Pride in Fullerton

A joyous bicycle and golf cart parade headed west on Wilshire Avenue from Raymond Street Saturday before ending at the Fullerton Museum Center, where the second annual Fullerton Pride Festival kicked off.

The Rocha Family – Luis, Roberta, and son Lucas – waited to join the procession. We asked them why being a part of the Pride Festival was important. “I think it’s important to show everyone in the community that they are supported,” said Luis. And that was the message of the entire event. It was echoed by Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva and Fullerton City Council members Dr. Shana Charles and Ahmad Zahra, the City’s first openly gay elected official.

“Today we are standing united in love and united for a brighter future for the young generation out there who will look back at us today and say, They started that,” Zahra said to the crowd at the inaugural event last year. Fullerton residents Tim Johnson, Donna Bedard, and many others organized the Pride event with the Fullerton Museum Center’s Director, Elvia Rubalcava, and City Councilmember Zahra.

The event is a fundraiser for the museum, a cultural icon in the City that has to raise money to survive.

The celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride Month originated in the Stonewall Riots of 1969 in a Lower Manhattan neighborhood of New York City. Police frequently targeted gay establishments for harassment, but a raid on the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village led to days of rioting as members of the gay community rose up to fight back. It’s been called a watershed moment in the gay liberation movement and is referred to as the Stonewall Uprising, or just Stonewall.

Fifty-four years later, LGBTQ+ Americans face renewed discrimination but not by the police. Instead, homophobic fellow Americans and legislatures are passing anti-gay laws, and the trans community faces unprecedented harassment, bullying, and violence. But you would never know it in Fullerton on Saturday.

There were families and kids everywhere. At the Museum Plaza, attendees enjoyed a beer garden, vendors, lots of food, and a live performance by award-winning singer/songwriter/guitarist Jennifer Corday. Event emcee and drag performer Kaysedia is an “international model from Tijuana, actress, and Tupperware Diva.”

Kaysedia told the OC Register, “Don’t be distracted by all the hatred coming in our direction right now. It is a distraction. Just remember that we are all about love. We don’t want special treatment. We want equal treatment, and that is it.”

3 replies »

  1. This was such a wonderful event! It was so great to see our Fullerton community come together in joy and love. Thank you to all the hard-working organizers who put it together. Can’t wait for next year’s Pride Day!

  2. I strongly do not believe children should be part of these ” pride events.” Children will get ” inspired” and feel its ” ok” , and will want to be gay as well. I strongly think these pride events should ONLY be for the gay community, as it has a negative connotation!

    • 1) Respectfully, people aren’t gay because they were “inspired” to be so, anymore than straight people had a star spangled flashing moment that launched them into straightness; 2) So what if children feel it’s “OK” to be gay? It is; 3) Segregating children from gay people is a good way to promote ignorance and bigotry.