Hermosa Beach lifeguard tower to be painted for LGBTQ Pride Month

Hermosa Beach Lifeguard Tower

This aerial photograph shows a part of Hermosa Beach near the pier. Photo: City of Hermosa Beach.

A Hermosa Beach lifeguard tower will be painted the LGBTQ rainbow colors for Pride Month.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a motion last week that instructs the county’s Department of Beaches and Harbors to work with the City of Hermosa Beach to transform the lifeguard tower just north of the Hermosa Beach pier from June 1 to the end of summer.

The idea to paint the tower came from lzzy Bacallao, a local teen who identifies as nonbinary. Bacallao, who uses the pronouns they and them, was motivated to do something in the coastal city after the rainbow-painted Pride lifeguard tower in Long Beach burned down in March. The fire is still under investigation, and Long Beach Fire Department officials have not released any information about the cause.

Long Beach Pride Lifeguard Tower destroyed in fire

“The burning of the Long Beach Pride Tower was not only devastating to me, being a trans-queer adolescent, but it also hurt other queer people and our allies within the South Bay community,” Bacallao said in a statement.

“Immediately, my family and I started reaching out to queer youth and other community leaders to seek approval to paint a Hermosa Beach lifeguard tower as an act of solidarity and an expression of love. The Pride tower should be a reminder to everyone to accept, cherish, and celebrate what makes us all unique and special.”

The city’s mayor, Justin Massey, also said in a statement that the  “Rainbow Tower,” the lighting on Hermosa’s Pier Plaza, and flying of the Pride flag throughout Pride Month in June will remind everyone that LGBTQ people are welcome in Hermosa Beach, “where the values of equality and diversity run strong.”

A date has not been set yet for the tower to be painted.

The event will be organized by Hermosa Beach residents with support from the city, county officials, and other community partners.

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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