This weekend, Angelenos will come together to celebrate LA Pride with a huge parade and festival. Every year, people from all over flock to West Hollywood to show their own pride and witness the unbelievably adorned floats and outrageous costumes. But how exactly did LA Pride get its start?
The first gay pride marches were organized to commemorate the Stonewall riots of 1969, a series of violent demonstrations triggered by a police raid of a gay bar in New York City. The following year, communities in New York, Boston, and Chicago organized and marched through the streets on the anniversary. In Los Angeles, they decided to do it a little differently.
This is Hollywood
Rather than organizing a march, the LA community chose to put together a parade. Unfortunately, the City of Los Angeles was not supportive.
In 1970, homosexuality was still illegal in the state of California. (It wasn’t until six years later that same-sex sexual activity was legal.) And it wasn’t until 2003 that California adopted state-wide protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. So when activists applied for the permit to hold a gay pride parade in 1970, the city did not jump on board. Instead, they tried to charge fees over $1.5 million to secure the permit. But with help from a lawyer from the ACLU, the commision dropped the insane requirements and the parade was scheduled.
During the first LA Pride event, there were floats, music, and dancing. People marched down Hollywood Boulevard with banners and the tradition was formed. The parade remained in Hollywood until the 1980s, when the city of West Hollywood was incorporated. The LGBT+ community had experienced longstanding conflicts with the LAPD, so as soon as West Hollywood became its own city, the parade and festival moved over.
A Longstanding Legacy
Throughout the years, LA Pride, as well as gay pride events throughout the country and world, have been a force for advancing gay rights. This weekend is not only a time to show our own Pride, but also an excuse to enjoy the summer sunshine, celebrate our diversity and, of course, dance to great music. This year’s festival will feature three stages with diverse music and lineups. Kehlani (Saturday) and Tove Lo (Sunday) will headline the festival, with support from Eve, Lauren Ruth Ward and many more awesome performers.
To skip the parking nightmare and get right to the good stuff, reserve your space in advance with Pavemint. To celebrate LA Pride, we’re giving away FREE PARKING at any space $30 and under near West Hollywood Park. Simply click the link and use promo code PRIDE18 at checkout. Happy Pride!