WEST HOLLYWOOD — LA Pride intends to move its annual LGBTQ parade and celebrations out of West Hollywood after more than four decades in the city, the organization announced July 15.
Representatives from Christopher Street West, the nonprofit that produces LA Pride, said the parade and festival will be moved from West Hollywood in 2021, but a new location has not been announced.
“There were several factors that led to our decision in moving future Los Angeles Pride festivities,” LA Pride said in a statement provided to City News Service. “This has been an ongoing conversation within our organization for the past year given how large the celebrations have become.
“While we are still in a phase of gathering feedback and listening to the community, we felt it was important to notify the city of our intentions, given our long standing relationship with them as a partner in Los Angeles Pride.”
LA Pride officials sent a letter to the West Hollywood City Council July 14 that mentioned several other factors as contributing to the decision to move.
“These include construction in West Hollywood Park, the changing demographics of greater Los Angeles, our commitment to being responsive to the LGBTQIA+ community’s needs, and our allyship and collaboration with other movements for social change,” the letter stated, according to multiple media reports.
LA Pride has taken place in West Hollywood every summer since 1979 and draws hundreds of thousands of people to the city each year.
West Hollywood responded with a statement that emphasized the city’s LGBTQ history and said the city embraces “Pride each and every day, year-round.”
“With its high concentration of LGBTQ residents and businesses — more than 40% of residents in West Hollywood identify as LGBTQ and three of the five members of the West Hollywood City Council are openly gay — the city of West Hollywood remains the heart of the region’s LGBTQ community,” the city said in a statement obtained by the Los Angels Times.
The West Hollywood City Council was expected to discuss how to select an event production company for other LGBTQ pride events in West Hollywood next June at its July 20 meeting, according to the council agenda packet.
The parade, which started in Los Angeles city limits in 1970 partly as a reaction to the so-called Stonewall Riots in New York City in 1969, was to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2020, before this year’s event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It wound up morphing into an All Black Lives Matter demonstration in West Hollywood that drew a large crowd.
According to an economic impact study from Christopher West Street, first reported by Los Angeles Blade, the 2019 LA Pride Parade and Festival generated $74.7 million in economic output and $42.2 million in direct expenditures in Los Angeles County.
Independent Wire Services