What a significant difference a mere seven months can make! Prior to the 2016 elections last November, progress on the LGBT equality front was so presumed, inculcated in every day life, few Angelenos got excited about celebrating LGBT Pride. It was a done deal. That changed with the campaign of Donald Trump and his shocking ascension to presidential power. This year the June 11#ResistMarch is supplanting the traditional Christopher Street West Pride Parade, ironically a return to the roots of post-Stonewall protest.
But, as CSW co-founder Rev. Troy Perry reminded us, Los Angeles decided to have a parade to celebrate the joy of gay liberation, in conjunction with the ongoing anger over still being denied first class citizenship. So of course there needed to be some parties celebrating Pride – and who better to kick that off than Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and West Hollywood Mayor John Heilman, both held on Wednesday night.
Garcetti’s LGBT Pride Garden Party was held at the historic Wattles Mansion in Hollywood. Guests ranged from LAPD brass to LGBT city staff to grassroots artists and activists from both political parties and voters who “declined-to-state” their political preferences. Cocktails and civility flowed throughout the estate, a reminder that “respect” still matters in some quarters.
Heilman’s party with CSW was held at the Penthouse at historic Factory on Robertson Boulevard. The mayor greeted guests decked out in a shimmering jacket that would have reflected the disco ball chandeliers had they been on and spinning above, framed against enough greenery and wide windows one might think the chic club space was a creative environmentalist’s greenhouse/funhouse. Ah, WeHo. Guests mingled, gossiped and foot-tapped to Anthony Fedorove singing “Calling on You.” A joyful attitude of Pride was plentiful and on parade. To see more of what WeHo is producing for Pride go to www.weho.org/pride.