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Man Sues City of San Diego And San Diego Pride Over Public Nudity Arrest

Thanks to the San Diego Police Dept. and San Diego Pride Will X. Walters now holds the dubious honor of being the ONLY  person in the history of the City of San Diego to be arrested and booked on a charge of public nudity. 

The problem is that Mr. Walters wasn’t nude.

The arrest happened at the 2011 San Diego Pride Parade and Walters who was dressed in “leather gear consisting of boots, a black leather gladiator kilt, black underwear, and a black leather harness with chrome rings and  says he was forcibly escorted out and had his phone knocked from his hand as he attempted to record the incident.

Walters is now suing the City of San Diego, several police officers, San Diego Pride, and head of Pride security, Shawn Chamberlain, seeking an injunction and compensatory and punitive damages for violations of the Fourteenth and Fourth Amendments, false arrest, battery, negligence and violation of his civil rights under California’s Civil Code, Courthouse News Service reports:

Will X. Walters claims city police selectively enforced a municipal policy on public nudity, which allows women to wear g-strings and thongs, but not gay men.

Walters also claims that San Diego Pride “wholeheartedly endorsed” the policy, to “curry favor” with the police department, to appeal to mainstream sponsors, and to make the event palatable to straight people and families.

“Will Walters is a Hispanic, gay man who owns the dubious distinction of being the only person in the history of the City of San Diego to be arrested and booked on a charge of public nudity,” the complaint states. “Mr. Walters was arrested for public nudity at the 2011 Lesbian Gay Bi-Sexual Transgender Pride (‘Pride’) event while wearing an opaque gladiator type kilt over black underwear. Under any definition, he was not nude, as his buttocks and genitalia were fully covered. Nonetheless, he was ushered out of the event, humiliated, arrested, and incarcerated.

At the jail Mr. Walters was placed in a single cell visible to all inmates being checked in. San Diego County sheriffs deputies encouraged the incoming inmates to ridicule Mr. Walters, who was wearing only his kilt and underwear, and the deputies joined in the verbal harassment. In going from the hot environment of an overheated car to the air conditioned jail, Mr. Walters was chilled. The deputies refused Mr. Walters any additional clothing or a blanket. However, upon his release from jail, Mr. Walters was ordered to change into clothing provided by the jail. Mr. Walters was released from the jail at approximately 2:15 am, Sunday, July 17, 2011, after posting $190 bond. He had been given nothing to eat or drink since his arrest, some twelve hours prior.”

Is this just another attempt at assimilation and making Pride Events “gaybie” Family Friendly? 

If so it’s just WRONG.

The whole point of Pride is to celebrate WHO we are, MAKE A STATEMENT and HAVE FUN. 

We do not hold Pride Parades to impress heterosexuals with how “normal” we are are.


Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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2 thoughts on “Man Sues City of San Diego And San Diego Pride Over Public Nudity Arrest”

  1. This incident is being over publicized by Mr. Walters and his legal counsel. Mr. Walters allegations of battery of his camera are false. I never struck him or his camera. He was afforded every opportunity to cover his ass crack which was exposed with every step as he was not wearing anything under his flap. This event permits children.

    Mr. Walters was simply asked to cover his crack, he refused the situation was taken without force outside the side gate for everybody’s safety. Just outside the venue and in plain sight the conversation continued between the San Diego Police (6) officers including a Lieutenant and Sergeant along with myself the only representative of San Diego Pride.

    When he refused to cover himself he was informed of the San Diego and Penal Cde sections he was violating and that he would be subject to citation if he refused to comply. At this time he called his attorney as well he video taped the conversation. He was allowed to make his calls and continue to video tape throughout the ordeal.

    It was decided that the incident was not going to resolve and a citation was issued. The citation was explained to him in it entirety and he refused to sign the citation which would constitute his promise to appear in court. Based on his repeated refusal and his escalation in his attitude he was ultimately

    During the entire incident I was allowed to speak with Mr. Walters during the initial encounter to attempt to resolve this incident as the Pride lason. Mr. Walters was asked to comply by simply covering his ass crack and enjoy the event. He refused. Prior to issuing the citation I was permitted again to attempt to resolve this issue to which Mr. Walters again refused. When the citation was issued and Mr. Walters refused to sign, I was allowed again to attempt to resolve this issue as well as inform Mr. Waters that they were considering arresting him and f that happened he would be taken to jail dressed as he was.

    Mr. Walters continued his defiance and was ultimately arrested. This incident took over 40 minutes to play out. I am accused of striking the camera from Mr. Walters hand which is a false statement. I never touched Mr. Walters and will defend not only my Name but my reputation in the community. Mr. Walters was dressed innapporprately and refused to change his attire to conform with the request of the police dept furthermore refused to give his promise to appear which resulted in his arrest.

What do you think?