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PRIDE in Chula Vista Allison Sampite | Fri, Aug 20 2010 04:47 PM

The lesbian and gay community and their supporters will celebrate the seventh annual Pride and Music Festival beginning at 12 p.m. this Saturday at Memorial Park in Chula Vista.

Organizers said they are expecting an estimated 2,000 people to attend.

Sponsored by the South Bay Alliance, the goal is to promote awareness of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender community by creating a "fun, family-oriented event," said coordinator and vice chair of the South Bay Alliance and chair of South Bay Pride Ben Orgovan.

The alliance took over the event in 2006 from Family Matters, the gay parenting association of San Diego. Originally, the event was a small picnic called Gay Day in the South Bay and focussed on events for families in the community.

Orgovan, 27, said last year the Greater San Diego Business Association, Imperial Court, the Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce and Family Matters participated in the festival's promotion.

"Our goal is to bring the lesbian, gay and straight community together," Orgovan said.

Marci Bair was the executive director of Family Matters and is currently the chair of South Bay Alliance.

"The importance of this event is visibility in the community," Bair said.

Orgovan said the message that the alliance is promoting is that it's OK to be gay.

"Growing up in the South Bay, I felt like I couldn't hold another man's hand unless I was in Hillcrest," Orgovan said.

According to the 2005 American Community Survey, the South Bay has at least 17,000 LGBT adult residents.

Orgovan said that he never felt comfortable being gay and growing up in Chula Vista.

"I felt like I was the only gay person ... it can almost lead to a depression because you feel so alone," he said.

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