Family, friends, and allies of Santa Barbara’s LGBTQ community came together to celebrate sexual and gender diversity during this year’s Pacific Pride Festival. The free, day-long festival took place last weekend at Chase Palm Park and featured local bands and artists along with food trucks, merchants, and allied non-profits such as Planned Parenthood. In attendance were State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, Assemblymember Monique Limon, Congressman Salud Carbajal, and other community leaders, who all declared their commitment to fostering a more inclusive and diverse society.
Featuring topics from the Thomas Fire to national politics, this year’s pride festival theme “With Pride, We Rise” reflects the resiliency of a community faced with trauma and ongoing challenges. The festival concluded with a drag performances by Mayhem Miller and RAVEN from RuPaul’s Drag Race along with Borgia Bloom. American Idol’s Ada Vox, the first drag queen front-runner in the music competition show’s history, headlined the performances.
Founded in 1976, the Pacific Pride Foundation aims to “offer comprehensive health and social services, counseling, care, education and advocacy to anyone at risk for, infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS; and provide sociocultural services sensitive to the needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.” They serve over 10,000 families every year in the Santa Barbara and Santa Maria community.