Video from DTLA Proud Festival 2018

PERSHING SQUARE — The third annual DTLA Proud Festival took place at Pershing Square this weekend.

Organizers projected attendance would exceed last year’s 9,000 visitors.

Friday night was 18 and over, but Saturday and Sunday were 21 and over.

SUMMERTRAMP

All three days featured live music, community booths, food trucks, live art installations, and interactive exhibits.

Fruitcake Pop-up partnered with the festival to showcase more than 20 queer artists and small business owners,  including The Pleasure Chest, Soft Daddy Leather, Folklore Salon, Starrfucker Mag, and Lag Vintage.

On Saturday and Sunday, Summertramp turned part of Pershing Square into a 20,ooo square foot water park with pink astro turf. DJs Casey Alva, Josh Peace, Mateo Segade, and Derek Monteiro worked the decks.

DTLA Proud Festival

The third annual DTLA Proud Festival took place at Pershing Square this weekend.
Organizers projected attendance would exceed last year’s 9,000 visitors. Photo: Q Voice News.

QUEER HISTORY

The location for DTLA Proud is fabulous because from the 1920s to the 1960s, Pershing Square was the center of “The Run,” a large collection of gay friendly cafes, bars, and cruising areas along the Fifth Street corridor, stretching from the Los Angeles Central Library to Los Angeles Street. The Fifth Street corridor was so populated with gay establishments, that during World War II, the U.S. Army and Navy distributed a list of more than 30 known queer establishments along Fifth and Main streets where service members were forbidden to visit.

GAYBORHOOD

In the past few years, downtown Los Angeles has turned into a gayborhood. The area also is home to three gay bars: Precinct, Redline and the New Jalisco Bar.

A fourth bar, Bar Mattachine, closed last week.

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 LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ students.

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