you Flicka, Roger, MesaRats, Rex, EastBeach, Jazzee and others for the very thoughtful words about the event, about the situation for LGBTQ people and about my photos and article. One good indicator of how much hatred is directed to LGBTQ people? Suicide rates. The Trevor Project offers a national hotline and database for LGBTQ people. Here are a few statistics from their site http://www.thetrevorproject.org/pages/facts-about-suicide : The rate of suicide attempts is 4 times greater for LGB youth and 2 times greater for questioning youth than that of straight youth. In a national study, 40% of transgender adults reported having made a suicide attempt. 92% of these individuals reported having attempted suicide before the age of 25. Each episode of LGBT victimization, such as physical or verbal harassment or abuse, increases the likelihood of self-harming behavior by 2.5 times on average. If you are not a member of a hated group, you may never understand what it is like. But you can at least try to understand. And you can do your best to speak out when you hear "jokes" or other comments that promote hate or minimize the fear that LGBTQ people live under. According to Merriam-Webster, pride is "a reasonable or justifiable self-respect". Best wishes, Robert

Roger Aug 28, 2017 10:55 AM
Pacific Pride March and Rally

What is the big deal I think this is a beautiful thing people out there being who they are without feeling like they have to hide everyone should feel free to celebrate who they are without being shamed by others and their angry insanity...

EastBeach Aug 28, 2017 10:19 AM
Pacific Pride March and Rally

Robert, another informative article and great photos to boot. Well done.

Resident Aug 28, 2017 07:31 AM
Pacific Pride March and Rally

I have to admit that I don't understand all of this. Why is it "Pride?" What does pride have to do with their sexuality - it just is what it is. Are heterosexual people supposed to be proud of their sexuality also? I have known homosexual people my entire life, all 8 decades of it, and we had no problem getting along with each other. Only in the past several years has it become a reason to don bizarre costumes and parade and demonstrate as depicted here. And I have no idea of what our local "leaders" mean with the "Pride = Resist" signs. Just going along to pander for votes I guess. Strange happeneings for sure.

Resident Aug 28, 2017 02:00 PM
Pacific Pride March and Rally

Mesarats, I understand that and have seen it during my lifetime. I had two friends, a couple for many years, that had no next-of-kin rights when the time came, etc. BUT there are ways to fix that and some of the other discriminatory practices other than marching in outlandish costumes and so on as now seems to be the norm. And "pride" isn't the opposite of shame; as defined it is "a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements." Being born a homosexual isn't "one's own accomplishment. It just is who he/she is. There is a secondary definition of pride as "the quality of having an excessively high opinion of oneself or one's importance." Could that be it?

Mesarats Aug 28, 2017 10:00 AM
Pacific Pride March and Rally

RESIDENT. Historically hiding the fact of being queer, was the norm not the exception. Many had to live a lie if they wanted to keep their job, not be disowned by their family, ostracized by the community or become a target for violence. No options for the social and even financial benefits of marriage. Together 20-30 years and not considered next of kin, or spousal transfer of property upon death. It has not disappeared completely, we still have people like Rick Santorum spewing hate and people sending their kids to gay conversation therapy. Having to pretend to be a different person than you are due to the shaming of others is not a way to live. Pride is the opposite of shame ,and visibility is the opposite of being in hiding.

REX OF SB Aug 28, 2017 09:22 AM
Pacific Pride March and Rally

RESIDENT: The difference is that gays in the US (and elsewhere) until only recently have been denied opportunities in employment, housing, health care, marriage and other things that heterosexuals take for granted. Over the past couple of decades, huge advances were made to correct this inequality, and at the same time, public attitude toward gays started to change for the better, as people started to realize that gays were no threat to them. When the current president campaigned, he promised that he wouldn't meddle with gay rights—a promise he very soon broke. As gays see their rights threatened and taken away, they are taking to the streets and protesting. In the early days of Gay Pride celebrations, the events were mainly festive and took on a party atmosphere. But with the very real fear today that gay rights are being stripped—which they are—gays are making their voices heard loudly and clearly. This tactic worked at the Stonewall Bar in NYC in 1969, and hopefully it will work again before the Great Cheetoh incites even more mischief.

Mesarats Aug 27, 2017 09:40 PM
Pacific Pride March and Rally

REX I agree about the comments. The reality is that they have always been here, but the difference is they now have a mandate from the very top on down that is acceptable. Republicans in 6 states have introduced legislation that would eliminate liability for drivers who hit protesters. I think history has already demonstrated that laws based on discrimination and hate don't turn out well

REX OF SB Aug 28, 2017 09:29 AM
Pacific Pride March and Rally

MESARATS: The problem is that the mandate from the top is now under attack by the NEW "top." I think it's horrible that laws based on discrimination and hate have to exist in the first place, but it chills me to the core to see Trump and his zealous "christian" appointees doing their damnedest to undermine those rights.

420722 Aug 27, 2017 09:27 PM
Pacific Pride March and Rally

Yay for love yay for equality and yay that nobody got hurt while standing up for such a great cause!!!!

Roger Aug 27, 2017 04:40 PM
Pacific Pride March and Rally

It woulda been too hard for me to go there without Belinda but I sure wish I coulda scored some of that grub...

Flicka Aug 27, 2017 04:03 PM
Pacific Pride March and Rally

Good to see so much support for this community. Thanks to all who participated. There is too much hate in our country right now for anyone who is not a WASP, fueled from the top.

REX OF SB Aug 27, 2017 06:31 PM
Pacific Pride March and Rally

FLICKA: If you want to see reactions to this event that will curl your hair, check out the reader responses to the Noozhawk coverage of the march. UN-believable.

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