Pride at the Beach celebrates understanding, acceptance

OCEANSIDE — Rainbow banners flew at the fourth annual Pride at the Beach festival on The Strand on Oct. 8. More than 3,000 people attended the all-day event that celebrated understanding and acceptance of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders.
On stage speakers addressed the crowd and chorus groups and singers performed. Venders included gay and lesbian-friendly businesses, support organizations, health services and food sellers.
“The emphasis is that it is a family event,” said Max Disposti, executive director of North County LGBTQ Resource Center. “Our community is not only lesbians and gays. It is the community at large.”
The annual event has grown over the last four years. Pride at the Beach was held in the recreation center its first year and moved outside to the parking lot next to the amphitheater in following years as more venders were added.
Anti-bullying and suicide prevention remain a big focus of the event. LGBTQ Resource Center contributes to Gay and Straight Alliance clubs in local high schools. The clubs promote tolerance and understanding.
“They are a safe places in high schools that everyone can go to,” Disposti said. “Schools that have them have a lower dropout rate and more welcoming environment.”
Tolerance is also growing in the community, but there are still obstacles to overcome.
“In my opinion there is too much fear about others,” Disposti said. “No one is exempt from this.”
While laws protect the employment rights of gays and lesbians, a lack of tolerance in the workplace can cause discomfort and hurt feelings. Not being able to talk openly about family leads to a lack of human connection and frustration.
“We have an amazing diverse community,” Disposti said. “Having gay pride day in Oceanside would have been impossible five year ago. Today it isn’t.”
North County LGBTQ Resource Center is a nonprofit organization. The group currently works with local colleges and high schools and is in the process of opening its first resource center.
“The resource center will connect all those dots in North County,” Disposti said. “It will put people together in a more coordinated more visible effort. My hope is youth don’t need to waste the rest of life worrying about who they are.”
For more information on the LGBTQ Resource Center, log on northcountycoalition.org.

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  1. ludwigdrums says:

    The emphasis is that it is a family event,” said Max Disposti, executive director of North County LGBTQ Resource Center. “Our community is not only lesbians and gays. It is the community at large.”

    Picture abvove shows woman wearing tshirt that says " I like Vagina", really-thats suitable for a family event with little kids? thats why the whole "look at me look at me" attitude turns people off.

  2. Keeyana says:

    its funny how you say that because im aloud to express my sexuality however i please and these events aren’t that family oriented, i saw 1 child at the Oceanside Pride and he wasnt old enough to read. same goes for pride in San Diego. if its sooo family friendly, why are people walking around in underwear smaller than mine.? i have no issue with it in any way shape or form but dont focus in on a shirt that says the word "vagina" when there’s much much worse.

  3. Carlos Gonzales says:

    The shirt says I Enjoy Vagina. That’s a lot better than "Mmm I eat the pussy!"

  4. Borednow says:

    This was a family event. There were kids from baby to high school there. If you looked around, there were multiple families and hundreds of teenagers. "family friendly" implies that it’s PG instead of R.
    Btw, people are suppose to be comfortable to express themselves at a Pride event. That’s what Pride is- being able to be yourself.

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