San Diego Pride Festival 2015: Bring Your Wetsuit

So I missed the memo on bringing aquatic sporting gear to the 2015 San Diego Pride Parade…

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Don’t get me wrong.  San Diego is stoked to be getting some water.  But there was so much rain that even the Padres couldn’t take it.

But you know who could take it?

IMG_1189The folks at San Diego Pride, this past weekend!

IMG_1151Every year since 1974, San Diego has put on the Pride Parade and Music Festival.  Originally started to celebrate the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion, Pride has grown to a weekend long event including rallies, a parade and a giant music festival in Balboa Park.

This year would be an especially exciting Pride, following the landmark Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.  This was the case in which the Court found that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples under the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

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Photo credit: Glenn Hartong, Cincinnati Enquirer

Mr. Obergefell and his partner John Arthur shared a loving relationship for over 20 years before Mr. Arthur tragically passed away due to complications from ALS.  The couple had married legally in Maryland but their marriage was not recognized in their home state of Ohio.  Mr. Obergefell filed a lawsuit to have their marriage recognized on Mr. Arthur’s death certificate, which he won, but on appeal the federal court overturned the decision which was then sent to the Supreme Court where Mr. Obergefell finally prevailed.  The decision was celebrated across the United States, and us San Diegans were ready for the most exciting Pride ever.

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We live right next door to Hillcrest, a neighborhood in San Diego that is well known for its LGBT scene.  I grabbed my camera and approximately no rain gear or close toed shoes and hit the road over to the parade starting line.

IMG_1141 IMG_1142Met up with a few of the city’s finest public defenders:

IMG_1148I wandered around some of the float set up spots before finding my own parade party.

IMG_1149 Pugs for Equality…where the tutu game was the most on point.IMG_1150And there they were:  Hillary for America!

IMG_1153We divvied up the stickers and picket signs and joined with the San Diego Democrats for Equality. We were only one candidate’s worth of supporters, though.  Other local democratic clubs attended as well as, EXCITINGLY, a group of local politicians running for office and reelection.

IMG_1166 IMG_1170Yep.  Our very own Congressman Scott Peters of the CA-52nd.

IMG_1160 IMG_1162 IMG_1172We were very lucky to be set up next to the Pride Military Contingent, particularly considering that the transgender community was named the collective Grand Marshall for this year’s parade.  The next issue on the table is the possibility that the US Military may lift the ban on transgender service members serving openly.

All this was exciting.  But then it started to rain.  And then it started to WHAT THE HELL IS THE WORLD ENDING?

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But we pressed on and started the parade.  Luckily (and very surprisingly) despite the weather TONS AND TONS of people stuck around to join in the fun! IMG_1199

Congressman Peters was helping out his girl Hillary who was…wilting… IMG_1203

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I was so stoked to see tons of families with little kids who stuck it out and made a fabulous memory out of the crazy weather.

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Lots of the furry parade goers sported some fantastic rainbow gear to rival that of their human counterparts…IMG_1252 IMG_1253 IMG_1262 IMG_1265 IMG_1274

Raindrops so big that my camera focused on them instead of the people on the balcony!IMG_1286 IMG_1294 IMG_1295 IMG_1296 IMG_1297

The parade was a blast, but after it ended I was just another sucker stuck in flip-flops and ankle deep water 2 miles from home with no ubers in sight.  So me and my all too soggy camera surfed home to some warm clothes and a rice bath (THANK GOD for the interwebz…my no longer soggy camera thanks you for your wisdom).

The next morning I hopped back out with my newly dry DSLR and jogged through Hillcrest (just kidding I don’t jog) in the beautiful sunshine.  It was like Mother Nature was hung over at work on a Friday morning and was trying really hard to overcompensate for what happened the night before.

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I joined up with the local Hillary campaign folks again, this time to table with Democrats for Equality, get people registered to vote and sign up volunteers for the Clinton campaign.

It was a great opportunity to meet tons of San Diegans and share some important thoughts and concerns about the field of candidates as we gear up for primaries.  The number one issue that stuck out, however, was how few people were registered to vote, planned to vote, or even knew their current registration status.

VOTING IS IMPORTANT and no one should EVER be able to convince you otherwise.  If you need to register to vote, click here.  If you’re unsure of your status, click here.  If you need to find your polling place, click here.IMG_1323 IMG_1328 IMG_1330

She was GETTING IT.

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But soon the raindrops came back and the sky greyed up and my camera said GET ME TF OUT OF HERE.IMG_1335 IMG_1336Happy Pride 🙂

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