Pacific Pride March and Rally
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.]