LA Pride Parade 2022 route, 3 grand marshals announced

LA Pride Parade

A crowd on Hollywood Boulevard in 1970 watches the first LA Pride Parade. Photo: ONE Archives USC Libraries.

The LA Pride Parade 2022 will have three grand marshals Sunday when it takes place in its original and historic Hollywood location.

Sir Lady Java, the legendary transgender activist and trailblazer, is the Community Grand Marshal.

Out actor Mark Indelicato is the Celebrity Grand Marshal.

Paula Abdul, an LGBTQ+ supporter, is the Icon Grand Marshal.

“LA Pride is excited to be back in person for our official parade,” Gerald Garth, vice president of community programs and initiatives at Christopher Street West, the nonprofit group that produces the annual LA Pride celebration, said in a statement “Returning to the historical location of Hollywood this year, we have the opportunity to celebrate our 50th anniversary in a wonderful way that we could not in 2020.”

LA Pride Parade 2022 route

The LA Pride Parade 2022 is scheduled to kick off at 10:30 a.m. at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Cahuenga Avenue.

“This year, we are especially excited to celebrate Sir Lady Java, a true icon, as our Community Grand Marshal,” Garth said. “She will be accompanied by ‘Pose’ cast alum, Hailie Sahar, who will portray Java in an upcoming feature film about her storied life.

“It was very important to LA Pride that we lift history and legacy as a part of the parade this year,” he said. “This is a new and exciting moment.”

On Saturday, Christina Aguilera will headline LA Pride in the Park.

Sir Lady Java

Sir Lady Java was a dancer, comedian, and drag queen in 1960s Los Angeles.

She also was a pioneering transgender activist who fought against laws that restricted drag performance.

As a Black gender non-conforming woman, Sir Lady Java was in a unique pivotal point in history – the intersection of discriminatory law enforcement tactics that targeted both Black and brown communities and queer communities not only in Los Angeles, but also across the U.S. in the 1960s.

Rule #9

First introduced in Los Angeles in 1958, the notorious Rule #9 said no bar owner could employ a person who performed as or impersonated the opposite sex, in costume or dress, to the one they were assigned at birth.

For Sir Lady Java, the impacts of the law climaxed during a run of performances at the Redd Foxx, a Black-owned nightclub that was named for its owner, the renowned stand-up comedian and actor John Elroy Sanford.

Sanford applied for a performance permit for Sir Lady Java, but in October 1967, the Los Angeles Police Department denied it.

After the permit was refused, Sir Lady Java protested, arguing for her right to work. The ACLU supported her efforts to sue the city.

But the California Supreme Court wouldn’t hear the case because the plaintiff had to be a bar owner, and the ACLU couldn’t find a bar owner willing to sue.

Sir Lady Java’s case was unsuccessful in court, her protest did raise awareness and visibility. Two years later, the rule was overturned in a separate lawsuit.

Indelicato is best known for playing Justin Suarez, the fashion-conscious, musical theater-loving nephew on the hit ABC show “Ugly Betty,” a character based on show creator Silvio Horta’s experiences as a gay teen raised by a single mom.

Indelicato stars in the Emmy-winning HBOMax series “Hacks.”

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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