June 7, 2019 at 6:56 am PDT | by Susan Hornik
Merchants of Pride

Anheuser Busch presents its first-ever Pride branded Bud Light bottles. (Photo courtesy Anheuser Busch)

If you don’t want to deal with the massive crowds from LA Pride events, there are still many ways to celebrate Pride around town. Los Angeles is chock full of dynamic brands, glam hotels, lovely restaurants and hot nightclubs all of which strongly support the LGBTQ community. The Los Angeles Blade put together an alternative list of ways you can celebrate and still be part of the action.

AT PRIDE

This year, Verizon is the title sponsor of LA Pride, and will host the U.S. premiere of “5B,” a documentary that showcases the inspirational story of everyday heroes who took extraordinary action to comfort, protect and care for the patients of the first HIV/AIDS ward unit in the United States at San Francisco General Hospital.

WHERE TO STAY

Hotel Indigo Los Angeles Downtown is launching a lineup of dedicated and festive offerings as part of its ‘Summer of Love’ campaign in support of the LGBTQ+ community from June-August 2019. The hotel has been committed to supporting the vibrant local community and sharing its neighborhood’s eclectic past and present with guests since opening in 2016.

With city-wide LGBTQ+ celebrations beginning with Pride Month in June and culminating with downtown’s own DTLA Proud Festival in August, Hotel Indigo Los Angeles Downtown’s “Summer of Love” campaign will run all season long. While the West Hollywood neighborhood is widely associated as the Los Angeles hub for all things LGBTQ+ and has been the location of the LA Pride Festival each June since the early 1980s, downtown LA has been gaining momentum as a popular alternative for Pride celebrations and beyond.

The Hotel is celebrating the LGBTQ+ community with a series of “Summer of Love” offerings which include a monthly “Practice for Pride” yoga class, a “Walk in Our Shoes,” an LGBTQ+ walking tour, and weekly “Sungay” brunch offered in the hotel’s signature restaurant, Metropole Kitchen.

Andaz West Hollywood, centrally located on Los Angeles’ sunset strip, has a LA PRIDE WEEK Eat. Drink. Stay package, valid June 2–9, which offers guests a $100 food and beverage credit valid at all of the hotel’s dining outlets, a room category upgrade, and a 2 p.m. late check out. To book the Eat. Drink. Stay package, use promotion code: 100EAZ. LA Pride has a list of other great packages around WeHo if the Andaz is packed.

THE PRODUCTS

FLOOM has teamed up with Diversity Role Models, an organization whose vision is “a world where everyone embraces diversity,” to design PRIDE themed bouquets. FLOOM’s cut of the profits will be donated to them. This year’s Pride Collection will be available in London, New York, LA, San Francisco, and Chicago.

LGBTQ+ owned Magnolia and Vine is donating 25 percent of proceeds to the Human Rights Campaign for the month of June. Whether you’re heading out for parade festivities or just enjoying time with your crew, this brand supports all types of love.

MedMen is excited to partner with Equality California, the largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization, by donating 15% of all limited-edition Pride product proceeds generated at all its California stores to advance LGBTQ equality for the month of June.

Participating products include: Lowell – Sativa pack and sativa single; Kiva – Drag Queen Camino; Mr. Moxey’s Mints – rainbow tin; THC Design – Flower 8th with rainbow sticker; Kush Queen – Rainbow bath bomb, relax 1:1; DomPen -3 pack vape and Dosist – DP50/DP200 Arouse.

FOOD & BEVERAGES

If you want to have a relaxing meal away from the intensity of Pride, head around the corner to WeHo Bistro, at the corner of La Cienega & Holloway. “Our restaurant is a delicious oasis of food and nourishing refreshments, with a restorative deep house vibe,” noted owner Jeff Douek.

“We offer a quieter elegance; a place to recharge the body and the stomach before continuing the party. The bistro is bursting with gay elegance on this gay pride high holiday. SO BOOK EARLY,” added Douek.

The new Rocco’s Restaurant WeHo will be the home for Pride week. DJ’s,live entertainment, great food and drinks.         

“We are really excited to host our very first pride at Rocco’s WeHo”. “Our outdoor patio will be the prime location to see all the pride festivities. Excited to give West Hollywood something exclusive with our live entertainment and newly launched Just Add X mixers (J.A.X.) that are exclusive to Rocco’s WeHo all pride long”.

The best in class cannabis brand, Kiva Confections, has teamed up with renowned drag queens Laganja Estranja, Peaches Christ and Heklina to celebrate this year’s Pride and launch special, limited edition, drag queen inspired Tropical Punch Camino Gummies, a fierce-inducing blend of energizing terpenes with sweet fruit and tropical flavors.

These gummies will be available for a limited time only at dispensaries throughout California. As an added element of support, Kiva will be making donations on behalf of the artists to three LGBTQ charities of their choice – Los Angeles LGBT Center, Harvey Milk Center For The Arts, and GLBT Historical Society.

Kiva’s Drag Queen Camino Gummy Bears (Photo courtesy MedMen)

Meal kit service HelloFresh just created Frozen Rainbow Cubes in honor of PRIDE Month. They are an at-home recipe anyone can make and pop into a glass of water or any liquid to add a delicious twist.

AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer with over 500 beer brands including Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois, etc. pushes for LGBTQ+ rights and inclusion. Bud Light will release limited edition rainbow-colored aluminum bottles in bars across the U.S. through June 30; $1 from each case sold will be donated to GLAAD.

Longtime supporter SKYY Vodka is the official partner for World Pride NY and LA Pride. They will be partnering with some of the original vogue performers to pay tribute to the people and history that have shaped LGBTQ+ culture today.

“At SKYY, our unwavering support of diversity and inclusiveness stems from our San Francisco roots,” said Melanie Batchelor, Vice President of Marketing, Campari America. “We have been a vocal supporter of LGBTQ+ rights since our launch in 1992 and have always sought inventive ways to champion the queer community.

Over the years, SKYY has strived to go beyond standard corporate allyship, from campaigning for anti-discrimination legislation designed to protect transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals, to partnering up with Amazon Prime’s groundbreaking Emmy show, “Transparent,” said Batchelor.

NEFT Vodka will launch a newly created limited-edition barrel just in time to celebrate LA Pride Week, with a portion of proceeds benefiting Project Angel Food throughout LGBTQ Pride Month. The festive new barrel will make its debut during the LA Pride Parade at a pop-up tent in collaboration with Tortilla Republic in West Hollywood, where NEFT cocktails and traditional Mexican fare will be available to consumers while they refresh and relax between festivities.

A colorful step-and-repeat showcasing this new design will be on display, creating a background of rainbow colored inspiration, along with an on-site photographer who will take photos for guests wanting a keepsake photograph that can be uploaded to social media. 

GETTING PRIDE READY

Upgrade Labs is offering a Rainbow Carpet Radiance package at their location in the Beverly Hilton that gets you right + tight in under an hour for $175, giving you glowing and toned skin, a trimmer physique and increased energy. The four components of the package include:

The Big Squeeze is a high-tech full body detox massage. This system gently removes excess water, slims the body + compresses the midsection, expels toxins, and boosts the immune system so you can look and feel your best in a matter of minutes. 

​Cryo Facials have been shown to increase cell rejuvenation, improve skin  tones with an immediate glow + rested appearance, reduce signs of wrinkles, puffiness + dark circles, boost collagen production & promote skin tightening.

Their full body, full spectrum infrared sauna promotes detoxification, enhances your immune system, boosts collagen production, and calms your nervous system. They have also added chromotherapy, or color therapy, which helps boost your mood and promotes an overall sense of harmony and wellbeing.

The RedCharger has effects that range from skin rejuvenation, improving brain and body functionality to improved skin and decreased inflammation as well as detoxing the body.

For Pride recovery, Upgrade offers a “Pride Recovery Drip” which helps with hydration, detox, and recovery for body, mind and spirit. The drip Includes glutathione, NAD, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. They can offer an additional unique nasal treatment for headache relief.

dOf course, while you are relaxation minded, you might just escape to the beach and visit SandSpa and Polished by SandSpa, with locations in both Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach, are working with The Trevor Foundation, donating 20 per cent of the cost of spa services to the organization. Gretchen Tiernan and Megan Richardson are an amazing entrepreneurial, lesbian couple who are recently engaged!

Jonathan Van Ness is collaborating with DIFF Charitable Eyewear. The collection features rainbow gradient sunglasses which are launching just in time for Pride Month!

All frames in the collection are named, TOSCA, after the song that Michelle Kwan skated to when she won the world figure skating championship in 2003. The Tosca is an oversized acetate aviator and is available in 4 sunglasses colors, Rainbow gradient, Amber Tortoise with Brown frames, Rose Crystal, and Black and Grey frames.

Four blue light blocking lenses protect your eyes from the harmful rays that come from digital screens, prevent blurry vision, reduce the risk of headaches, help with getting a better night’s sleep, and are a must have item if you’re staring at a screen all day!

The collection retails for $85 and is available on www.diffeyewear.com

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