San Jose's Pride Celebration 2012, titled "Equality for Everyone," will kick off the 37th annual event today with a news conference highlighting this year's health-focused theme.
"I see this year as an opportunity to change," said Nathan Svoboda, president of the Gay Pride Celebration of San Jose, which is organizing this weekend's event.
The pride celebration runs from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Discovery Meadow Park, located at West San Carlos Street and Woz Way in San Jose.
Saturday's celebration is free while Sunday's event will cost $10 in advance or $20 at the gate.
Svoboda says that he hopes this year will be a step forward in the evolution of San Jose's gay pride event, one that he hopes will eventually bring together the many disparate factions of the city's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.
Along with being smoke-free, this year's event will have a Health and Wellness Pavilion providing services such as medical screenings and free HIV testing.
The health-focused theme of this year's event is due in part to a $5,000 grant from the nonprofit Breathe California, whose contribution funded LGBT-friendly classes to help people quit smoking.
Speakers at today's 3 p.m. news conference will include Santa Clara County Supervisors Ken Yeager and Dave Cortese, San Jose Councilmembers Kansen Chu and Ash Kalra and State Assemblymember Jim Beall.
More information about the pride celebration can be found at www.sanjosepride.com or by calling (408) 475-5428.