A Word From The Center

Pachanga de Frida: Join us at The Center on June 22, 2024

By Gus Hernandez

Vibrant colors, beautiful outfits, festive music—the diverse Latin@x community in San Diego is gearing up for an unforgettable celebration, and you’re invited! On June 22, 2024, the annual Pachanga de Frida will take place to honor the iconic queer Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo. Hosted by Latin@x Services at The San Diego LGBT Community Center, this lively event promises an evening of tacos, tequila, dancing, and a sense of belonging that transcends borders.

A Unique Celebration

Pachanga de Frida has become a beloved tradition, drawing attendees who share a passion for art, culture, and LGBTQ+ advocacy. The event commemorates Frida Kahlo’s birthday, paying homage to her groundbreaking work and her unapologetic embrace of identity. But it’s more than just a party—it’s a celebration of resilience, comunidad, and empowerment. Guests come together to revel in live music and dancing, support local Latin@x vendors, bond over delicious food and drinks, and show appreciation for Latin@x heritage and culture. Pachanga de Frida offers us all a moment of joy and a powerful space of connection.

Latin@x Services: A Pillar of Support

Behind the lively festivities of Pachanga de Frida is our Latin@x Services. Since its inception in 2004, Latin@x Services at The Center has played a critical role in San Diego, providing essential support and affirming spaces for the LGBTQ+ Latin@x community. From support groups to special events, Latin@x Services nurtures a sense of belonging, especially for those who identify as monolingual or bilingual Spanish speakers.

But the impact of Latin@x Services extends beyond cultural programming. It serves as a gateway to The Center’s comprehensive offerings, including Food Resources, Behavioral Health Services, Crisis Support Services, Sexual Health and Wellness, Housing Services, and more. As one of the largest demographic groups in San Diego, the Latin@x community relies on this hub for LGBTQ-affirming care.

Bridging Borders

San Diego’s proximity to Baja California means that The Center also serves as a vital resource for LGBTQ+ individuals on both sides of the border. Whether residents or visitors, community members find a safe haven here. The Center’s commitment to inclusivity is unwavering, regardless of immigration status. Free and confidential HIV testing and STI screening are available to all, emphasizing the importance of health and well-being.

Fighting HIV Disparities

HIV continues to disproportionately affect the Latin@x community. Recent statistics reveal that over half of newly diagnosed HIV cases in San Diego County are among Latin@x individuals. The Center’s #BeTheGeneration campaign (known as Ser La Generacion in Spanish) aims to reduce HIV transmissions to zero. Testing and access to PrEP—the once-daily pill that prevents HIV which is now available as a shot every two months—are crucial steps toward achieving this goal. 

A Personal Connection

For many, Pachanga de Frida is more than an event—it’s a transformative experience. For me, it was the first time I could bring my parents to an LGBTQ+ gathering. Despite being out to them for over 25 years, this event merged our worlds and created a space where we all felt at home. It was so empowering to see them enjoying the festivities, listening to salsa, merengue, cumbia, and more, with music provided by a DJ and live band.

Frida Look-Alike Contest

One fan favorite and iconic feature of this party that you don’t want to miss is the gender-inclusive Frida Look-Alike Contest! Take inspiration from her colorful artwork and self-portraits featuring ropa tipica, rebozos, intricate headdresses, flowers, and jewelry, and show us your best Frida outfit.

Save the Date

As we mark Frida Kahlo’s birthday, let us celebrate diversity, resilience, and the power of community. Pachanga de Frida invites everyone to dance, connect, and honor an artist whose legacy continues to inspire us all. Save the date—June 22, 2024—for a night that transcends borders and embraces love in all its forms. The fiesta starts at 5 p.m. and goes until 9 p.m.

Get Your Tickets Now

Pre-Sale Tickets are $25 online at thecentersd.org/frida or available for purchase at The Center, Monday-Friday, 10am-7pm. Tickets on the day of the event are $30 at the door. You can also purchase a table for eight people for $400, which includes food and drinks, and there are sponsorship opportunities available starting at $1,000. Proceeds from this event benefit Latin@x Services at The Center.  Join us to support a great cause while having a great time!  I hope to see you there.