The board of CoastPride would like to thank the Half Moon Bay Review for its coverage of the first annual LGBTQ Pride Month kick-off celebration on June 1. We are grateful to our Coastside community and civic, business and faith leaders who came out publicly to increase visibility and raise awareness about the diverse set of intersections that are present within the LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ community.

It would have been easy to hide behind the pandemic and county policies prohibiting parades and congregating, but instead our civic and business leaders were flexible, creative, and stood with us.

Thank you to Mayor Adam Eisen, Councilmember Debbie Ruddock, City Council generally, and Krystlyn Giedt, president and CEO of the Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber of Commerce and Visitors’ Bureau, for publicly embracing LGBTQ persons and the diversity of our Coastside. You paved the way for much-needed connection on the Coastside during disease — our present-day pandemic and lasting racial injustice.

Thank you, school Superintendent Sean McPhetridge, for your leadership. It would have been easy to hide behind the dire school budget deficit, but instead you, together with Holly Wade, the assistant superintendent, stood with us and made LGBTQ and equity policy recommendations that our Cabrillo Unified School District school board has adopted. Thank you, Commissioner Dana Johnson, San Mateo County LGBTQ Commission, for underscoring the connection between celebrating and remembering that Stonewall was against police brutality. Thank you, Rev. Lisa, Vicar Michael, and Rabbi Moshe, for your personal remarks that promoted reflection, action and healing.

And thank you, Allison Akana, for holding the Pride Flag upright, front and center during the remarks and to Jessica Blair for your care and coordination.

Pride 2020 is a turning point in history. It invites us to take collective action to eradicate the diseases that presently afflict all of us: the pandemic and racial injustice. Our problems are shared, really shared — what affects one, affects all. Some of us hold this as a truism and value. Others hold it as aspirational. Some of us feel it. And some of us do not.

These diseases spark feelings within all of us, and no matter where, or if, one falls or rises up to act on these values and feelings, these diseases are highlighting our shared problems, helping us see them anew, and pointing us to solutions. We are accountable for their spread. We are complicit in their disparate impacts. We, the people, push the levers of our systems and when we take collective action to reimagine and design new ways of being and working with one another, then those systems and structures that are intended to serve all of us do not continue to perpetuate injustice. CoastPride — stronger together.

Jenny Walter is vice chair of CoastPride. See the organization’s Facebook page for video of the June 1 parade. See coastpride.org for more June Pride 2020 events.

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