This article was published on June 12th, 2017
A lot of pressure befell upon the organizers of LA Pride 2017, and thankfully, they didn’t disappoint. Whether you were checking out the boys and humming along to “That Boy is Mine” as R&B singer Brandy headlined Saturday night, marching in resistance to the Trump administration, scoping out the different booths at the festival, or just simply living out, loud, and proud, Los Angeles pride delivered a deliciously fun time amidst a series of changes.
Los Angeles is a town that paints the entire city in rainbow for nearly the whole month of June. From the US Bank Building’s (the tallest building in North America west of the Mississippi) crown in Downtown LA showing every color to Silverlake’s hipster weekend to West Hollywood’s rainbow sidewalks, LA’s three gayborhoods welcomed the half-a-million people who came to celebrate pride with open arms during Pride week, June 5-11.
LA Pride 2017 centered around the Pride festival, now in its 30th year, and is one the biggest Pride festivals in North America. The festivities really kicked into gear on Friday night, June 9th with the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team hosting Pride Night at Dodger Stadium. The annual Dyke March through West Hollywood ended with a spirited rally Friday in West Hollywood Park.
Saturday morning kicked off with the Finish Line Festival for AIDS Lifecycle Riders as friends and family welcomed back participants of the annual multi-million-dollar fundraiser from their ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The Pride Youth Dance went off without a hitch as the LGBT Center welcomed queer youth for an event all their own.
Saturday and Sunday served up the annual Pride Festival on a delicious platter. Hundreds of venders including the Chamber of Commerce, Varsity Gay League sports leagues, the Human Rights Campaign, etc. were featured and handing out goodies to party revelers. Ample bars and plenty of staff meant never waiting in line for more than five minutes for a cocktail: a welcomed change from previous years. Ample food booths including snacks and main dishes from restaurants like Shake Shack and Stick-N-Grill were also welcomed for the first time this year.
Pride Festival featured numerous entertainment acts, including Brandy, who headlined Saturday night, and the Canadian electro-pop duo and vocal queer ally Chromeo, who headlined Friday and brought the house down. Other acts like Brooke Candy, RuPaul’s DragRace star Valentina, Young M.A., Aaron Carter, ILOVEMAKONNEN, Spencer Ludwig, Tish Hyman, Leon Else, Connell Cruise, Kat Dahlia and Jesse Montana also performed. However, the stand out performance of the weekend was none other than gay nightclub performer and Real Housewife of Beverly Hills’ Erika Jayne on Saturday night.
This year’s annual Pride Parade was replaced to coincide with the Resist March in Washington D.C. and other cities around the country. Grand Marshalled by LGBTQ rights activist Alexei Romanov, the choice to change the parade to a march was met with much criticism within the queer community, but ended up being a successful march through Hollywood and West Hollywood.
With over 100,000 people in attendance, the march, which coincided with the 50th anniversary of the L.A. Black Cat Riots (arguably the start of the LGBT rights movement), also ended in a rally featuring speakers like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, singer Adam Lambert, Actress America Ferrera, and Comedienne Margaret Chow, among others. The Resist March was the second in a series of peaceful massive movements in Los Angeles, (after the Women’s March in January) countering the current regime in Washington, that gathered hundreds of thousands of people, but resulted in no arrests.
Despite a few changes, the City of Angels delivered yet again another excellent pride. Some 400,000+ people attended the many festivities this year that went off without a hitch. LA Pride 2017 will go down in the record books as having been a gay ol’ time filled with lots of fun memories.