The busiest tourist period of the year happens during San Diego’s Pride weekend, a series of days that celebrate freedom, love and equality among San Diego’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender communities. Usually, I just walk in the parade and enjoy seeing friends and loved ones spend a few days feeling a sense of freedom that – no matter how much of a bubble parts of San Diego may be – is not the typical experience for openly gay people in this country. This year, in the wake of a serious tragedy in Orlando and the very positive flood of support for the victims, I thought I’d follow the lead of a local craft brewer and raise some money! The bonus this year is that I’ll be able to raise some money for Orlando victims at the same time that we raise money for San Diego’s LGBT youth. Let me explain. The San Diego LGBT Community Center is a place for refuge, to belong, to get help, and to know if you are a member of the LGBT community, you can be safe. I talked to a couple friends of mine and thought that the best way I could help was to raise money for that organization to run a few programs that are focused on the most vulnerable population – our region’s kids. The Center, as it is known around town, has a few very important youth services programs. I knew the statistics were awful, but this article really brings home how many LGBT youth don’t get to remain in homes. Anyone can donate or help out, so I was really moved recently when I saw this.
It’s a photo with the name of a beer that is the brainchild of San Diego Brewers Guild member Hillcrest Brewing Company and its brewmaster Austin Copeland. Copeland, showing the typical generosity I’ve come to see as common among the San Diego craft beer community, reached out to several of his friends in the brewing community to raise money for victims of the tragic mass shooting in Orlando. His first collaboration is with Intergalactic Brewing, another San Diego brewer that recently showed off its skills at a national competition. All purchases of that beer, aptly titled All You Need is Love, will be donated to victims in Orlando and their families. I was so inspired by Alex of Intergalactic and Austin of Hillcrest Brewing Company that I decided to double down on that fundraiser. Often what happens around the holidays or during a major tragedy is that we get swept up in a specific need and don’t remember the sad, all too common everyday needs. So I thought I’d help raise money for Orlando by buying a keg of the beer…and then raise even more money for San Diego’s LGBT youth specifically by having a fundraiser and taking donations for pours of that beer.
So, on July 16, 2016, I’ll be tweeting, posting, calling, and encouraging everyone I can to donate to The Center for its homeless youth services programs so we can make a meaningful dent in improving the lives of one of our most vulnerable populations. On the way out, I’ll leave you with these great videos from the It Gets Better campaign (all videos here), designed to help LGBT Youth believe in a better future. Cheers
UPDATE: I wanted to give some specific details. First, there is no obligation to donate. Celebrating love shouldn’t cost money – so come regardless. That said, here’s how the fundraiser part will work. I will have cash/debit card prices for beer, red/white wine, bourbon/tequila/Pride specialty cocktail. Our current taplist is below. Also on deck: Strawberry Kiwi Berliner Weisse, Gold-medal winning light-bodied Claritas, and a special beer from Alesmith. You can either buy certain drinks on an as-consumed basis, or get one of these delightful Pride Line “all-access” wristbands (pictured below) to show your Pride all weekend (and the rest of the year, for that matter).
And the special “all access” Pride wristband ($25)
Again, this is not a party you have to pay to get into, but remember that in addition to having fun and celebrating the rights of all
San Diegans Americans (thanks, SCOTUS!) to love as their hearts dictate, this is also about helping the most vulnerable youth population in our community – San Diego’s homeless LGBTQ youth. We are a better community thanks to the Center, so this will be fun to help out. See you Saturday. Happy Pride!