Isla Vista Community Services District Director Ethan Bertrand introduced a resolution during the June 8 meeting that acknowledges the presence of local LGBTQ+ activism in Isla Vista following the 1969 Stonewall Riots and officially recognizes June as Pride Month in Isla Vista.
The board unanimously approved the resolution.
Isla Vista Community Services District (I.V. CSD) Directors Catherine Flaherty and Marcos Aguilar co-sponsored Bertrand’s resolution, and the three read the resolution out loud during the CSD meeting.
The resolution shares several examples of local LGBTQ+ activism following the Stonewall Riots, including the establishment of the Gay Liberation Front office at 900 Embarcadero Del Mar and the gathering of a lesbian group at the Isla Vista Women’s Center 6504 Pardall Road in 1970 — the year that followed the Stonewall Uprising.
Bertrand also cited a memo from the Federal Bureau of Investigation that contained “information collected on LGBTQ[+] activists in Isla Vista [following the Stonewall Riots], showing the high risks that local activists were taking by coming out of the shadows and standing together.”
In the resolution, Bertrand recognized the many “LGBTQ+ people [who] have served in numerous leadership roles in our community … [and who] have shaped our community through arts, culture, scholarship, and advocacy.”
At the meeting, Bertrand discussed the events he included in the resolution, hoping to strike a balance between celebrating Pride Month and acknowledging the struggle of those in the LGBTQ+ community.
“This is the first time that the elected representatives of Isla Vista are officially recognizing Pride Month,” Bertrand said. “I tried to balance celebrating pride with also keeping it real about the struggle that generations of Isla Vista LGBTQ residents have faced and also the struggle that continues for so many LGBTQ residents.”
Bertrand also spoke to his personal experience as a member of the LGBTQ+ community in Isla Vista but emphasized that the LGBTQ+ community is not a monolith in identity or experience.
“I’ve had a lot of great experiences here. I’ve also had some not so great experiences. And I also want to emphasize that I’m just one face of the LGBT[Q+] community,” Bertrand said. “I’m a cisgender male who’s queer, but our transgender community members face different experiences, and gender non-conforming, as well as femme [people] and women face a lot of different experiences too.”
I.V. CSD directors Kirsten Deshler and Jay Freeman commended the writing of the resolution.
“I just want to thank you. That was really beautifully written,” Deshler said.
“That was a beautifully written statement. The people who were involved in that should be very proud of their work,” Freeman added.
Aguilar, Flaherty and Bertrand read the end of the resolution together.
“Now therefore, it be resolved that the Isla Vista Community Services District Board of Directors declares June 2021 to be LGBTQ+ Pride Month,” Aguilar read.
“And it is further resolved that the board is committed to ensuring that all public services provided by the district are accessible and affirming of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities,” Flaherty continued.
“Finally, it is resolved that all community members are encouraged to celebrate LGBTQ plus Pride Month and be good allies to our LGBTQ+ neighbors,” Bertrand finished.