Gay pride rainbow colors to stay on Venice Beach lifeguard tower forever

A popular lifeguard tower at the end of Brooks Avenue that was painted the rainbow colors of the LGBTQ pride flag was saved from being repainted blue and will remain gay forever. Photo: Venice Pride.

VENICE BEACH — Venice Beach became a little more gay and colorful Tuesday.

A popular lifeguard tower at the end of Brooks Avenue that was painted the rainbow colors of the LGBTQ pride flag was saved from being repainted that drab blue and will remain gay forever.

In a unanimous 5-to-0 vote, the LA County Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl to permanently keep the structure in its fabulous rainbow colors. Kuehl represents the 3rd District, which includes Venice Beach.

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The “Venice Pride Flag Lifeguard Tower” was dedicated as a temporary county run public art installation in June to help kickoff the Venice Pride Celebration, but an online petition was started in late July to save it.

Almost 11,000 people had signed the petition.

“We received 11,000 signatures on a petition from that area, saying,  No no, no, we love it. We’d like to keep it,” Kuehl said during the board meeting. Kuehl’s motion also preserves the lifeguard tower as a memorial to Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, the first openly gay man elected to the council.

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Rosendahl, who represented the 11th District, which includes Venice Beach, died in 2016 from cancer. He retired in 2012.

Grant Turck, president and founder of Venice Pride, said the lifeguard tower is more than a beach structure.

“This lifeguard tower represents a new way for the LGBTQ community to feel included and visible,” Turck told the board. “It’s a monument to acceptance. It’s way to show that pride doesn’t just last one month. It’s 365 days a year.”

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About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBT community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBT students.