Your Guide to LGBTQ+ Pride Weekend in Los Angeles
Every year, June brings hot weather and rainbows—not the post-rainstorm kind (this is still a renovated desert, after all) but the rainbow flag of gay pride. Here in Los Angeles and across the nation, this is Pride Month, and here are four things you need to know to join the party.
1. 2020 Is a Special Anniversary
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first Gay Pride marches. According to historians, the first Pride marches began as protests and displays of resistance against the exclusion, harassment and life-threatening violence that greeted the LGBTQ+ community in American life.
2. And Will Feature the First-Ever Virtual Parade
This year, the Covid-19 pandemic caused officials to call off the thousands-strong parade that traditionally attracts revelers from around the world and turns West Hollywood into a massive indoor-outdoor cocktail affair. Instead, the Christopher Street West Association (CSW), which annually presents an L.A. Pride festival and parade, has planned a slate of online events and a TV special. Los Angeles’s first-ever virtual Pride Parade will air as a 90-minute primetime special exclusively on ABC7, Saturday, June 13 at 7:30 p.m., with an encore presentation on Sunday, June 14 at 2 p.m. It will be hosted by ABC7 Eyewitness News anchors Ellen Leyva and Brandi Hitt with special guest host, actress Raven-Symoné, and correspondent Karl Schmid.
3. Read up on These NamesLook for homages to Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, who were involved in the 1969 Stonewall uprising. New York City’s Stonewall Inn was (and still is) a gay bar; on June 28, 1969, employees and patrons were being carted off by police when gay rights activists fought back and started a multi-day standoff with cops. Their act of rebellion served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world. Johnson was an African-American transgender woman; Rivera was Latinx and identified as gender-fluid. “Fifty years ago Christopher Street West took to the streets of Hollywood Blvd in order to peacefully protest against police brutality and oppression,” said Estevan Montemayor, President of CSW Board of Directors. “It is our moral imperative to honor the legacy of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, who bravely led the Stonewall uprising.” Expect lots of shout-outs to their work as queer activists of color.
4. Join Virtual Pride Celebrations Across the Nation
There’s a whole month of Pride events you can participate in virtually this month, including a Trans March (date to be determined), a New York City rally on June 26 and San Francisco’s online celebrations on June 27 and 28. You can also stand with the LGBTQ+ community by supporting one of these organizations.
Note: This story originally reported that Pride organizers were going to peacefully assemble a protest march in solidarity with the Black community. However, CSW recently dropped out of the event after a permit application to the L.A. police department drew backlash. The article has since been amended. The All Black Lives Matter march will still occur on Sunday, June 14, 2020.