Cover Story

Community Grand Marshal: Ady Huertas representing the LGBTQIA+  & Allied Educators  and Library Workers

By JP Emerson

Educators and library workers have found themselves on the front lines of an intense war against LGBTQIA+ lives. 2024 has been another record-breaking year in a line of record-breaking years of policies that have been introduced at the state and local levels that target LGBTQIA+ youth, educators, library workers, and LGBTQIA+ content in books and curriculum. There have been efforts across the country and here in San Diego County to ban, deface, and remove LGBTQIA+ inclusive books in libraries, prohibit LGBTQIA+- and race-inclusive curriculum in schools. School boards are banning Pride flags, defunding LGBTQIA+-affirming mental health spaces, and attempting to pass and implement “forced outing” policies that violate trans students freedoms.

My name is Ady Huerta, I used pronouns she/her/ella and I work at San Diego Public Library as a Program Manager of Youth, Family, Equity Services. 


We serve all of our communities but 10 years ago we formed a committee at the library that was specifically focusing on making sure that we we’re inclusive and welcoming and also focusing on LGBTQ programming. We’ve gotten more involved as community partners of San Diego Pride. We really want to have LGBTQ programming year-round so this committee within the library has been working towards making those programs happen. 

We have Drag Queen Storytime, inclusive programs, a Pride event every year, and we have a Special Edition Pride Library Card where the community submits their artwork, and the card features the chosen design. We participate in the Pride Parade and the Pride Festival; we also activate the Lit Café in the festival bringing in the library services for our families of the LGBTQ community. 


We are so proud of this, so ecstatic! We’ve been taking some heat as library workers in terms of folks wanting to silence stories that really intersect with our identities, and we stand strong fighting against censorship because we know that censorship harms our communities. We want to make sure that the stories are elevated. To be able to receive this honor as Grand Marshals and stand proud, be allies, and be part of the LGBTQ community. And to be able to kick off the parade is such an honor! Being a Queer Latina, for me it just brings so much joy and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate our community. 


The WORD is celebracion!