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  • Jess Jessop (second to left) outside Lesbian and Gay Archives tent at Pride
  • Dignity San Diego marching in the Pride Parade, 1989
  • Unidentified singer at Pride Festival, 1989
  • Unidentified guitarist onstage at Pride Festival, 1989
  • Deidre McCalla playing guitar at Pride Festival, 1989
  • "San Diego/Stonewall 15/20 A Generation of Pride" t-shirt, 1989
  • Pride button, 1989

1989: “A Generation of Pride”

Dignity San Diego marching in the Pride Parade, 1989

Dignity San Diego marching in the Pride Parade, 1989. Lambda Archives of San Diego.

With Lambda Pride and Parade Fest now dissolved, San Diego Lesbian and Gay Men’s Pride formed anew with Tim Williams as the first executive director. After years of controversy surrounding finances and a surviving debt, SDLGP sought to improve transparency with their accounting practices by releasing a financial report to the community following Pride weekend. Joe Mayer, who had bookkeeping experience, was put in charge of this task. The new Pride organization was able to pay off all remaining debts and establish a fund for the following year.

"San Diego/Stonewall 15/20 A Generation of Pride" t-shirt, 1989

“San Diego/Stonewall 15/20 A Generation of Pride” t-shirt (back), 1989. Pride T-shirt Collection, Lambda Archives of San Diego.

Parade participation and attendance decreased this year. While 100 contingents were expected, reports estimate it was closer to 50. Additionally, the number of spectators reportedly dropped to 10,000 or less. New participants in the parade included Lesbians and Gays of African Descent (LAGADU) and the West Hollywood High Cheerleaders, a drag cheerleading squad.

Jess Jessop (second to left) outside Lesbian and Gay Archives tent at Pride

Jess Jessop (second to left) outside Lesbian and Gay Archives tent at Pride festival, 1989. Lambda Archives of San Diego.

Grand Marshals were long time San Diego activists Jeri Dilno and Jess Jessop. Jessop would pass away the following year to an AIDS-related illness. The Grand Marshals spoke at the rally along with Jean O’Leary, executive director of the National Gay Rights Advocates, and Robert Gentry, mayor of Laguna Beach.

Pride button, 1989

Pride button, 1989. Button and Pin Collection, Lambda Archives of San Diego.

Unidentified singer at Pride Festival, 1989

Unidentified singer at Pride Festival, 1989. Lambda Archives of San Diego.

The festival returned to the Old Balboa Naval Hospital parking lot but expanded to two days. Entry was $10 for both days, with reduced rates for seniors, the disabled, and those living with AIDS. Sixteen musical acts were slated to perform over the weekend, including the seven-member rhythmo-fusion band Blazing Redheads. On Sunday morning, the festival began with brunch and a fashion show. No major changes or controversies overshadowed Pride in 1989; the new Lesbian and Gay Men’s Pride organization held a successful event that laid the groundwork for a sustainable future.

Deidre McCalla playing guitar at Pride Festival, 1989

Deidre McCalla playing guitar at San Diego Pride Festival, 1989. Lambda Archives of San Diego.

Unidentified guitarist onstage at Pride Festival, 1989

Unidentified guitarist onstage at Pride Festival, 1989. Lambda Archives of San Diego.