Last night, members of our club's executive board formally accepted the honor of being named Democratic Club of the Year by the San Diego County Democratic Party.
My remarks from this evening are below:
Good Evening, Democrats!
First off, thank you to our amazing Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins for that introduction.
My name is Ryan Trabuco (pronouns he/him/his), President of San Diego Democrats for Equality, and joining on stage are members of our executive board whose work, and the work of our club members, are why we are here tonight accepting the Democratic Club of the Year award.
None of this would have ever been possible were it not for our founding members who started this club nearly 50 years ago – hiding in the shadows, holding club meetings in the privacy and safe spaces of loving friends and family. The 1970s may have been a groovy time for most people, but it wasn’t so groovy to be gay back then.
It was after the first-ever San Diego Gay Pride where people marched in the streets with paper bags over their heads because of fear from being outed, being ostracized, being the targets of bigotry, discrimination, and hate.
Their sacrifice, struggles, and fight for equality and justice laid the foundation for where we are today. Many of them have since passed, but their contributions and efforts live on in the work we do.
Our club makes a point of sharing our history, because as painful as it was to live through so many years ago… we still find ourselves fighting bigotry, discrimination, and hate. Today, it manifests as abuse, bullying, character assassination, harassment, and hate crimes.
In spite of all of the pain, struggles, bigotry, discrimination, harassment, hate, and all of the abuse – we are still standing, we are still winning elections, we are still electing Democrats, we are still making a difference in our communities, and we are still making history.
Our club was founded in living rooms because it was a safe space for our members to be. It was a space for them to be free to advocate for their rights. Free to exist. Free to live. Free to be who they are without judgement from others.
Our club meetings were a safe space then – and it is important that they continue to be a safe space today.
We want to thank our club members, our elected officials, our allies who stand with us every day in every fight for equality and justice, and we want to thank all of our friends among all the other Democratic clubs who honored us with this vote of confidence.
This is San Diego Democrats for Equality. We’re here. We’re queer. We’re Club of the Year. Get used to it!
Thank you and good night!
For truth, justice, and a better tomorrow...
Ryan Trabuco (he/him/his)
San Diego Democrats fo Equality