WeHo set to celebrate Bi Pride, September 21
For the second year in a row, The City of West Hollywood along with the Human Rights Campaign LA and the amBi bisexual social community will host the City’s Bi Pride Celebration on September 21, 2019, in the West Hollywood Park Auditorium.
The social event is part of three days of programming around Bi Visibility Day, also known as International Celebrate Bisexuality Day, which takes place on Sunday, September 23, 2019.
About the Organizer
Ian Lawrence-Tourinho, Executive Director of the Bi Foundation and Lead Organizer of amBi Los Angeles – a social group for bi people across LA County that is helping put on WeHo Bi Pride—is thrilled about the upcoming event.
“Last year’s Bi Pride really made me appreciate the importance of simple, understandable, positive messaging,” Lawrence-Tourinho acknowledged. “As a community that is so often actively erased from public discourse, the importance of that kind of bi visibility almost can’t be overstated.”
Lawrence-Tourinho hopes that this event creates a lot of visibility for Los Angeles’ dynamic bi community and energizes people in California and beyond.
“I was at an LGBT conference in Korea earlier this month and it warmed my heart to hear from activists working in places as far away as Thailand and Mainland China. They heard of our 2018 event and that it inspired them. One of my hopes is that people in other cities and countries will start hosting these kinds of celebrations as well, bringing our bi community together in a spirit of joy. I think our movement is ready to.”
Across the world, events around Bi Visibility Day have tended to be very grassroots affairs, such as community art festivals and talent shows, noted Lawrence-Tourinho.
“At one point, last year’s event was possibly going to be called ‘Be Here,’ which would include a series of panel discussions mixed with slam poetry and music performances. All that is beautiful too, but we eventually realized that with the city of West Hollywood’s support, we had a chance to do something bigger – and yet simpler.”
When people hear “Bi Pride,” they have an idea what that means, said Lawrence-Tourinho. “They imagine fun, celebration, and a chance to really feel good about being bi. That promise brings out a diverse crowd from all walks of life.”
Last year, more than twice as many people attended as they anticipated. “We really got a sense of how much pent-up demand there is for an event like this. And so Bi Pride 2019 is going to be a bigger and better. “
Sprouts, Starbucks, The Abbey, and Trader Joes are donating food and drink. There will also be some organizations with tables. “But we didn’t want this to be a dry ‘org fest’ with a bunch of nonprofits handing out flyers,” said Lawrence-Tourinho.
The organizers didn’t want the event to be corporate. “Instead, we insisted that everyone exhibiting at our little festival have something to offer the community – something fun, interactive, and of relevance. Expect a lot of games and giveaways.”
He continued: “We’ll also have a few short speeches from politicians and community leaders and then we are going to take to the streets! We will be marching down the main drag of West Hollywood with the world’s largest bi flag, being as fabulously and visibly bi as the world has ever seen. After that, we’ll return to the Auditorium for ‘Glow,’ a dance party that takes place all in black light. I can’t wait!”
Bi Pride: Mike Szymanski
Los Angeles Blade talked to attendees about the importance of bi pride and the challenges they face as a bisexual.
“Bi Pride is important because bisexuals are usually overlooked or caught up in LGBT and completely forgotten,” said Mike Szymanski, who co-authored “The Bisexual’s Guide to the Universe.”
Szymanski doesn’t always feel recognized for what he identifies as. “It’s a constant struggle getting people to understand that you can be bisexual and not have partners of all genders to be considered so. And the pansexual label makes it even more complicated. It’s pretty simple really, I’m potentially (and have been) attracted to all genders. I don’t have to be with all the same time to be satisfied. I don’t understand why it’s so tough for people to understand it.”
He added: “When I’m at a gay pride event with my partner, we are considered a gay couple, not a bi couple. But when we are at Bi Pride, finally we can be in a parade and be seen as a bi couple! But it still takes a lot of explain to some people.”
Bisexuality is Beautiful: Jon Gibson
Being bisexual isn’t often celebrated in a loud way, acknowledged Jon Gibson. “There is a lot of uncertainty projected upon someone who considers themselves ‘bi.’ I’m using quotations because that’s the reaction I get from most people when my being ‘bisexual’ comes up in conversation.
“People don’t often immediately accept the idea of being bi in the same way someone can proclaim themselves gay or straight. Lots of questions follow, often phrased with ‘Are you sure you’re not just gay?’ or ‘Are you just a straight boy experimenting?’ cadence of disbelief. To proudly celebrate being bi without persistent scrutiny is a really lovely sentiment, and that’s why Bi Pride is valid and poignant to me.”
Gibson has noticed that dating apps now reflect words like “heteroflexible” or “homoflexible.”
“These are much more common than bisexual. While those terms are completely fair, they also punctuate the stigma attached to the term bi, because you can be bisexual on a sliding scale. Sexuality isn’t an evenly cut pie chart; most everything in life doesn’t naturally split straight down the middle. There is still an incredible resistance to adopting the word ‘bi,’ because if everyone accepted the sliding scale of sexuality, we wouldn’t need all these extra descriptors.”
Gibson compared his sexual identity to what he likes to eat. “Sometimes I desire sourdough bread, sometimes Hawaiian hits the spot, sometimes you just really crave pumpernickel. That’s natural and awesome and totally bisexual. Bisexuality is as beautiful as all other sexualities, but it’s definitely one of the much more scrutinized identifiers. It’s ok if you “did some stuff in college’ and still have those desires. Feel great about being bi—there are a hell of a lot of us here to support and love you!”
Misunderstood: Lysa Canino Bertsche
Lysa Canino Bertsche feels that bisexuality is still the most “misunderstood” category of LGBT. “We’re seen as ‘being unable to make up our mind’ and if a bisexual woman ends up in a relationship with a cis man, she’s told she’s ‘just straight.’”
Bertsche is perturbed by the introduction of pansexuality to culture. “These days, we have a new term that is further polluting the problem, ‘pansexual,’ which means ‘loving everyone regardless of gender.’ And that implies us bisexuals somehow discriminate. As if we eliminate a potential sexual partner because they’re trans. That’s not true. A bisexual is attracted to male or female. Nowhere did bisexuals ever qualify what male or female means.”
Bertsche just came out this year, at the age of 48. “Prior to me coming out, my challenge was whether or not I even should. Like, my thinking was ‘am I even real? Am I even VALID?’”
Being Seen: Kyrin Veritas
Kyrin Veritas enjoys attending bi pride events to feel seen. “It is much the same as what my friends of mixed-heritage say, ‘you never feel accepted in either community.’ As a single femme, most do not know I am also attracted to women. As one who is attracted other femme types primarily, it is often an exercise in rejection to find out who is eligible.”
“Bi pride events are important because it helps us feel supported, included, and proud of who we are. One of the main challenges I face as a bisexual person is people assuming I’m a lesbian or straight or “not gay enough” to be bi, because I don’t have a 50/50 preference split. It’s very alienating and sometimes makes me hide who I really am from people because I don’t want to feel judged. I’m not “confused,” I’m just a fluid person.
I think bi pride is important so we can come together and show that we exist and we’re proud of who we are and who we choose to love.”
LA Pride Parade Grand Marshals named, LA Pride Village returns
When LA Pride Parade returned home to Hollywood Blvd last year after more than 4 decades, it prompted the start of new traditions
LOS ANGELES – Christopher Street West Association (CSW) announced its trio of grand marshals to be celebrated at the LA Pride Parade on Sunday, June 11 taking place at its original historic location in Hollywood.
This year’s LA Pride Parade grand marshals include comedian, actor and activist Margaret Cho as the Icon Grand Marshal, an individual who needs no introduction and achieved major milestones within their career and industry; a posthumous tribute to Emmy-winner Leslie Jordan as the Legacy Grand Marshal, a new title this year in honor of Jordan for his everlasting impact on the community; and the ACLU of Southern California, that helped CSW obtain the permit for the first LA Pride parade, as the Community Grand Marshal, which celebrates a group or individual who has had a powerful influence through their work and dedication to and for the LGBTQ community.
“I’m thrilled and incredibly honored to be the Icon Grand Marshal,” said Cho. “We need this Pride more than ever. I have been attending Pride celebrations since 1978 and this time around the need to celebrate as well as unite is more urgent than it has ever been. Our love is greater than their hate.
“On behalf of Leslie Jordan, we are overjoyed by Christopher Street West’s heartfelt recognition to name Leslie as LA Pride’s Legacy Grand Marshal,” said Jana “Cricket” Jordan. “This honor further solidifies the positive impact he made in the world, but more importantly for the LGBTQ+ community. His spirit continues to bring love and light.”
“For a century, we’ve been on the front lines fighting for people to be their true, authentic selves,” said Hector Villagra, executive director of the ACLU SoCal. “We’re honored to be the Community Grand Marshal and proud to love, live among, and protect LGBTQ Californians.”
“Christopher Street West is honored and humbled by this year’s three grand marshals,” said Gerald Garth, president of CSW. “Each have contributed to the LGBTQ+ community in their own unique ways, furthering our fight for acceptance, equality, and justice.”
LA Pride Parade and Village Details
The parade, which will feature a special drag performance presented by the ACLU SoCal and staged by Morgan McMichaels to music by 14-time Oscar nominee Diane Warren, will air LIVE on long-time LA Pride broadcasting partner KABC/ABC7 on Sunday, June 11 beginning at 11:00 a.m. PDT.
It will also air nationally on ABC News Live and Hulu, and wherever viewers stream ABC7 including abc7.com and the ABC7LA mobile app.
Anchor Ellen Leyva and reporter Christiane Cordero from ABC7 Eyewitness News will co-host the ABC7 broadcast. The parade route will begin at Sunset Blvd and Highland Ave heading north, then east onto Hollywood Blvd, then south onto Cahuenga Blvd, ending at Sunset Blvd and Cahuenga Blvd.
This year’s LA Pride Parade partners include: Corona Extra, Corona Hard Seltzer and SVEDKA Vodka: Hero Sponsors: Toyota Mirai, TikTok and H&M; Activist Sponsors: Delta Air Lines – the Official Airline of LA Pride, The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) – Official Transit Partner of LA Pride, Glamazon, Kim Crawford Wines, L.A. Care Health Plan, Los Angeles Tourism, Nordstrom, Optum, Sony Pictures Entertainment; Advocate Sponsors: AEG, including the LA Kings, LA Galaxy, and AEG Presents, Albertsons/Vons/Pavilions, Coca-Cola, Grindr, Honda, LADWP, LVMH, Rare Beauty, UCLA Health, Warner Bros. Discovery and Kenvue CARE WITH PRIDEⓇ; Ally Sponsors: Activision Blizzard, the Dream Hollywood hotel, FOX Pride, Moxy/AC Marriott, NBCUniversal, Target, Tiffany & Co., as well as returning television and digital broadcast partner ABC7, and official radio partner iHeartMedia Los Angeles and PRIDE RADIO on the iHeartRadio app.
Additionally, The Hollywood Partnership, the non-profit organization that oversees the public realm in the Hollywood Business Improvement District (BID), has once again partnered with LA Pride to bring the LA Pride Village back to Hollywood Blvd.
LA Pride Village is the official place to be after the LA Pride Parade, with festivities taking place from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., just steps from the official parade route.
When the iconic LA Pride Parade returned home to Hollywood Blvd last year after more than four decades, it prompted the start of new traditions and celebrations in Hollywood, including LA Pride Village, a free and open to the public street festival.
The second annual LA Pride Village celebration promises to be even bigger and better, with a new location on Hollywood Blvd, between Vine St. and Gower St., to make room for more booths featuring local vendors and non-profits, an expanded beer garden, delicious food trucks, two performance stages for twice the entertainment, and more comfortable crowd space for dancing.
All details can be found here: https://lapridevillage.com/do/la-pride-2023.
Sponsors of LA Pride Village include Princess Cruises and Royal-bud.com.
Public transit and ride share services to LA Pride Parade and Village are strongly encouraged. For the Parade, connect to the L.A. Metro B (Red) Line and exit Hollywood/Highland or Hollywood/Vine Station. Metro has many Park & Ride lots servicing the county – parking is just $3.00 per day, payable onsite.
If self-driving to LA Pride Parade and Village, vehicles can access parking and the event site via Vine Street or Gower Street.
For additional information about parking and transportation, please visit https://lapridevillage.com/about/parking-and-transit.
Drag Isn’t Dangerous Telethon overflows with emotion & cash
Final amount raised from the live broadcast was over $523,000. Recording of it will stay online for 48 hours after its conclusion
HOLLYWOOD – Into the third hour of Drag Isn’t Dangerous, a brief film makes the point that there have been article after article about children molested by church clergy and counselors, yet not a single bill has been proposed tackling that real issue. Then there are drag queens. Drag queens have never harmed a child, and there are no articles implying that they have. Yet… yet….state after state, bill after bill are going after drag queens.
With this telethon event, drag queens and all that they have inspired, have sent the message: They are not going to take this shit anymore. Clips of rightwing pundits and commentators were presented and the ignorant hatred expressed in each clip is both at once chilling, and pathetic.
The message of hate is juxtaposed with segments like one featuring RuPaul Drag Race alumn Nina West. West told the story about her adventures doing storybook hours at Columbus Ohio libraries for children. It should be pointed out that the Nina West brand is one of classiness and kindness. She moved her popular book readings onto Instagram. The first hour where she did so was wonderful.
The second hour was not.
The audience turned “dark, terrifying and threatening.” Then it all got very personal. People showed up at his house where he was broadcasting and blew eardrum breaking airhorns outside his windows. They then started a campaign of harassment and doxing, targeting him, his parents and his sister. Signs appeared in his yard accusing him of being a groomer.
Last December he embarked on a Drag Christmas tour. The tour encountered protesters, bomb threats and required police escorts.
Hosted by Justin Martindale and Peppermint with a co-location hosted by Alaska and Adam Shankman, the telethon team declared a goal target of $250,000 for the evening. The evening was filled with performances from some of the Drag community’s best. Kicking off the evening were songs by Trixie Mattel and Alaska. The online crowd was gobsmacked with exclamations like “legends!” , “fierce!” “That voice!”.
The telethon was a recreation of the traditional telethon style with a phonebank of drag celebrities womaning the phones. Instead of the phone banks of years gone by the receptionists were not the first point of entry to make donations. In this modern version, donors first register their donation on the gofundme application and then are connected to the celebrity to receive thanks and conversation. Phone bank stars included Candis Cayne, Jinx Monsson, Ginger Minge, Laganja Estranja Trinity the Tuck, Monet Exchange and Queer Eye OG Jai Rodriguez.
As of 4:30 pm, $55,000 had been raised.
Celebrity cameos and interviews were generously sprinkled through the broadcast. Many of them expressed gratitude and awe for the talents and artistic contributions of drag. Still others were downright angry. “I will f*ck anyone who messes with you,” Charlize Theron declared.
“Drag isn’t dangerous, but Leslie Jones IS!” Leslie Jones fumed.
Sarah Silverman also did not mince words. “It is an invented ‘problem’. It creates a REAL problem for the marginalized. I would trust RuPaul before any of you (Republican) hate mongers.” To the drag community, she declared, “If they come for you, they will have to come through me first.”
“Lawmakers are terrified of how bright we are shining,” Adam Lambert stated affirmingly.
As of 4:50 pm $100,000 had been raised.
Donors were interviewed through the phonebank. Jai Rodriguez had an impromptu conversation with a young woman who had come out as queer that day. Even though her experience has been “tough”, she wanted to celebrate her landmark day by donating.
Michele Visage gave RuPaul visibility and spoke from her heart. “I wish I could say that I am glad to be here,” she started. “I am appalled I have to be at something called ‘Drag Isn’t Dangerous’. Imagine a world where dancers are told they can’t dance; imagine a world where artists are told they cannot take paint to canvas…because it is ‘bad for children.’ That is what is happening to drag right now.”
As of 5:40 pm, $205,000 had been raised. Jinx Monsson whipped out her own checkbook and wrote a check for $10,000.
Other celebrities added perspective to the issue. Ocean Kelly stated, “They want us to stay quiet. Watching a drag queen won’t make a child queer. If a child is queer, it is because they are….queer.”
Billy Eichner discussed the historical use of scapegoats as distractions. “It is not new, but it is urgent and dangerous,” he warned. “We need to be relentless and loud,” he instructed.
Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden demonstrated her queer chops by publicly outing her entire family. “All my children are queer,” she declared. “One is non binary, one is gay. My first boyfriend was gay and my conservative Naval Officer dad loved him. “ Of the drag controversy she said, “Why are we having to advocate for creativity and imagination? It is so fear-based. We know what love is.”
As of 7:38 PM, Half a Million Dollars had been raised.
The movement has started and this first outing is not yet over. Recording of it will stay online for 48 hours after it concludes.
Go here for tickets and then receive you email with the telethon link: https://www.moment.co/dangerous/dragisntdangerous-drag-isnt-dangerous-live
As for the end of the Telethon, Ginger Minge show stopped with the classic I Am What I Am from La Cage.
I don’t want praise I don’t want pity
I bang my own drum
Some think it’s noise I think it’s pretty
And so what if I love each sparkle and each bangle
Why not try to see things from a different angle
Your life is a sham til you can shout out
I am what I amI am what I am
And what I am needs no excuses
I deal my own deck
Sometimes the ace sometimes the deuces
It’s my life that I want to have a little pride in
My life and it’s not a place I have to hide in
Life’s not worth a danm til you can shout out
I am what I am
Rob Watson is the host of the popular Hollywood-based radio/podcast show RATED LGBT RADIO.
He is an established LGBTQ columnist and blogger having written for many top online publications including The Los Angeles Blade, The Washington Blade, Parents Magazine, the Huffington Post, LGBTQ Nation, Gay Star News, the New Civil Rights Movement, and more.
He served as Executive Editor for The Good Man Project, has appeared on MSNBC and been quoted in Business Week and Forbes Magazine.
He is CEO of Watson Writes, a marketing communications agency, and can be reached at [email protected] .
The Los Angeles LGBT Center hosts gala raising over $1M
Pamela Anderson, Keke Palmer, and Leslie Jordan Honored at The Center Gala on April 22, 2023 in Los Angeles, California
CENTURY CITY – The Los Angeles LGBT Center held The Center Gala April 22, an occasion to recognize trailblazing members of the LGBTQ community, organizations, and allies for their work and commitment to achieve equality for all.
Commemorating the organization’s 54th anniversary, The Center Gala has transformed into one of the largest gatherings of LGBTQ leaders and allies in Los Angeles, raising funds to support The Center’s life-saving and life-enhancing programs.
The event raised $1 Million to support the Center’s programs and services for the LGBTQ+ community.
The Center Gala at the Fairmont Century Plaza. Over 800 supporters came together as the Center honored the author and activist Pamela Anderson, Emmy-winning actress Keke Palmer, and the beloved entertainer Leslie Jordan (posthumously) for their contributions to the LGBTQ community. The gala was hosted by social media and television sensation TS Madison, and featured a special performance by R&B-soul artist Durand Bernarr.
“While I have only been the Center’s CEO since July, I know from my 25-year career that the Center is like no other organization in our movement. Not only are we fighting for our community’s rights through our global advocacy work, we are on the frontlines caring for the most vulnerable in our community when they need us most,” said Joe Hollendoner, the CEO of the Center. “The Center’s masterful weaving of direct services, public education, and policy work creates a safety net to ensure that no one falls through the cracks.”
Actress, author, and humanitarian Pamela Anderson accepted the Vanguard Award for her long history of activism and allyship. “We are painting the picture of our lives every day. And every time we walk out the door, it’s performance art. Might as well have a blast. Thank you for giving me the chance to share that with you,” said Anderson. “Thank you for rooting for me.”
Emmy Award-winning television host (and former employee of the Center) Karamo Brown(Queer Eye, Karamo) presented Keke Palmer with the Vanguard Award for her achievements in the entertainment industry, as well as her commitment to creating new opportunities for young people from marginalized communities. In her acceptance speech, Keke Palmer said, “I have faith that the more we share our unique experiences, the louder we are with using our voices, the more we don’t have to explain and explain and explain again what it is to be a person. Living in this world, defying all definitions just to be an original. There is no greater masterpiece than a person living in their truth.”
Hollywood vets Mayim Bialik and Del Shores gave a touching tribute introducing the inaugural Leslie Jordan Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Jordan, an American actor and comedian, as well as a longtime supporter of the Center, passed away late last year. Mayim Bialik said of her late Call Me Kat co-star, “The world formed a love and connection with Leslie during the pandemic—he was who you saw on Instagram…and that’s why he is remembered and mourned so deeply. I’m grateful to The Center for creating the Leslie Jordan Award that will now be given annually to someone who shines a light on the LGBTQ+ community through their work and art.”
The Gala’s live programming included an auction and special musical performance by Durand Bernarr. Durand was also presented with the Center’s “Rising Star” award by Grammy-nominated artist Adam Lambert.
Other highlights of the evening include a guest video appearance by Mariah Carey, who decried the 400+ pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation currently on the books in the United States, and a video of Nicole Richie “volunteering” at the Center, directed by 73 Questions creator Joe Sabia of Studio Sabia.
This year’s Gala was sponsored by Foster City, Calif. based Gilead Sciences, Inc. “Gilead is proud to honor and celebrate the remarkable achievements of LGBTQ+ leaders and advocates at this year’s Center Gala. Alongside the Los Angeles LGBT Center, we can better serve the LGBTQ+ community to create a healthier world where everyone can thrive,” said Alex Kalomparis, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs, Gilead.
National Cannabis Festival features Out vendors like Sean Kim
The Washington Blade is a sponsor. Tickets are still available for the Festival, which will feature an all-day concert & exhibitors
WASHINGTON – Ahead of the April 22 National Cannabis Festival, the Washington Blade caught up with Sean Kim on Friday at his store, Pride Smoke Shop, a smoke, gift, vape shop, and glass gallery located near Dupont Circle at 21st and P Streets NW.
“I want to show the community that I’m here for everybody,” he said, “And I’m not afraid anymore.”
This year will be Kim’s first National Cannabis Festival, and he is looking forward to setting up shop with two connected booths, “It’s amazing, actually, they put us near an LGBTQ pavilion that they have,” he said.
“It’s gonna be amazing,” Kim said. “I’m so excited. We have a lot of stuff planned.”
The event’s organizers are debuting the designated LGBTQ space this year. A spokesperson told the Blade by phone it is designed to be a “chill spot for the community,” a place where “you can take a load off,” they said, noting there will also be a seniors’ lounge.
Kim said Pride Smoke Shop represents his entrée into a new phase of his life, where he is free to live authentically as himself, his full self – out of the closet as LGBTQ, the sole proprietor of a smoke shop who had abandoned a successful career in auto sales to chase his dream of starting the business.
The endeavor has been successful. In fact, for this interview Kim had traveled back to D.C. from Atlantic City, N.J., where he is planning to open a second location of his store.
“As I got older and realized time is short on this earth, I became the true me – the person that I had suppressed for years and years, almost decades,” Kim said. “And I just became free.”
The decision to start his business came like an epiphany, he told the Blade. “I just woke up one morning and I was just like, I don’t want to be an old man looking back and thinking ‘I’ve lived this lie my whole life,’” Kim said.
Working in a corporate job had brought Kim considerable success, but while he was earning a comfortable living in accordance with his family’s wishes and expectations, he said, “I wasn’t happy.”
“It was my awakening, you know, no more being afraid of whatever stigmas, other people — I just don’t care anymore,” Kim said. “I want to be me and do what I love.”
The nature of Kim’s business also meant he would be coming out again and again. “For years and decades, even, I hid it from a lot of people – family, even a lot of friends,” he said. “I grew up in a Korean American household where it’s not even a question — you just don’t smoke.”
For this reason, Kim said, he felt like even more of “an odd one.”
When it comes to the location of his shop, Kim is cognizant that he was hardly the first LGBTQ person to venture into a certain Washington, D.C. neighborhood in search of refuge and the company of others who are different.
When I was younger, I always heard of Dupont [Circle] as like a safe place for our community,” Kim said, so his decision to situate his business there was an easy one — a homecoming of sorts to “the place where I felt safest, always.”
When it comes to the name of his business, “I couldn’t think of any word” other than Pride that would exemplify the idea that “this is me now, no questions asked, this is what I represent,” Kim said, adding “it’s pride of everything,” of his whole identity and everything that entails.
The name also touches on the idea that “a smoke shop can thrive,” he said, “that it’s not a terrible thing.”
For his parents, Kim said, “It was like the biggest shock, but now they’re my biggest supporters.”
The change of heart did not come easily, though. “It was very hard,” Kim said. “For my dad, it was the toughest thing. And now he’s the first person to fight for me, you know? If someone tries to say something, and he’s in construction, so he’s the first guy pulling up in his truck with all his tools come in to fix whatever.”
“My dad is bringing his workers,” Kim continued, “but then I see him, like, he has no questions, you know, he brings them right in, like, you can even see his workers’ faces looking around, like, you know, they see all the [LGBTQ pride] flags, so they get it.”
Customers “get it” too. Pride Smoke Shop is a window into its owner’s life, personality, and tastes.
“You’ll see my vision of my store” just by walking in, Kim said. “It’s just my favorite things,” like the “Wu Tang symbol on the ground” to celebrate “one of my favorite artists,” to “Lucy Ricardo’s picture [hanging] because ‘I Love Lucy’ is my favorite show,” he said. “Richie Rich was my favorite comic and you’ll see that influence. It’s just everything I love, and I’m here to just showcase that this is me.”
The Washington Blade is a sponsor of the event. Tickets are still available for the Festival, which will feature an all-day concert along with “exhibitors, education pavilions, munchies zone, sponsored lounges and more.”
DRAG UP! STRIKE BACK!
Join us 4/8 in San Francisco to speak out against the dangerous scapegoating & disinformation that extremists are spreading
SAN FRANCISCO – DRAG UP! STRIKE BACK! is bringing together drag queens, trans, non-binary, gender-nonconforming people & allies to protest these flagrant attacks on our civil rights. Join us 4/8 to speak out against the dangerous scapegoating & disinformation that extremists are spreading.
Easter drag gathering & protest march in WeHo this weekend
The Easter drag protest event will begin with a rally and kickoff performance at 11 a.m. at West Hollywood Park
LOS ANGELES – On Easter Sunday, April 9, 2023, more than 1,000 Angelenos will gather in their Sunday Best for a strut down Santa Monica Blvd. The event will begin with a rally and kickoff performance at 11 a.m. at West Hollywood Park.
Speakers include Los Angeles County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath, West Hollywood Mayor Sepi Shyne, Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Joe Hollendoner, and more, alongside performances by RuPaul’s Drag Race alums Kerri Colby and Honey Davenport. A resource fair will be on-site to connect attendees with local service providers and tips to activate legislative advocacy.
In the first three months of 2023 alone, more than 400 pieces of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation were introduced or passed across the United States, most of them targeting transgender and gender nonconforming people.
Organizers noted in a press release that in response to growing rhetoric supported by the Christian Nationalist movement calling LGBTQ+ people ‘unsafe’ for families, “Drag March will be held on Easter Sunday, and we will be accompanied by faith groups in solidarity and celebration.”
Partner organizations for Drag March LA include: ACLU of Southern California, All Saints Los Angeles, API Equality-LA, Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California, BAMN, Being Alive, Bienestar Human Services, CA LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network, CenterLink: The Community of LGBTQ Centers, Equality California, Found Family LA, Founders Metropolitan Community Church, Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, Gender Justice LA, Haven Hills, Hugo’s Restaurants, Lambda Legal, Latino Equality Alliance, LGBTQ Center Orange County, LGBTQ+ Community Center of the Desert, Los Angeles LGBT Center, Nightshade, NMAC, ONE Archives Foundation, Pacific Oaks College, Peace Over Violence, ProjectQ, Queer Nation, REMHDCO, Radiant Health Centers, Rainbow Services, Ltd., Sacramento LGBT Community Center, SAGE, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, San Gabriel Valley Pride, Inc, SATRANG, Somos Familia Valle, The Abbey Food & Bar, The National LGBTQ Institute on Intimate Partner Violence, The Outwords Archive, The Source LGBT+ Center, The TransLatin@ Coalition, TransCanWork, among others.
Attendees are encouraged to RSVP at lalgbtcenter.org/dragmarch
Elton John’s annual Oscars WeHo viewing party raises $9 million
“We mustn’t forget that HIV is still causing needless suffering around the world and we must protect those most vulnerable to this disease”
By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – Elton John and husband David Furnish’s annual Academy Awards Viewing Party, featuring special guests Eric McCormack and Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, raised over $9 million for the global fight against AIDS via the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
The event, which took place at West Hollywood Park Sunday evening, attributed its success to the Foundation’s donors, sponsors, and supporters. The star-studded fundraiser included a performance by singer-songwriter and actress Rina Sawayama.
The guest list included Donatella Versace, Maren Morris, Fan Bingbing, Emma Watson, Wiz Khalifa, Heidi Klum, Dove Cameron, Hilary Duff, Brooke Shields, Lucien Laviscount, Noah Schnapp, Kesha, Rege Jean-Page, Saweetie, Stella Maxwell, Tyga, Sharon Osbourne, Sophia Bush, Maggie Rogers, Jenna Dewan, Julianne Hough, Smokey Robinson, Karen Pittman, Simona Tabasco, Michael Imperioli, and more. Dinner guests were gifted an exclusive Spotlight sunglass frame from the Elton John Eyewear collection.
“We mustn’t forget that HIV is still causing needless suffering around the world and we must protect those most vulnerable to this disease with testing and compassionate care,” said Elton John via a statement. “We can see an end to AIDS in our lifetimes, but first we must break down stigma and discrimination and provide equal access to healthcare to finally end the epidemic for everyone, everywhere.”
“Elton and I are so touched and elated by the generosity we’ve seen throughout this glittering and massively successful evening,” says David Furnish, Chairman of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. “This funding will help us continue HIV and AIDS prevention and care programs across the world, save millions of lives and help countless people to have a brighter future.”
Rina Sawayama sang “Minor Feelings,” “Hold The Girl,” and “This Hell.” Elton John joined her on stage to perform a duet to the song “Chosen Family.”
“What a spectacular and memorable evening for our 31st Academy Awards Viewing Party,” says Anne Aslett, CEO of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. “We are blown away by the incredible support we’ve received tonight and want to thank every donor, sponsor and attendee who made the evening possible. We’re energised by the funding we raised together, which will significantly boost our life-saving work to ensure that all vulnerable people around the globe can access HIV testing, treatment and care.”
This year’s event, which took place on the 31st anniversary of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, has been instrumental in advancing global health equity for vulnerable groups. The Foundation has been able to raise millions for their life-saving work since the party’s inception in 1992.
Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist.
The preceding article was previously published by WeHo Times and is republished with permission.
GLAAD Media Awards 2023
Margaret Cho to host the 34TH Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles featuring special performances from Fletcher and Orville Peck
LOS ANGELES- GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer media advocacy organization, announced today that for the third consecutive year, Hulu will serve as the official streaming destination for the GLAAD Media Awards.
The Awards will be held in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 30, 2023 and will be available to stream on Hulu beginning Wednesday, April 12, 2023.
Emmy and Grammy nominated comedian and actress Margaret Cho will host the 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles which will feature performances by GLAAD Media Award Nominees for Outstanding Music Artist, FLETCHER and Orville Peck at the Beverly Hilton on Thursday, March 30, 2023.
The GLAAD Media Awards honor media for fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues. Since its inception in 1990, the GLAAD Media Awards have grown to be the most visible annual LGBTQ awards show in the world, sending powerful messages of acceptance to audiences globally.
Special guests include Angelica Ross (Pose, Framing Agnes), Betty Who, Billy Eichner (Bros), Brian Michael Smith (911: Lone Star), Brooke Eden, Chase Joynt (Framing Agnes), Gabrielle Union (The Inspection), Geena Davis (The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media) Geena Rocero (Horse Barbie), Harvey Guillen (What We Do in the Shadows), Isis King (With Love), Jake Borelli (Grey’s Anatomy), Jen Richards (Framing Agnes), Joel Kim Booster (Fire Island), JORDY, Rafael Silva (911: Lone Star), Ronen Rubinstein (911: Lone Star), Sarah Michelle Gellar (Wolf Pack), Sherry Cola (Good Trouble), Ts Madison (Bros), Zackary Drucker (Framing Agnes), Zuri Adele (Good Trouble) and more.
As previously announced, Christina Aguilera will receive GLAAD’s Advocate for Change Award, recording artist and actor Bad Bunny will receive the Vanguard Award and film, television and Broadway star Jeremy Pope will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award.
During the Los Angeles ceremony, GLAAD will also announce award recipients for LGBTQ representation in categories that span film, TV, news, and Spanish-language media.
Earlier this year, GLAAD announced nearly 300 nominees.
This past January GLAAD, announced that it is presenting its prestigious Barbara Gittings Award for Excellence in LGBTQ Media to the Los Angeles Blade along with the Washington Blade.
“Together, representing 50 years, the Los Angeles Blade and Washington Blade’s relentless reporting reflects best-in-class journalism, reminding us all that LGBTQ issues and people have a stake in every news story and headline,” GLAAD said in a statement.
Previous recipients of the award have included The Advocate, Windy City Times, and Curve.
Margaret Cho is a five-time Grammy and Emmy nominated comedian, actress, musician, advocate and entrepreneur. Her recent television appearances – guest star on Season 2 of The Flight Attendant (HBO Max), guest star on Season 2 of Hacks (HBO Max) and two Netflix is a Joke comedy specials: Stand Out: An LGBTQ+ Celebration and Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin: Ladies Night Live – have expanded an already wide-ranging career, and her role as the ‘mother hen’ in the well-reviewed movie Fire Island.
As a comedian Margaret has been named one of Rolling Stone magazine’s 50 Best Stand-Up Comics of All Time, one of Vogue magazine’s Top 9 Female Comedians of all time, while CNN chose her as one of the 50 People Who Changed American Comedy. Her Disney+ movie, “Prom Pact” premieres on March 30.
Praised by leading outlets like Rolling Stone, TIME, Interview Magazine, and more, acclaimed singer and songwriter FLETCHER hails from Asbury Park, New Jersey, where she cultivated her passion for music and her unforgettably candid storytelling.
In 2019 she released her debut EP ‘you ruined new york city for me.’ The widely lauded EP features her breakthrough hit “Undrunk,” a track that spent several weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, scored the No.1 spot on Spotify’s Viral Chart, and emerged as the fastest-rising song at pop radio from a new artist in the past five years.
Released in September 2020, FLETCHER’s EP THE S(EX) TAPES hit No. 1 on iTunes across all genres featuring gold-certified lead single “Bitter” – which has amassed over 200 million global streams.
FLETCHER’s debut album Girl Of My Dreams arrived in September 2022 featuring the smash single “Becky’s So Hot” which hit #3 on the iTunes chart across all genres and landed on Billboard’s Hot Rock and Alternative Songs chart. The album earned raves from the likes of Rolling Stone, Billboard, Alternative Press, Vulture and many others while her music has amassed over a billion combined streams worldwide.
FLETCHER’s latest single, “Better Version (feat. Kelsea Ballerini) is available now on the Girl Of My Dreams (Deluxe) edition. In support of her LP, FLETCHER performed on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”, and set out on sold-out headline tours across North America, Australia and Europe throughout 2022.
FLETCHER kicked off 2023 with a viral performance alongside Miley Cyrus on her “New Year’s Eve Party” on NBC. FLETCHER will continue her “Meet Her At The Bar Experience” in 2023, a program she launched last year in support of woman-owned queer bars around the country and GLAAD (raising $50,000 for their key initiatives with the support of her fanbase, brand partner JD Sports and co-sponsor Lyft).
Orville Peck is a country recording artist and songwriter known for his deep baritone voice, strong musicianship and songs that are sincere yet bold in their storytelling. Never confirming his identity, Orville, who is openly gay and lived an itinerant life across South Africa and the rural south, is never seen without his signature, fringed mask.
Following the release of his self-produced debut album Pony in 2019, Orville signed with Columbia Records and released his Show Pony EP. Released to immediate critical acclaim early last year, the EP features a duet with global icon Shania Twain and puts Orville’s triumphant songwriting skills and intentional craftmanship on full display. He then followed that up with BRONCO, which he released in chapters, alongside a multitude of cinematic videos. He was also hand selected by Lady Gaga for her Born This Way 10th Anniversary album.
Orville, known for his unique personal style, has collaborated with many fashion brands including but not limited to Dior, Michael KORS, ADIDAS X Ivy Park and Pamela Love amongst others.
Known for his live shows, Orville was one of the first artists to return to touring and has toured across the US, Europe, Australia and Canada. He has had sold out shows at Hollywood Bowl and Ryman Theatre, as well as major festival appearances at Lollapalooza, Stage Coach and Coachella amongst others.
When Orville is not performing or touring, he lends his time to activism and the causes he is committed to.
The Christina Aguilera Advocate for Change Award
Christina Aguilera, who has one of the most celebrated voices in history, has used her platform to be a bold advocate for the LGBTQ community, advancing conversations around LGBTQ acceptance and more, through music. Most recently, her impact on the LGBTQ community was realized after Club Q Colorado Springs shooting survivor, Michael Anderson, invoked her lyrics as he testified before the U.S. House Oversight Committee on LGBTQ violence.
In 2002, Aguilera dedicated her single, “Beautiful,” to the LGBTQ community, with the line “words can’t bring us down” becoming a personal mantra for many queer people. The song brought a unique awareness and a sense of compassion in the face of hate, earning Aguilera a Special Recognition honor at the 14th GLAAD Media Awards. Last year, the seven-time Grammy-winner celebrated 20 years of “Beautiful” with a brand new music video, reminding people of the importance of accepting themselves for who they are.
A staunch supporter of LGBTQ rights and a visionary for representation, Aguilera raised over $500 million for HIV research with MAC cosmetics in 2004, spoke out loudly against Proposition 8 in 2008 and brought trans dancers and drag artists into the limelight during the 2012 American Music Awards.
Following the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, Aguilera dedicated the song, “Change,” to those affected by the tragedy with proceeds from the song going to victims’ families. She later penned a “Love Letter to the LGBTQ Community” for Billboard in 2017. Her very own Pride collection was launched in 2021, to proudly support two nonprofit organizations: TransTech and TransLash. Using the power of music to build bridges and demand change, Aguilera has redefined what it means to be a true advocate for the LGBTQ community, creating spaces for queer voices and talent to be known and thrive: From performing alongside breakthrough LGBTQ artists like Anitta, Syd, Kim Petras, Chika and Michaela Jaé, to condemning anti-LGBTQ legislation like Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law.
“Christina Aguilera is a beloved icon who has inspired and shared messages of love for the LGBTQ community since the start of her music career. From using her voice to speak out against anti-LGBTQ legislation to creating songs and music videos that showcase LGBTQ love, Christina loudly and proudly raises the bar for what it means to be a LGBTQ ally today,” said GLAAD President & CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis.
Bad Bunny’s Vanguard Award
Bad Bunny’s advocacy and outspoken allyship for the LGBTQ community has reached millions around the world . Named Spotify’s most-streamed artist of 2022, with 8.3 billion streams globally, the three-time Grammy-winning artist uses his craft to powerfully speak out as an ally to transgender people and advance equality for the LGBTQ community, bringing his own voice to the forefront to help others see themselves in the world.
As he reimagines the Latin urban music genre, LGBTQ people and issues remain in the vanguards of equality and inclusion for him, especially those in Puerto Rico, where he was born. His live performances and music videos cast an array of voices, experiences and backgrounds, showcasing queer love and affection on full display. For his music video for “Yo Perreo Sola,” he dressed in drag, telling Rolling Stone, “I did it to show support to those who need it. I may not be gay, but I’m a human.”
In a performance for “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” the rapper paid homage to Alexa Negrón Luciano, a trans woman murdered in the city of Toa Baja, wearing a shirt in Spanish that read: “They killed Alexa, not a man in a skirt.” In 2019, the artist also helped influence a movement to force former Puerto Rican Governor, Ricardo Rosselló, to step down from office, after being exposed for corruption and anti-LGBTQ attitudes.
Moving from sound booth to the big screen, Bad Bunny plans to executive produce the forthcoming Netflix adaptation of the New York Times bestselling novel, “They Both Die in the End,” which features a queer Latinx storyline.
Previous GLAAD Vito Russo Award recipient Ricky Martin told Rolling Stone that Bad Bunny is an “icon for the Latin queer community.”
“Bad Bunny uses his role as one of the world’s most popular music artists to boldly shine a light on LGBTQ people and issues, including transgender equality and ending violence against trans women of color,” said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “By consistently advocating for our community, elevating our stories, and demanding action from anti-LGBTQ leaders, Bad Bunny redefines the positive influence Latin music artists can have within the LGBTQ community, and has set an example for all artists.”
Jeremy Pope’s Stephen F. Kolzak Award
Jeremy Pope is a multi-faceted out performer who has broken barriers across Broadway, television and film, earning two Tony Award nominations, a Grammy Award nomination, an Emmy Award nomination, and a Golden Globe Award nomination.
His breakthrough film role as Ellis French in Elegance Bratton’s autobiographical first feature, “The Inspection,” follows a closeted Black gay man through Marine Corps Recruit Training in a “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” era. That performance earned him his first Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, as well as a Film Independent Spirit Award nomination for “Best Lead Performance.”
Pope’s rise from stage to screen began in 2018, when he earned two Tony Award nominations in the same season – one for Best Lead Actor in A Play for his Broadway debut performance in “Choir Boy” and a second nomination for Best Featured Actor in a musical for his performance in “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations.” Pope was soon cast in Ryan Murphy’s series “Hollywood,” where he earned an Emmy nomination for his lead performance as aspiring Black screenwriter Archie Coleman. Pope also had a meaningful arc in “Pose” and in the final season of the FX series, his character, Christopher, gave audiences a sense of visibility and belonging for trans experiences and for those living with HIV.
Pope is about to wrap his Broadway run as Jean-Michael Basquiat in Manhattan Theater Club’s “The Collaboration.” Later this year, he will be seen revisiting the role on the big screen.
“Jeremy Pope is one of today’s most talented and dynamic actors who has given life and excitement to important stories that impact and honor the LGBTQ community. Offscreen, Pope has used his voice to have important conversations about being an out actor in Hollywood, which are key to continuing to erase stigma and bias that affect out actors today,” said GLAAD President & CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis.
The 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards
This year, GLAAD announced 295 nominees across 33 categories including two new categories: Outstanding Podcast and Outstanding Live TV Journalism – Segment or Special. For the first time ever, the Outstanding Reality Program category was also split to nominate both reality competition series and non-competition series independently.
The Outstanding Kids & Family Programming category was also split to nominate animated and live action programs independently. This year also includes ten nominees in the Outstanding Film – Wide Release category for the first time.
Last year, the 33rd GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles were hosted by Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka O’Hara and Shangela and were streamed on Hulu.
Cody Rigsby and Peppermint hosted the 33rd GLAAD Media Awards in New York City.
Both ceremonies featured appearances and performances by Dove Cameron, Kacey Musgraves, Ben Platt, Cody Rigsby, Ariana DeBose, Laverne Cox, Karine Jean-Pierre, Wilson Cruz, Cynthia Nixon, Gigi Gorgeous, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Judith Light, Anthony Rapp, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Christina Ricci, Cynthia Erivo, Shangela, JoJo Siwa and many more.
The Executive Producers of the 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are GLAAD President & CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis and GLAAD’s Rich Ferraro and Anthony Allen Ramos. STAMP Event Co. will produce.
The 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are presented by Gilead Sciences, Inc., Hyundai, and Ketel One Family Made Vodka. GLAAD is also grateful to Major Sponsor Delta Air Lines and Official Sponsor Sony Music Group.
To purchase tickets for the 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, please visit: www.glaad.org/mediaawards/tickets.
On socials please follow @GLAAD and #glaadawards
Save the date: WeHo Pride 2023
WeHo Pride 2023 in the City of West Hollywood > Updates and Details will be Announced at www.wehopride.com
WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood announces dates for its WeHo Pride 2023 celebration in May and June:
- WeHo Pride Weekend will take place on Friday, June 2, 2023; Saturday, June 3, 2023; and Sunday, June 4, 2023 in and around West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard. The weekend will include a free Street Fair, the Women’s Freedom Festival, the Dyke March, the WeHo Pride Parade, and the ticketed OUTLOUD @ WeHo Pride music festival.
- The WeHo Pride Street Fair will take place on Saturday, June 3, 2023 and Sunday, June 4, 2023 and will celebrate Pride with diverse participation of LGBTQ+ community groups and allied organizations as part of visibility and expression. The Street Fair is free and will feature a vibrant variety of exhibitors along Santa Monica Boulevard. There will be live entertainment and performances on a community stage, highlighting the LGBTQ+ community. The Street Fair is a family-friendly event and is open to everyone. It is a great occasion to take part in WeHo Pride’s LGBTQ+ community experience.
- The Women’s Freedom Festival presented by the L-Project Los Angeles is planned to take place on Saturday, June 3, 2023. The 2023 event will feature emerging LGBTQ and BIPOC women and non-binary musicians, comedians, poets, and activists. More information will be available in the coming weeks at www.wehopride.com.
- The Dyke March is planned to take place on Saturday, June 3, 2023. For people who are interested in marching, stay informed at www.wehopride.com for route and timing information!
- Get festive as we roll down Santa Monica Boulevard for the WeHo Pride Parade on Sunday, June 4, 2023! The WeHo Pride Parade is an imaginative and colorful annual tradition along Santa Monica Boulevard that embraces LGBTQ+ representation, inclusion, and progress. Full of music, dancing, colorful floats, festive marching contingents, and creative flair, the Parade celebrates LGBTQ+ people and our contributions to community and culture. The Parade is a lively, energetic experience with good cheer and great vibes, and a whole lot of rainbows! Whether you participate in the Parade or join in the fun as a spectator, there’s something for everyone at the WeHo Pride Parade! Organizations and individuals interested in submitting an application to participate as an entrant in the annual WeHo Pride Parade must apply by 5 p.m. on April 15, 2023 by using the form posted at https://www.wehopride.com/news/weho-pride-parade-applications-now-available-2023. Get creative and think outside of the box! The WeHo Pride Parade welcomes floats, bands, drill teams, dance teams, entertainment entries, marchers, and more.
- OUTLOUD @ WeHo Pride produced by JJLA is the flagship music festival and concert experience of WeHo Pride featuring Grace Jones, Orville Peck, Santigold, Carly Rae Jepsen, and dozens more! It will take place on Friday, June 2, 2023; Saturday, June 3, 2023; and Sunday, June 4, 2023 at West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard with a star-studded, high-energy line-up celebrating and advocating for queer voices in music. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.weareoutloud.com.
- WeHo Pride Arts Festival will take place during 40 days from Harvey Milk Day on Monday, May 22, 2023 to Friday, June 30, 2023 at various locations throughout the City of West Hollywood. First launched in 2008, and formerly known as the One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival, this year’s Arts Festival will feature a stellar range of LGBTQ+ dance, visual art, performance, literary arts, craft, and more. Learn more about Arts Festival events by visiting www.wehopride.com/artsfestival (programming details will be posted as they become available). This year’s Arts Festival launches with a celebration of Harvey Milk Day taking place on Monday, May 22, 2023 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., which features the 1st Annual José Sarria Amateur Drag Pageant, a voter registration table, and an interactive photo opportunity.
WeHo Pride celebrations during WeHo Pride Weekend and during May and June 2023 will include a diverse array of LGBTQ+ community groups as part of visibility, expression, and celebration. The City of West Hollywood invites community groups to take part in WeHo Pride 2023. Through an application and review process, community groups may apply to request City funding for an independent Pride event, produced entirely by the group or organization. Details are posted at www.wehopride.com/getinvolved by clicking on the Community Group Grants tab for an application. If selected, your event will enter into a co-sponsorship agreement with the City and be a part of the City’s Official WeHo Pride program, occurring between May 22, 2023 and June 30, 2023. The deadline to apply is March 24, 2023.
WeHo Pride Street Fair applications are also currently open for vendors, artists, performers, and more. The Street Fair promises to be bigger and better than ever before. With a wide range of activities and options, there is sure to be something for everyone. LGBTQ+ affiliated community groups who would like to apply for a free booth space in the WeHo Pride Street Fair can apply here. All other organizations interested in exhibiting at the WeHo Pride Street Fair can apply here.
Additional details about WeHo Pride 2023 will be posted as they become available at www.wehopride.com. Follow @wehopride on Instagram and Facebook and follow @officiallyoutloud on Instagram and Facebook.
Since its incorporation in 1984, the City of West Hollywood has become one of the most influential cities in the nation for its outspoken advocacy on LGBTQ issues. Home to the “Rainbow District” along Santa Monica Boulevard, which features a concentration of historic LGBTQ clubs, restaurants, and retail shops, West Hollywood consistently tops lists of “most LGBTQ friendly cities” in the nation. More than 40 percent of residents in West Hollywood identify as LGBTQ and three of the five members of the West Hollywood City Council are openly gay or lesbian.
Pride is deeply rooted part of West Hollywood’s history and culture. In fact, Pride events have taken place in West Hollywood since 1979, five years before the City of West Hollywood was incorporated as a municipality. The City’s embrace of Pride is part of its advocacy for nearly four decades for measures that support LGBTQ individuals, and the City is in the vanguard on efforts to gain and protect equality for all people on a state, national, and international level. The City of West Hollywood is one of the first municipalities to form a Lesbian & Gay Advisory Board (now LGBTQ+ Advisory Board) and a Transgender Advisory Board, which each address matters of advocacy. As part of its support of the transgender community, the City has a Transgender Resource Guide available on the City’s website.
In 2022, the City of West Hollywood inaugurated WeHo Pride with programming that represents a diverse array of LGBTQ community groups as part of visibility, expression, and celebration. West Hollywood is a community of choice for LGBTQ people from throughout the world and WeHo Pride embraces a source of deep connection for its LGBTQ history and culture.
WeHo Pride Weekend: June 2 to June 4
OUTLOUD @ WeHo Pride: June 2 to June 4
WeHo Pride Parade: June 4
WeHo Pride Street Fair: June 3 to June 4
Women’s Freedom Festival & Dyke March: June 3
WeHo Pride Arts Festival: May 22 to June 30
WeHo Pride Community Group Events: May 22 to June 30
Updates and Details will be Announced at www.wehopride.com
Follow @wehopride on Instagram and Facebook and @officiallyoutloud on Instagram and Facebook
For more information about WeHo Pride and the WeHo Pride Arts Festival, please visit www.wehopride.com/contact.
For more information about Outloud @ WeHo Pride, please visit www.weareoutloud.com/get-involved.
For inquires to the City of West Hollywood’s Event Services Division, please email [email protected].
For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.
HIV is Not a Crime holds event at Paramount
The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, Gilead Sciences & HIV is Not a Crime presented an event about ending HIV stigma & criminalization
LOS ANGELES – On Thursday on the lot at Paramount, The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, Gilead Sciences and HIV is Not a Crime presented a powerful event about ending HIV stigma and criminalization. Hundreds of people have been jailed in the 30 states where these laws make it easy to jail/imprison people with HIV; most who have been jailed are Black.
The event included a film about the Louisiana incarceration of Robert Suttle, whose life was altered by a grossly unjust HIV prosecution and conviction.
The film was followed by a play, UNJUST, written by ACT UP NY alumni Lee Raines (Playwright) and expertly directed by Jenny Sullivan, performed by Saidah Arrika Ekulona, John Clarence Stewart, and Jason Stuart. It memorizes the actions of a New Jersey politician who created that state’s criminalization laws.
The play was followed by a panel led by Greg Mathis, Jr., featuring Cecilia C Chung (Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives and Evaluation, Transgender Law Center), Harold Phillips (Director, White House Office of National AIDS Policy), Janet Butler-McPhee (Co-Executive Director, HIV Legal Network), and Robert Suttle (Chair, ETAF Council of Justice Leaders). And a highlight was Nashville based Timothy “T.K. (Thunder Kellie)” Hampton & his YSL2Z Crew’s beautiful performance of “You Shall LHiV 2:ZERO.”
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