San Diego Pride boasts service members in parade

by Ana Ceballos

For the first time, the U.S. Department of Defense allowed active duty members to march in the annual San Diego LGBT Pride Parade. This decision was made as a result of the September repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy, in which members of the LGBT community were allowed to serve in the military so long as their sexual orientation was kept under wraps. Many San Diego State students, including the Associated Students’ executive board, were present.

“SDSU’s participation in the pride parade has become a real tradition,” SDSU Chief Diversity Officer Aaron Bruce said. “This event is one of many that the university has to support the LGBT community.”

In support of the pride parade, SDSU kicked off Pride Week by raising a rainbow flag last Monday as part of a five-year tradition.

Uniformed military personnel Lindsay Price of the Navy, Lorena Saldana of the Army and Jose Navarro of the Air Force, fortified the ceremony by raising the flag at the end of the event. Approximately 100 SDSU students, faculty, alumni and members of the community gathered in front of Hepner Hall for the flag raising ceremony.

Many then went on to enjoy the parade’s festivities this Saturday. SDSU President Elliot Hirshman attended, along with his wife and family, in support of the LGBT community.

“It is great that administrators who are leaders of our campus take the time to come together to set an example,” Bruce said. “We want to make that huge commitment to show our support.”

Along with the SDSU community, nearly 400 military members marched in the parade, according to the event’s organizers. The annual parade is the fourth largest in the U.S., attracting approximately 197,000 spectators every year.