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Celebrating Pride in Lemon Grove

Saturday's event, hosted by the Lemon Grove Branch Library, honored literary and musical contributions by LGBT artists.

Lemon Grove put the LG in LGBT as it got a head start on San Diego with its own lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride celebration held Saturday at the library.

It is the second year the has hosted the event, which made local history in 2010 as the first gay pride celebration held by San Diego's county library system. Saturday's celebration honored the literary and musical contributions made by LGBT artists.

“This event is important because the library represents the many voices that make up the cultural and educational fabric of the community," said Jose Aponte, director of the San Diego County Library. "There is a substantial community of residents, artists, and cultural workers that are in this represented group, which is the gay community. And we’re glad and proud to host this event.”

Featuring free entertainment, a community resource fair, and food and refreshments, the event was made possible in part by the donation of time and materials by those involved. Chipotle in Hillcrest supplied burritos for the crowd of about 75 people.

Representatives were on hand from a variety of support agencies with information about their organizations and resources in the community, including the Greater San Diego Business Association, which supports gay and lesbian business; The Center, which provides a variety of social services to the community; and the Lambda Archives of San Diego, which collects and preserves the region's LGBT history.

But what would any gay pride celebration be without a round of “YMCA”? Too un-fabulous to consider.

Thank goodness for the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus, who hit all the right notes with their arm-waving performance, including a Village People medley, at Saturday's event.

Organized by the library's branch manager, Amparo Madera, and staff, the event also featured music from the soulful Tori Roze and the Hot Mess, and award-winning singer-songwriter Lisa Sanders. Sanders, who is in the middle of a tour, took a break from her schedule to sing for free—as did all the performers.

San Diego's annual is in its 37th year. Festivities kick off Friday with the Spirit of Stonewall Rally. The parade begins at 11 a.m. Saturday at Normal Street and University Avenue in Hillcrest. The festival is held Saturday and Sunday at Balboa Park.

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