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  • Flyers for the 1975 march
  • Flyer for the 1975 march
  • Unidentified Pride participants, 1975

1975: “Gay Pride (Come OUT To A Celebration)”

The Center for Social Services (CSS) again hosted gay pride events in June of 1975, but that year, they sought permits with the help of volunteer attorneys. Not without struggle, permits were obtained, marking 1975 as the year of the first permitted march and rally. Although government officials were predominantly not yet vocal in their support of gay rights, Councilwoman Maureen O’Connor sent the organizers a message of support the morning of the march.

Flyer for the 1975 march

Flyers for the 1975 march

Flyers for the 1975 march. John Eberly Collection, Lambda Archives of San Diego.

On June 28th, participants gathered at 11 a.m. at Hobo Park on India St. and G St., then marched from Horton Plaza to Balboa Park for the rally. Participation rose from an unknown but modest number the previous year to around four hundred. Lesbian activist Barbara Gittings was the Grand Marshal and other honorees included Morris Kight, lobbyist George Raya, and Minnesota State Senator Alan Spear. Along with these guests, Nicole Murray-Ramirez and Reverend David Farrell of Metropolitan Community Church spoke at the rally.

Unidentified Pride participants, 1975

Unidentified Pride participants, [probably 1975]. Christine Kehoe Collection, Lambda Archives of San Diego.

More activist organizations emerged that year, including the San Diego Democratic Club, San Diego Lesbian Organization, and the Gay Student Union at San Diego State University. Activist Jeri Dilno became the first woman director of CSS and women-centered coffeeshop Las Hermanas also opened this year.