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What are you doing for Pride?

There’s so much to be proud of and so much to do

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LA Pride grand marshal and #ResistMarch founder and organizer Brian Pendleton discusses plans for the June 11 march that begins at 8 a.m. near the intersection of Hollywood and Highland. (Photo by Jon Viscott)

JUNE 2

‘Lesbians to Watch Out For: ‘90s L.A. Activism,’ Jun 2 – @  7pm – 9 PM. Opening reception for on view through June 30. ( Plummer Park, Long Hall, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd. ). This year marks the 24th anniversary of the National Dyke March in Washington DC and the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Lesbian Avengers.  These two events inspired national activist efforts and a legacy of Dyke Marches across the country. From protest and street activism to grassroots community groups, ’90s activism in LA and WeHo reflected the energy of the decade. This exhibit  tells the stories of LA queer women from groups like ACT UP LA, Queer Nation LA, Dyke March LA, the United Lesbians of African Heritage (ULOAH), Los Angeles Asian Pacific Islander Sisters (LAAPIS), Lesbianas Unidas (LU) and other organizations. It also features ‘The Lesbian Avengers: 25th Anniversary’ traveling exhibition. Free admission. 

JUNE 3

One City One Pride Day of History, June 3 -30: As in years past, One City One Pride provides an entire day of history on the Saturday prior to Christopher Street West’s LA Pride Festival.

Drag Queen Story Time, Sat Jun 3 @ 11 AM.  (West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. ) Organized by RADAR productions (the same folks who first brought Drag Queen Storytime to San Francisco’s Public Library) join the City of West Hollywood through WeHo Arts and the West Hollywood Library for children’s stories and crafts. Free.

Stuart Timmons LGBTQ History Tour, Sat  Jun 3 @  11 AM to 1 PM.  (Shuttles depart every 15 minutes from 11am to 1pm. from the West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625. N. San Vicente Blvd. )  A performance work written by acclaimed author/historian Stuart Timmons (The Trouble With Harry Hay, GAY L.A.) and directed as a performance art piece by Jason Jenn, this tour dazzled audiences in 2015 and 2016. It returns for one more special invigorating event to celebrate Stuart’s legacy and how his life’s work and research is available for all to enjoy. The tour involves a brief shuttle ride followed by a refreshingly accessible urban hike encountering over a dozen costumed characters for surprising fun and history along the way. Go West (Hollywood) and join us for the adventure! (Tours last between 90-120 minutes).

Reel In The Closet, Sat  Jun 3 @ 5 PM  (West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.) Reel In The Closet is a feature-length documentary that lets us connect with queer people from the past through the rare home movies that they left for us. Free admission.

JUNE 4

Vox Femina: Woman Rising, A Taste of Season 20, Sun Jun 4 @ 3 PM (Congregation Kol Ami, 1200 N. La Brea Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90038.) This free concert combines repertoire from VOX Femina’s 20th Anniversary season, a snapshot of the organization’s past, present and future. Free admission.

#LastDance,  Sun Jun 4 @ 7 PM (McCadden Place Theatre, 1157 N. McCadden Pl.) It’s BOYS IN THE BAND with a little PARIS IS BURNING thrown in! #LastDance will make audiences rethink what really is behind the wigs, makeup and heels and find out queens are people just like them. Written and directed by Miss Barbie Q and Cinnamon Rivera for One City One Pride/Hollywood Fringe. Show dates: Sun, June 4th @7pm (press preview); Sun, June 11th @10:30pm; Sun, June 18th @1pm; Fri, June 23rd @7:30pm; Sat, June 24th @8:30pm. Tickets required.

JUNE 6

Los Angeles Sparks Pride Night, in sponsorship with LA Pride’s Women’s party, Jun 6 @ 7:30 PM (Staples Center, 1111 S Figueroa St). The women’s professional basketball team for Los Angeles faces Chicago Sky on Taco Tuesday night. Tickets range in price for $10 to $50. Must be 21 years or older.

JUNE 7

Outfest WeHo Screening of “Pride Under Fire” Wed  Jun 7 @ 7:30 PM (West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd) The City of West Hollywood through WeHo Arts partners with Outfest for a screening of Pride Under Fire.. which takes us to Louisville, Kentucky, following the Pulse Night Club Shooting. In this documentary we see a nation divided, personified in the town of Louisville, filled with those celebrating Pride and reclaiming their parade, and those deeply embedded in gun culture and exclusion. After the screening, there will be a discussion about where we are as a community one-year after the Pulse shooting  Tickets required.

JUNE 8

Hollywood Fringe / One City One Pride, Jun 8 – 25 (at various times and venues)  The Hollywood Fringe Festival is an open and uncensored community-derived event. The Fringe’s western border is usually Gardner Street, but through a special collaboration with the City, LGBTQ shows can take place throughout West Hollywood as part of One City One Pride. Visit www.hollywoodfringe.org/weho_2017 to find shows taking place in WeHo.  

LAAA “Out There,” Fri Jun 9 – Jun 16 @  10 AM – 5 PM  (Gallery 825, 825 N. La Cienega Blvd.).  Out There is an all media exhibition at Los Angeles Art Association during One City One Pride. Opening Reception on Friday, June 9, 6-9 pm. Gallery hours 10am-5pm every day except Monday through June 18. Free admission.

Migration of the Monarchs: ‘Everything in life…transforms’ , Fri Jun 3 – Jun 10 @  7 PM – 9 PM (Santa Monica Boulevard between Robertson and San Vicente) A three part conceptual art project involving wearable art that transforms over the month by Trans artist Yozmit. She is the first artist to receive a Trans Art grant from the City of West Hollywood: JUN 3 @  11 AM – 3 PM, Yozmit will collect prayers and stitch a ribbon or bead onto a TOTEM (wearable art costume) as a symbol of exchange; Jun 9 @  7 PM – 9 PM, WALK will be performed as live ambient art on Santa Monica Blvd;  Jun  10 @10 PM, Jun 18 @ 1pm and Jun 24 @ 5:30 PM, Burlesque and Cabaret merge with Victorian esthetics, Butoh, Kabuki, and ‘Pansori’ (traditional Korean singing) to create a cathartic act of experiential research into the psyche of the performer during the Hollywood Fringe. Intentions and prayers in part 1 will be used during the performance.

JUNE 9

Dyke March, Fri Jun 9 @ 6 PM (Sal Guariello Veterans’ Memorial, 8447 Santa Monica Blvd.) The annual Dyke March begins with a program at 7 PM,  followed by a march down Santa Monica Blvd. at 8pm. Confirmed speakers include Patrisse Cullors (of #blacklivesmatter) and Sheila Kuehl.

Trans Party and #SIZZLE, Fri Jun 9 @ Time TBD. (West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente Blvd.)  The LA Pride Festival grounds are partially open on Friday, and devoted to trans programming and the #SIZZLE sober area. This event is free to attend.

Pride is Universal, Fri. Jun 9 @ 9:00 PM – 1 PM.  (Universal Studios Hollywood, 100 Universal City Plz)  Enjoy a day riding rides and eating to your hearts content. All day access passes begin at $95. Event tickets, $48.

LA Dodgers LGBT Night, Fri. Jun 9 @ 5:30 PM.  (Dodger Stadium, 1000 Vin Scully Ave) Ceremonial first pitch will be thrown out by Matt Bomer; guests include Dustin Lance Black, Noah Galvin, Guillermo Diaz, Lance Bass and Dot Marie Jones singing the National Anthem.  Tickets on sale at dodgers.com

June 10

LA Pride Festival,  Jun 10 – 11 @ all day (West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente Blvd.). The LA Pride Festival has been organized by Christopher Street West (CSW) since the 1970s. Entertainment includes Chromeo and Brandy. Visit www.lapride.org for a full line-up of entertainment and to purchase tickets ($20-$30).

JUNE 11

#ResistMarch, Sun Jun 11 @  8 AM – 1PM (Hollywood and Highland to West Hollywood Park.) This year a march will take place from Hollywood (where LA Pride was born in 1970) to West Hollywood, where LA Pride grew up. Instead of a parade celebrating our past progress, the LGBTQ+ community and its allies will march in solidarity with and on the same day as the National Equality March for Unity and Pride in Washington DC. Speakers include U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff, U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, West Hollywood Mayor John Heilman, Activist Bamby Salcedo, HRC President Chad Griffin, activist musicians Haim, Adam Lambert and Margaret Cho.  Free.

JUNE 12

“California Dreams” presented by New Stages, Jun 12, Jun 14 @ 7 PM (Renberg Theatre, The LA LGBT Center’s Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N. McCadden Pl.). Through story and song, “California Dreams” will explore the experiences of our community of LGBTQ seniors as they made their own journeys west – literally, figuratively and symbolically toward liberation. This original production is created through a workshop process whereby seniors at the LA LGBT Center contribute their own stories to the final work. Free admission. RSVP to 323-860-5830

JUNE 14

“Rainbow Key Awards,” presented by the City of West Hollywood, Jun 12 @ 6 PM (West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd). The 2017 Rainbow Key Honorees are: Cleve Jones (former aide to Harvey Milk, author of When We Rise), JQ International (LGBTQ/Jewish organization); Eric Paul Leue (Mr. LA Leather 2014); LA Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce; Michaela Ivri Mendelsohn (Transgender activist, public speaker, and business leader); Jewel Thais-Williams (operator of Catch One, the now-legendary discothèque, where Latino and African American LGBT people were not subjected to prohibitive door policies); and Ruth Tittle (16-year member of the Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board). Free Admission.

JUNE 15

The Complete History of Drag, presented by Apt 3 for  Hollywood Fringe, Jun 15 @ 8:30 PM (The Other Space Theatre, 916 N. Formosa Ave.) a new play by David LeBarron for the Hollywood Fringe. Backstage at a drag show, Auntie, an old diva, teaches a newbie her fabulous lineage, from ancient times to current affairs, a resilient race of glitter, tucking and throat throttling reality. Also Sun Jun 18 @ 7 PM; Sat Jun 24 @ 3:30 PM; Sun  Jun 25 @ 7 PM. Tickets $10. Enter Code: OneCity for $2 off tickets

JUNE 16

TransPride Kickoff, presented by Los Angeles LGBT Center, Jun 16 @ 7:30 – 9:30 PM. An all day festival will take place Jun 17 @ 12 – 9:30 PM. (1125 N. McCadden Place) Trans Pride L.A. is not only Los Angeles’ largest trans pride festival, but also a social media outlet for trans information and support.  Free Admission.

JUNE 17

Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights (ALAP) Playreading Festival, Jun 17 @ 2 PM (Plummer Park Community Center, Rooms 1 and 2, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd.) Join ALAP for their annual playreading festival of LGBTQ short plays. Free Admission.

7th Annual “Celebrating All Life and Creation” Pow Wow, Jun 17 @ 10 AM – 6 PM (Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd.) Join Red Circle Project of AIDS Project LA for a full day of traditional Native American music, dance, crafts and food, along with HIV testing and prevention resources. Free Admission.

JUNE 20

Celebration Theatre presents Patricia Loughrey with the Chuck Rowland Award for contributions to LGBTQ theatre,  Jun 20 @ 7:30 PM (West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.) Excerpts from three of her plays will be presented: Dear Harvey: Stories of Harvey Milk this verbatim theatre piece weaves the words of Harvey with interviews with his family, friends and colleagues into a portrait of hope and a vision of equality… “I am all of us.” The Daddy Machine (music by Rayme Sciaroni, based on the book by Johnny Valentine): When two moms leave their kids home alone, mayhem ensues. Stonewall, the family dog, tries to stave off chaos as 52 dads emerge from a magical daddy machine. The Inner Circle:  when AIDS devastates a community of friends, will they draw together for comfort? Or fracture apart to avoid feeling the loss?  Free Admission

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Events

Portrait of a Festival on Fire, AFI Fest returns with live screenings

AFI Fest returns this year with live screenings—and a roster that’s typically chock full of queer breakout films

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Courtesy of the American Film Institute's AFI Fest

By Dan Allen | LOS ANGELES – Like most things last year, L.A.’s most prestigious mainstream film festival AFI Fest was forced to go virtual—but it still managed to include what proved to be some of the year’s most critically lauded gay films, including I Carry You With Me and Uncle Frank. The fest’s prior incarnation in 2019 served up one of the most acclaimed and popular lesbian movies in recent memory, Portrait of a Lady on Fire

So it’s no surprise that as AFI Fest pivots back this year to a pando-transitional screening hybrid of virtual and in-person at the Chinese Theatres in Hollywood, the five-day lineup is once again crowded with LGBTQ+-themed excellence from the U.S. and across the globe. Safety protocols will of course be in effect—but for the squeamish, the anti-social, or the just plain lazy, a virtual (albeit more limited) AFI Fest schedule will again be available for 2021. 

Whether you choose live or virtual, here are our picks for this year’s queer (and -ish) flicks not to miss at AFI Fest, which runs November 10 to 14.

tick, tick… BOOM! 

Opening AFI Fest this year is the world premiere of the hotly-awaited adaptation of John Larson’s autobiographical musical, starring Andrew Garfield and directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda in his feature debut. Larson was of course the creator of the theatrical phenomenon Rent, and tick, tick… BOOM! is its origin story, as struggling New York City composer Larson responds to the pressures of life and the ravages of the AIDS epidemic. (Screening live with Red Carpet Premiere at TCL Chinese, November 10, 7:30pm)

The Power of the Dog

One of the buzziest films to come out of this year’s Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals is the latest from Jane Campion, featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as a deeply closeted gay cowboy in 1925 Montana whose repression manifests itself in the sadistic intimidation of his brother’s new wife and her teenage son. (Screening live with Red Carpet Premiere at TCL Chinese, November 10, 7:30pm)

Great Freedom (Grosse Freiheit)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLQZoNZEOVU
Austria’s official submission for next year’s Best International Feature Film Oscar and a jury prize winner at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Great Freedom tells the story of irrepressible German homosexual Hans Hoffmann (Franz Rogowski) through several decades, from his wartime imprisonment for repeatedly breaking Nazi Germany’s antigay Paragraph 175 law, and post-war following his life, loves and an unexpected friendship. (Screening live at Chinese 3, November 14, 4pm)

Petite Maman

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdORAHCydyY
While not technically LGBTQ+-themed, Petite Maman is director Céline Sciamma’s eagerly anticipated follow-up to her wildly popular period lesbian romance Portrait of a Lady on Fire. In this film, Sciamma (who also directed 2011’s Tomboy) returns to the themes of childhood and family: Eight-year-old Nelly has just lost her grandmother, and while exploring the woods near the matriarch’s home, she meets another little girl with striking parallels to her mother. (Screening virtually beginning November 11; screening live at Chinese 1, November 13, 1:15 pm)

Paris, 13th District (Les Olympiades, Paris 13e)

Another film with a strong Portrait of a Lady on Fire connection is this French graphic novel adaptation starring Noémie Merlant (Portrait painter Marianne) as Nora, whose new life in Paris is complicated when she’s mistaken for a cam girl. Céline Sciamma also collaborated on the script here, which features a tapestry of love stories including that of free-spirited Émilie and her new roommate Camille. (Screening virtually beginning November 11; screening live at Chinese 1, November 11, 8:15pm) 

Bernstein’s Wall

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSodXElSVTQ
Composer and social justice warrior Leonard Bernstein tells his life story in his own words, artfully pieced together here from many interviews conducted throughout his career, and augmented by segments from his letters, as published in the award-winning 2013 book The Leonard Bernstein Letters. (Screening live with director Douglas Tirola in attendance at Chinese 4, November 12, 3:15pm)

The Girl and the Spider

An award winner at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival, Ramon and Silvan Zürcher’s film focuses on the interpersonal relationships and behavioral cues surrounding a young Swiss woman, Lisa, as she moves out of the apartment she’s shared with Mara, who’s clearly been more than just her friend. (Screening live along with a conversation with directors Ramon and Silvan Zürcher at Chinese 3, November 14, 1pm)

Wildhood 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSodXElSVTQ
Seen here in its American debut, Wildhood follows Two-Spirit Mi’kmaw teenager Link as he sets off with his younger half-brother Travis in a search for Link’s long-lost mother. Along the way they meet Pasmay, another young Mi’kmaw Two-Spirit, and what had at first seemed bleak for Link evolves into a beautiful journey of discovery about family, origins, identity and young love. (Screening live with producers Gharrett Paon and Damon D’Oliveira in attendance at Chinese 3, November 13, 4pm)

AFI Fest 2021’s numerous shorts programs will also be peppered with LGBTQ+-themed goodness. Coded: The Hidden Love of J.C. Leyendecker looks at the coded advertisements created by the legendary but closeted gay illustrator. In Israel’s Her Dance, estranged transwoman Aya surprises her Orthodox Jewish family by showing up for Shabbat. From Puerto Rico comes Mano Santa, in which a grandfather briefly harbors his runaway grandson after he’s fled home. In Boys of a Certain Age, a teenager faces danger and excitement during a weekend of self-discovery with his best friend. Set in Cyprus, A Summer Place follows Tina on her birthday, as a chance encounter stops her from giving up everything.
And a couple of LGBTQ+ film icons will be representing at AFI Fest this year, albeit in non-queer titles, in the form of Pedro Almodóvar’s latest Parallel Mothers (starring Penelope Cruz and longtime Almodóvar muse Rossy de Palma), and the arty and meditative Memoria, in which Tilda Swinton plays a Scottish orchid farmer visiting Colombia who struggles to make sense of the sudden-onset sound that only she can hear.

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Events

West Hollywood Halloween Events 2021

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Courtesy of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has released its annual Halloween events guide available here.

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Events

Project Angel Food’s 2021 Telethon raises $1.1 million

Project Angel Food is thankful to have received support from friends and the community providing the funding needed to sustain their service

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Eric McCormack led a toast, lifting a glass with all the stars in studio to Chef Randy (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Project Angel Food)

HOLLYWOOD – Los Angeles charity Project Angel Food succeeded in raising $1,126,090 far surpassing their fundraising goal of $800,000 in their 2021 Telethon which aired on KTLA 5 Saturday evening. The Telethon, LEAD WITH LOVE 2021 was presented by City National Bank.

Hosted by by Will & Grace star Eric McCormack and KTLA anchor Jessica Holmes along with Loni Love and Alec Mapa as co-hosts, the evening broadcast opened with a surprise greeting from British Rockstar musician Ringo Starr.

It’s been a difficult year for everyone, and Project Angel Food is thankful to have received so much support from friends and the community and providing the funding needed to sustain the expanded service to those in need, preparing and delivering over one million medically tailored meals to our most vulnerable neighbors.  Project Angel Food Executive Director Richard Ayoub said, “I am overwhelmed with gratitude and inspiration.  The success of this tells me Los Angeles is with us every step of the way.”

A good deal of celebrity star power helped to boost the donations which were taken in by phone, online, and text. Loni Love, author, and host of The Real, presented her $25,000 winnings from her recent appearance on ABC’s Celebrity Family Feud. Her donation joined that of actor Jamie Lee Curtis who called in live via Skype, made a $10,000 gift from her family foundation.

The Herb Ritts Foundation offered a “match challenge” of $75,000, agreeing to match donations coming in over an hour up to $75,000. The match was reached in just 27 minutes.

Other big donors for the night included: $50,000 each from Susanna Blinkoff & Jordan Corngold, Connie Frank, and Mary Fisher; $30,000 National Rongxiang Xu Foundation & Human Heritage Project; $26,000 from Michael J. Libow; $25,000 from Stanley and Joyce Black Family Foundation, Block Party WeHo, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, The Chuck Lorre Family Foundation, WEN Hair and Body Care by Chaz Dean, Whole Foods Market, and Main Street Catering…and our thanks to everyone who donated! 

A special Tribute was paid to Chef Randy Nakamura, who died from COVID this past year, by celebrity chefs Cat Cora and Stuart O’Keeffe, and actor Brad Garrett, who met Chef Randy at Project Angel Food.  Eric McCormack then led a toast, lifting a glass with all the stars in studio to Chef Randy, followed by a special performance by LeAnn Rimes, singing Throw My Arms Around the World, beautifully capturing the spirit of the evening.

Highlights and behind-the-scenes of the night can be seen at Project Angel Food’s website…and it’s still possible to donate by texting LOVE20 to 50155.   

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