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    Posted October 10, 2011 by
    Oceanside, California

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    Pride at the Beach


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     The gay and lesbian pride festival 'is big fun,' says promisenews. 'It's great to see people happy, secure and free to be themselves.'
    - dsashin, CNN iReport producer

    Pride at the Beach

    Promise Yee

    Oceanside, CA - Rainbow banners flew at the fourth annual Pride at the Beach festival on The Strand on October 8. Over 3,000 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,” Max Disposti, executive director of North County LGBTQ Resource Center, said. “Our community is not only lesbians and gays. It is the community at large.”

    Anti-bullying and suicide prevention remain a big focus of the annual 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.”

    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 www.northcountycoalition.org.


    Photo information

    pride 1

    Christina Rios, of San Marcos (left) and friend listen to the San Diego Women’s Chorus.

    pride 2

    Take pride

    Carlos Gonzales, of Escondido, Alex Horculono, of San Marcos, and Keeyana Newman, of Escondido, enjoy the festival.

    pride 3

    Event emcee Laura Jane strikes a pose.

    pride 4

    Local support

    Pilgrim United Church of Christ shares information about its support services.

    pride 5

    Sierra Van Laethem, of Oceanside, Milena McCarthy, of Oceanside, and Shawnjit Sidhu, of Concord, dance to deejay tunes.

    pride 6

    Businesses serving the LBGT community

    Eric Peterson, Anthony King and Darren Tachine of Gay San Diego newspaper.

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