LA Pride returns to Hollywood for weekendlong celebration of LGBTQ+ community
Thousands of Los Angeles residents met on Hollywood Boulevard for the LA Pride Parade on Sunday to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. LA Pride 2022 was the first in-person event after the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the annual celebration from meeting in person for two years. (Shengfeng Chien/Daily Bruin)
June 15, 2022 2:13 p.m.
Thousands of residents celebrated Los Angeles Pride on Hollywood Boulevard this weekend, ending the annual event’s two-year hiatus.
LA Pride is an annual event celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. This year’s event featured several celebrations including concerts, bingo and the LA Pride Parade, according to the LA pride website. LA Pride 2022 was the first in-person event after the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the annual celebration from meeting in person for two years.
Christopher Street West Association, a nonprofit organization that aims to raise awareness for the LGBTQ+ community, hosted the annual event. The organization started hosting the event roughly 50 years ago, according to the LA Pride website.
Gerald Garth, the vice president of community programs and initiatives for LA Pride, said in an emailed statement the event’s 50th anniversary was supposed to be celebrated in 2020 but is being celebrated this year instead because of the past two years’ COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
The event began Saturday with several artists – including Christina Aguilera, Anitta and Syd – performing in LA Pride in the Park at the LA State Historic Park, according to the LA Pride website.
Garth said in the statement that LA Pride organizers are excited their music line-up features a diverse group of women and people of color.
LA Pride continued Sunday with the LA Pride Parade in Hollywood, which featured parade floats, trucks, exotic cars and performers.
Mitch O’Farrell, an LA city councilmember and parade attendee, said he thought Hollywood Boulevard was the rightful location of the parade, and the council jumped at the opportunity to bring it to the location.
United States Representative Adam Schiff, a congressman representing California’s 28th district and a parade attendee, expressed enthusiasm at the parade’s success and celebration of the LGBTQ+ community.
“We want everybody to be who they are and to be able to love the person they love,” Schiff said. “(I’m) very proud to be out here today and celebrating with people and just, really, the togetherness in the love and the joy.”
Cassie Brighter, an activist at the parade, said the event’s turnout gave her a lot of hope for the future of the LGBTQ+ community.
“This is giving me a lot of hope that I really needed,” Brighter said.
Garth also said in the emailed statement that LA Pride featured initiatives to support the LGBTQ+ community – including Pride Makes a Difference, a volunteer, donation and community engagement program, and Pride 365, a program to improve LGBTQ+ inclusivity in society and the workplace.
UCLA Health was a sponsor for LA Pride and had booths at many of the event’s activities, including the parade and concert, said Carl Barrett, a programs manager at UCLA Health. The booths focused on LGTBQ+ health and distributed literature, wellness information and sunscreen, he added.
Barret said UCLA Health’s participation in LA Pride is part of a broader effort from UCLA Health to reach underserved communities and provide health services in more locations.
“We’re really reaching out, and including that would be the LGBTQ community in West Hollywood,” Barrett said.
Holly Seely, a student services advisor for comparative literature and LGBTQ studies, said in an emailed statement the return of LA Pride resonates with the LGBTQ+ community at UCLA, especially since many LGBTQ+ students are seeking ways to connect with others.
Beyond the celebrations, Garth added in the statement that LA Pride is primarily a protest to spark social and political change for all communities, including Black, Latino and transgender communities.
“While we celebrate, we can’t forget there is still work to be done as legislation and society still forges attacks on our communities,” Garth said. “We should be reminded that Pride is still, and will always be, a call to action.”