In a move few could have predicted as 2020 dawned, the golden anniversary of the LA Pride celebration, one of the state’s largest gay and lesbian rights festivals, has been postponed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event, held annually in West Hollywood, is moving this year to an online celebration, according to nonprofit organizer Christopher Street West Association (CSW).
Each year during LA Pride, thousands flock to West Hollywood, a haven for the LGBTQ community, to watch the parade along Santa Monica Boulevard that features rainbow-colorful floats and people dancing and singing. The parade also serves as a political movement and memorial, commemorating the Stonewall uprising in New York once every decade.
In early May, the Association announced it is “reimagining” the way it will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Over the past several weeks, event organizers worked closely with local and state officials to monitor the evolving effects COVID-19 is having on the community and CSW has decided the responsible decision is to not host any in-person celebrations for the remainder of the year.
“The safety of the community is our top priority, and CSW must act responsibly to protect our community in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our community has always adapted, changed and become more resilient in the face of uncertain times. Although we cannot celebrate Pride with a Festival or Parade, CSW will make sure that the spirit of Pride is not forgotten. We are in this together, and we are here for you as we continue to navigate through this situation,” said Estevan Montemayor, President of the CSW Board of Directors.
“The LGBTQ+ community has overcome many obstacles over the years and has always emerged stronger and more unified. The 50th anniversary will be one to remember regardless of a physical experience this year, and our hope is to resume in-person events for our incredible milestone in 2021. Our community will once again look adversity directly in the face and rise up together in solidarity and celebration,” added Montemayor.
“As we work through these difficult times together as a community, we must remember that Pride is not just about a specific month or weekend in June. Los Angeles’ LGBTQ+ community lives and breathes Pride every day,” said CSW Executive Director Madonna Cacciatore. “The cancellation of in-person events will not deter the spirit of our community, nor will it detract from the enormous impact the founders of our movement have had on history. CSW is continuing to work with LA Pride partners to create a celebration over digital platforms, including participation in this year’s virtual Global Pride. As a community, weathering this storm together will unite us and increase our appreciation for one another.”
To commemorate the 50th Anniversary, LA Pride has been working on new and exciting initiatives that will be hosted on various digital platforms. LA Pride is committed to adapting to the current climate and ensuring the Pride celebration will be a staple moment with diverse and creative ways to honor the LGBTQ+ community regardless of an in-person gathering.
- Pride: Pixaby