In the 1970s, gay men and lesbians in San Diego founded a social services center in a house at 2250 B St. In June 1974, the center held its first gay parade, with 400 people participating. Since there was no city permit for the march, the marchers had to walk on the sidewalks. To secure a permit for future events, organizers held various fundraising events throughout 1975 and eventually obtained a permit for the rally and the 400-person march.
Since then, the San Diego Parade has grown exponentially each year. Now, the annual event attracts more than 100,000 participants from all over California and beyond.
Regular participants include Southern California bands, gay motorcycle riders and gay military personnel. The parade traditionally ends with a giant rainbow flag being waved.
The gay scene is concentrated in Hillcrest, northeast of Balboa Park, with many restaurants and bars in this area. A little to the east of Hillcrest, there are also a few scattered gay bars and nightclubs.
The San Diego Gay and Lesbian Parade and Music Festival, which follows after the parade, is worth attending, but you need to buy a ticket to enter. There are also many activities in the non-ticketed area, such as gay art and gay family picnics.
There are many gay parties during the San Diego cruise, including a party on a yacht that is worth attending. The cruise lasts about 5 hours and offers a spectacular view of the city skyline from San Diego Bay. There are also parties such as the pier party that locals look forward to. Other parties include the Sunset Tea Dance from Los Angeles and the Block Party.