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'Dear Delores': An open letter from San Diego Pride

Delores, thank you will never be enough.
Photo credit:
Fernando Z. López - Facebook

Dear Delores, 

San Diego Pride was once a program of The San Diego LGBT Community Center. Since the origins of our movement, many Prides and community centers were connected as they all sprouted from the same few people; those pioneers, those seeds of our movement. In the 90s Prides across the nation came under legal attack from anti-LGBT extremists and many Prides, including San Diego Pride, became separate entities in order to protect the 501c3 nonprofit status of our centers and the vital services that they provided. That’s what our community does; we defend each other and help one another succeed.

While Pride and The Center are two separate organizations to this day, we are proud to say that we share volunteers, collaborate closely on programs, and have deep love and mutual respect for one another.

For 17 years our Center has been led by my friend, mentor, and colleague Dr. Delores Jacobs. From the losses of Prop 8 to Pulse, she steadied our community and refocused our grief into action. During the struggles and successes of our community's ability to serve in the military and legally marry, she lifted leaders, never claiming the spotlight for herself. It has been her brilliant insight and fearless, unflappable bravery that helped us form new strategies to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic and stigma, support LGBTQ youth in our school, and turn our community out to vote. 

Her intersectional approach to social justice has built new generations of leaders who are ready to take on the ever-evolving and treacherous landscape of our movement. For the last 17 years Dr. Jacobs has helped us all write the story of community, and, as she finds a new journey, I know that we will continue on stronger because of her service.

Delores, thank you will never be enough. As you step on to your new path, arm in arm with your family, know that we are beyond grateful and will always have your back.

Persist with Pride,

Fernando Z. López

Executive Director

San Diego Pride