1 NO DOMA ARIGATO
Earlier this year, organizers of the San Diego Pride Parade and Festival voted on a theme for the upcoming annual celebration. They went with "The Freedom to Love and Marry" as a call for equal marital rights for all citizens. Then, in the annoying words of Anne Hathaway's Oscar speech, "It came true."
The LGBT community is celebrating monumental victories this year. The U.S. Supreme Court rulings on Prop. 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) are landmark wins for civil rights and cause for major celebration. What great timing that San Diego Pride is happening from Friday, July 12, through Sunday, July 14, just two-and-a-half weeks after the triumph. Whip out your rainbow booty shorts and get ready to party!
"It was very fortuitous. This is the biggest year we've ever had," says San Diego Pride spokesperson Fernando Lopez. "These LGBT victories are so broad, so it's going to be quite historic. It's definitely going to be the biggest celebration this city has ever seen."
Lopez expects record-breaking numbers at the event. There'll be eight entertainment stages featuring more than 80 acts throughout the weekend, including R&B singer Monica, dance from Culture Shock and DJ Morgan Page.
Along with that, there's a rally happening at the San Diego Pride Flag (located at University Avenue and Normal Street) at 6 p.m. on Friday; the parade starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday and running west along University Avenue, then onto Sixth Avenue (grand marshaled by Brad and George Takei and LaToya Jackson); art from LGBT artists in the Art of Pride exhibition on the festival grounds in Balboa Park; and, of course, tons of parties all over Hillcrest.
"It's all there," Lopez says. "We try to be as open and inclusive for everybody, if possible."
San Diego Pride will also offer free shuttle service and parking in Hillcrest. Go to sdpride.org for a full schedule of events.
2 A REAL MOCKUMENTARY
Driving around in an old ambulance talking to polygamists, Hutterites and dominatrices is Eliza Jane Schneider's idea of a good time. The actor logged more than 300,000 miles crisscrossing the country for more than a decade, collecting voices and stories for her one-woman show, Freedom of Speech. The former voice artist for South Park transforms herself into 34 different characters to tell her true story of cashing in her assets, quitting her job, shaving her head and setting off on a "spiritual quest." The performance throws documentary and personal narrative into a comic blender, spilling over with twang, drawl and colloquial idiosyncrasy. Presented by Moxie Theatre, it opens Thursday, July 11, and runs through Aug. 11 at Diversionary Theatre in University Heights (4545 Park Blvd.). moxietheatre.com
Most Americans are lucky enough never to have to see the horrors of war firsthand, but for a wide swath of the rest of the world, being affected or displaced by armed conflict is an ongoing concern. The AjA Project—which stands for "Autosuficiencia Juntada con Apoyo," or supporting self-sufficiency—aims to empower and encourage youth affected by war by putting cameras in their hands and providing educational opportunities that emphasize personal and social transformation. University Heights' 3rdspace (4610 Park Blvd., 3rdspace.co) will exhibit the kids' photography from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 13. ajaproject.org