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.]


Written by sbrobert

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  1. 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.

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