L.A. Pride Parade Dumps West Hollywood for Hollywood

The first pride parade in Los Angeles County began at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard in 1970

Los Angeles Pride returns in June after a two-year hiatus due to COVID precautions. But the celebration has abandoned West Hollywood and instead will make its long-anticipated reemergence in Hollywood.

Previous criticisms directed towards those who organize the event regarded a too white, too corporate, and dismissive environment for transgender people. This year’s event seeks to be more inclusive of the entire LGBTQ community.

A July 2020 letter from Christopher Street West, the nonprofit organization that produces the LA Pride event, announced that the location would be moved—though it was not said where at the time—and addressed the criticisms.

“The Board of Directors decided to take this approach for several reasons,” the letter said. “These include construction in West Hollywood Park, the changing demographics of Greater Los Angeles, our commitment to being responsive to the LGBTQIA+ community’s needs, and our allyship and collaboration with other movements for social change.”

They previously held a virtual event—due to COVID concerns—in 2020 for the parade’s 50th anniversary.

The first LA Pride Parade in Los Angeles County began at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard in June 1970 and the organizers view this year’s location change as an homage to that.

LA Pride board member Gerald Garth said in a statement that, “the fact Hollywood has a significant community of color, large transgender population and the L.A. LGBT Center is located there is a big step in continuing inclusive programming.”

The last parade in 2019, which took place in West Hollywood, marked the 40th year the location had hosted the event since 1979.

West Hollywood will still host their “WeHo Pride” weekend beginning June 3, just one week before the LA Pride Parade takes place on June 12. The West Hollywood City Council is expected to pass final approval for a third-party vendor to produce the event on Tuesday, which would mark a return to in-person events for first time since the pandemic began.

This year’s LA Pride wants to hone in on different levels of diversity that ascend past the event itself, organizers said. The general message of inclusion is being ushered in through activities oriented around the transgender community and family.

“We’re looking to do some more family-oriented activations. That’s not something that we’ve been able to historically focus on,” LA Pride board member Noah Gonzales told The LA Times. “We know it’s super important to the community, and we actually have several parents now who are on our board.”

LA Pride 2022 will be a hybrid event, featuring both virtual and in-person events, and organizers have said that they are actively monitoring COVID safety and federal guidelines to ensure the safest outcome.

The parade route and programming activities are to be announced soon on LA Pride’s social media channels.

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