LA Pride Parade to be Black Lives Matter solidarity protest march

LA Pride Parade

A crowd gathers on Hollywood Boulevard to watch the first LA Pride Parade in 1970. Photo: ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives.

LA Pride will protest and march in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement next week in Hollywood near the site of the first LA Pride Parade.

Christopher Street West, the 501(c)3 nonprofit that produces the annual LA Pride Parade and Festival, had cancelled all in-person events due to COVID-19, but the group’s board of directors voted Monday night to peacefully assemble and march in solidarity with the black community. The LA Pride Festival was scheduled to take place June 13 and 14 in West Hollywood Park. The parade was scheduled for June 14.

The “Black Lives Matter” march will protest racial injustice, systemic racism, and all forms of oppression. It is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. June 14 at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. The protesters will march to West Hollywood and end at the intersection of San Vicente and Santa Monica boulevards.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the California Department of Public Health recommends that participants who will march should wear face coverings at all times.

Earlier this week, LA Pride said this year’s festival will be a virtual event and celebration recognizing the group’s 50th anniversary.

LA Pride Parade history includes hatred from LAPD

The first LA Pride Parade took place in 1970 when the LGBTQ took to the streets in Hollywood to peacefully protest brutality and oppression from the Los Angeles Police Department. 

Police chief Ed Davis, who had called gay people “fairies,” made several attempts to squash the parade, but he failed.

LA Pride isn’t the only LGBTQ group supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and speaking out on racial injustice. This week, more than 400 LGBTQ organizations across the county have signed a letter condemning racial violence and committing to the fight against it.

“The LGBTQ community knows about the work of resisting police brutality and hate violence,” said Nadie Smith, the executive director of Equality Florida, who will moderate a virtual town hall tonight on Facebook with LGBTQ black leaders. 

“We understand what it means to stand up and push back against a culture that tells us we are less than, that our lives don’t matter,” Smith said. “Today, we stand up again to say Black Lives Matter.”

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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