They both face discrimination. They both feel misunderstood. So, it makes perfect sense they’ll both be participating in the return of the annual San Diego Pride Parade come July 16.
“It’s just this big, massive day of joy,” beamed San Diego Pride Executive Director Fernando Lopez. “We need this. We’re ready for Pride. We’re ready for sunshine, rainbows, and daylight.”
San Diego Pride recently extended an invitation to participate in the parade to the United Lowrider Coalition headquartered in San Diego County’s South Bay.
“I’m excited!” exclaimed Coalition member DeAnna Garcia.
Lopez said the lowriders group faces discrimination in National City, which is the only city in San Diego County that bans cruising. Garcia said they would have to pay upwards of $18,000 in fees and permits to host one evening of cruising along Highland Avenue through National City. The city and its police department have steadfastly said the ban is in place to protect public safety.
“When you increase the fees to the point minority and marginalized people cannot afford to have those events, it has a devastating impact on those communities,” explained Lopez.
“We are both all discriminated against. We are both stereotyped,” Garcia added. “I’ve had the looks. People have thought that ‘You’re a cholla. You’re a gang member. You’re out here selling drugs to get this kind of car.’”
That’s one of the primary reasons San Diego Pride extended the invitation.
“I think that it’s always wonderful to break down stereotypes when folks think we’re from different communities and recognizing that we’re all the same,” smiled Lopez.
“Lowriders are for the community and they’re part of the community. So, we’re for everybody,” concluded Garcia.