Yes it is that time of year-Gay and Lesbian Pride month. This weekend in Los Angeles we are celebrating GLBT Pride Weekend with lots of festivities. It is the 40th year of organized GLBT Pride. The festival starts Saturday at noon and concludes at midnight Sunday after the grand parade down Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood. But there have been so many great activities to celebrate Pride month already. This weekend is just the icing on the cake before other pride celebrations around the state take place including the last weekend in June in San Francisco (Also celebrating 40 years of organized Pride celebrations).
Here in Los Angeles/West Hollywood Pride is run by Christopher Street West/LA Pride . Under the leadership of my good friend Rodney Scott, CSW/La Pride has brought together a most diverse and terrific array of ways to celebrate GLBT Pride weekend. Bravo to him and to all of CSW for honoring real diversity- race, gender, gender-identity, sexual orientation, class, coupled, single, young and old. On Sunday at the annual Pride parade you will see a great cross section of LA County and the world represented.
Why a parade? In the beginning…. there was a challenge from New York activists to Los Angeles to commemorate the one year anniversary of the Stonewall riots in 1969. The riots occurred at the end of June as the NYPD once again raided a gay bar The Stonewall Inn. This time the patrons refused to go quietly and three days of rioting ensued. Thus a rebellion was born. A year later here in Los Angeles with the leadership of Rev. Troy Perry, founder of the Metropolitan Community Churches Christopher Street West was born. And the annual pride parade. It was a march down Hollywood Blvd. Yes a protest march but a parade–you couldn’t arrest people for a parade Troy thought! And so different from what happens in San Francisco or New York–LA Pride is a parade –with more in common with the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena than any civil disobedience march!
So Happy Gay Pride. Whether you are gay or straight, Lesbian or Bisexual or a Trans person or asexual. This weekend is about celebrating yourself as you were made! Just as God made you we say! So celebrate yourself. And don’t let others tell you that you don’t matter. Because you do!