The WeHo Pride Parade grand marshals were named Thursday and include “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Laith Ashley, Niecy Nash-Betts & Jessica Betts, and Melissa McCarthy, according to a press release.
These members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies will be recognized “for their work in bringing the LGBTQ community and social justice issues to the forefront, as well as expanding queer representation in mainstream pop culture,” according to the press release.
“The City of West Hollywood is pleased to kick off another WeHo Pride celebration filled with engaging activities and plenty of opportunities to celebrate the LGBTQ community,” West Hollywood Mayor Sepi Shyne said in the release. “Our WeHo Pride Parade Icons embody queer joy and fierce allyship by creating spaces where our community can be celebrated, whether that’s on the red carpet or directly through their art and advocacy.”
The WeHo Pride Parade will step-off at Crescent Heights and Santa Monica boulevards at noon on June 4. It will travel west along Santa Monica Boulevard into the heart of the city’s Rainbow District to Robertson Boulevard.
WeHo Pride will take place June 2, 3, and 4. Grace Jones will be one of the headliners.
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” will be celebrated as this year’s Drag Icon and will join on a float accompanied by a number of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” franchise fan favorites: Angeria, Gigi Goode, Gottmik, June Jambalaya, Rock M. Sakura, Symone, and more. Long-time host and judge Michelle Visage will receive the Drag Icon award on behalf of the franchise.
Ashley will receive the Breakthrough Icon award. Ashley is a model, actor, and activist who launched his career with a campaign for Barneys New York in February 2014. Three years later, he was the first transgender man to be featured in an ad campaign for Diesel. In 2023, Ashley was the male lead in Taylor Swift’s Lavender “Haze” music video. Ashley uses his platform to help inform about the trans experience.
Actress Nash-Betts and singer-songwriter Betts will receive the Trailblazer Icons for blazing their own trail in Hollywood. The married couple has made history on their own terms. In 2022, they became the first same-sex partners to appear on the cover of Essence magazine. Niecy is an Emmy Award-winning producer and three-time Emmy-nominated actress best known for roles on Comedy Central’s “RENO 911!,” ABC’s “The Rookie: Feds,” and Netflix’s “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.”
McCarthy will be the Ally Icon and is being recognized for her outspoken allyship and celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. The Emmy winner and two-time Oscar nominee, McCarthy is a staunch advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and has been very outspoken against the anti-drag laws that are being introduced by state legislatures across the country. McCarthy is known for her roles in “Bridesmaids,” “Can You Ever Forgive Me,” “Tammy,” “Ghostbusters,” and “The Little Mermaid.”