Fernando Z. López, the first Latinx, first nonbinary Executive Director for San Diego Pride, moved to San Diego in 1999 as a homeless youth and has since become a globally-prominent LGBTQ leader through their work with organizations such as Equality California, Marriage Equality USA, and the National LGBTQ Task Force, advocating for the community locally, nationally, and globally for over two decades. In their time with San Diego Pride, Fernando expanded the organization's scope and scale, focusing on education, advocacy, arts, and philanthropic programs.
Through their board service, consulting, training, and policy work, López's legacy of intersectional LGBTQ justice work spans a wide range of fields, industries, communities, and countries. Over their career, they have led numerous campaigns to promote LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices in schools, workplaces, and government institutions, pushing for comprehensive anti-discrimination laws that protect LGBTQ individuals from harassment and unequal treatment. López has expanded LGBTQ voter outreach and field organizing capacity, founded and funded multiple QTBIPOC coalitions and organizations, and increased San Diego Pride’s international relations work.
Their efforts have supported LGBTQ athletes, pushed for criminal justice reform, and improved protections for youth, families, veterans, and service members. Fernando's compassion, leadership, vision, and tireless dedication to LGBTQ rights and intersectional social justice have made a lasting impact on countless lives within the LGBTQ community and beyond. Through their unwavering efforts in advocacy, education, community-building, and leadership development, López is paving the way for a brighter and more inclusive future for all.