The LA Pride Parade was broadcast live on ABC television for the first time in its 49-year history. In 1970, this parade began as a "response to and in commemoration of the Stonewall Rebellion on Christopher Street in New York City the year prior." (LA Pride website). It continues as a celebration of identity, a platform for advocating for gay rights, and a welcoming, friendly space for those who identify and support LGBTQ, non-binary gender people.
Parade as social movement, festive occasion, and educational experience
The annual LA Pride Parade is a reminder of significant historical moments, as well as a stage for speaking about issues of the day. Past and present parade entries have referenced: the NYC Stonewall Riots, AIDS crisis, California Proposition 8 barring same-sex marriage, U.S. Supreme Court decision supporting marriage equality, criminalization of same-sex relationships in various countries, Orlando nightclub shooting, and numerous political issues and concerns of LGBTQ locally, nationally, and internationally. Each year, this parade serves as an event for addressing new and continuing issues and concerns.
As a festive event, it’s an entertaining and community-oriented opportunity that draws crowds. Groups in matching t-shirts, uniforms, and costumes fill the streets, representing a variety of organizations, businesses, and special interest groups. There are the standouts, too. Those one-of-a-kind designed costumes and accessories that capture the audiences' eyes. Sometimes it’s the attire, but often it’s the attitude and performance of the person or people that gets the crowd responding with claps and screams. It might seem outrageous to some to see parade participants wearing thongs, speedos, leather bondage, or dressed in elaborate drag, but this freedom and acceptance to express oneself in a variety ways are what makes the Pride Parade so welcoming to all.
In many ways, it’s an educational parade too. Those who represent and support the LGBTQ community in the parade are diverse. People of different ethnicity, race, religion, and personal interests participate. Families of same-sex marriages tow their dogs and kids in the parade. Parents carry signs supporting their children who identify as non-cisgender. Corporations and organizations bring large groups to walk the parade route, showing their support while passing out all sorts of swag (e.g., fans, stickers, candy, pins, condoms, band-aids, rubber bracelets, plastic beaded necklaces, rainbow wristbands, informational flyers, etc.). Other groups and individuals carry or wear flags denoting their gender, sexual orientation, or special interests. Particular colors, symbols, and pattern arrangements reflect bisexuality, pansexuality, polysexual, asexual, agender, nonbinary, gender fluid, pup pride, bear brotherhood, trans-gendered, and so forth (Queer Pride flags). And the traditional rainbow flag associated with gay pride since 1979 is a symbol that is ever present on clothing, faces, and floats.
Photographing the parade
LA Pride Parade, West Hollywood, June 9, 2019, showing the diversity of participants.
2019 theme: "just unite"
California LGBTQ focused celebrations in 2019
- March 24–31: Los Angeles Leather Pride — Los Angeles, California
- April 3-8: The Dinah – Palm Springs, California
- May 19: Davis Pride – Davis, California
- May 18-19: Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride – Long Beach, California
- May 31-June 3 Laguna Beach Pride 365 – Laguna Beach, California
- May 31-June 2: Sonoma County Pride – Sonoma County, California
- May 31-June 9: LA Pride – Los Angeles, US.
- June 1: Venice Pride – Venice, California
- June 1–30: SaMo Pride – Santa Monica, California
- June 7: Dyke March – West Hollywood, California
- June 9: LA Pride Parade – West Hollywood, California
- June 8–9: Sacramento Pride – Sacramento, California
- June 15: San Mateo Pride - San Mateo, California
- July 12-14: San Diego Pride – San Diego, California
- June 15-28: Orange County LGBT Pride parade (June 22) and festival – Santa Ana, California
- June 22: Valley Pride – Van Nuys, California
- August 24-25: Silicon Valley Pride – San Jose, California
- September 8: Oakland Pride – Oakland, California
- November 1-3: Palm Spring Pride – Palm Springs, California
Internationally – important days related to LGBTQIA
- International Transgender Day of Visibility, March 31
- Day of Silence, April 12, 2019
- International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, May 17
- Pansexual and Panromantic Awareness and Visibility Day, May 24,
- LGBTQA+ Pride Month, June
- Celebrate Bisexuality Day, September 23 and Bisexual Awareness Week
- LGBT History Month, October
- National Coming Out Day, October 11
- Spirit Day, October 20
- Intersex Awareness Day, October 26
- Asexual Awareness Week, October 22-28
- Intersex Solidarity Day, November 8
- International Transgender Day of Remembrance, November 20
- World AIDS Day, Dec 1