Francisco Lopez is the executive director of Pride. Francisco grew up in El Centro California . His mother was Russian and his father Mexican. The imperial Valley is the most anti Gay voting area in California. His Russian mother was disowned because she married a Mexican. As early as kindergarten he knew he was different and strongly identified with the girls in his class. When Francisco was in junior high his mother left his father for a women. His father was homophobic and no doubt his wife leaving him for a women added to his anger. He admits like many other members of the LGBT community he considered committing suicide.. In high school when he was bullied and went to the principal to complain the was being picked on he was told he was bringing it upon himself and if he came back to complain he would be expelled. Because of the conflict with his father he became homeless, spending the night wherever he could often on a friends couch. He came to San Diego to attend SDSU . He had to pay for his college education because even though his father was not supporting him he earned too much money for Francisco to qualify for financial aid. In San Diego he met and fell in love with Michael and it was then he realized how important fighting for domestic partnerships, marriage equality and social justice was for the LGBT community was. He began fighting for equality , volunteering for PRIDE. His grandmother had cooked for the field workers in Brawley . It wasn’t until her death and a church packed with people who told him that she was proud of him. This was a very important moment in his life. His father and him have reconciled. His dad was one of his biggest supporters and will often help with activities in the Gay community. He has only been the executive director of San Diego LGBT Pride for a few months but has moved into the role with great energy.

1 Growing up in Imperial Valley and being Gay. / 2 Being disowed and bullied. / 3 College, Social justice and activism. / 4 What new and next for SD Pride