LGBT Issues

Organizers cancel LA Pride Festival and Parade

WEST HOLLYWOOD — The 50th anniversary of the Los Angeles Pride Parade and Festival will not be held this year because of the coronavirus crisis.

Christopher Street West, the nonprofit organization that produces the annual event, announced that it will be reimagining the way it will celebrate its 50th anniversary. 

Over the last several weeks, event organizers worked closely with local and state officials to monitor the evolving effects COVID-19 is having on the community and the organization has decided the responsible decision is to not host any in-person celebrations for the remainder of the year, a statement from Christopher Street West said.

Last year’s three-day event was held June 7-9.

“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,” said Estevan Montemayor, president of the Christopher Street West Board of Directors. “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, we will make sure that the spirit of pride is not forgotten.

“The LGBTQ+ community has overcome many obstacles over the years and has always emerged stronger and more unified,” Montemayor added. “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.”

Madonna Cacciatore, executive director of Christopher Street West, said the cancellation of this year’s 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.

“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,” Cacciatore said. “Los Angeles’ LGBTQ+ community lives and breathes pride every day.

“[We are] 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 in the coming months. LA Pride is committed to adapting to the current climate and ensuring the pride celebration will honor the LGBTQ+ community in diverse and creative ways regardless of an in-person gathering. 

More details will be announced in the lead up to LGBTQ+ Pride Month in June. 

Christopher Street West organized the world’s first permitted parade advocating for gay rights on June 28, 1970, as a response to and in commemoration of the Stonewall Rebellion on Christopher Street in New York City in 1969. Since then, the organization has built a rich history as an active voice for the LGBTQ+ community across the Greater Los Angeles area. 

The parade was held in Hollywood for the first nine years before moving to West Hollywood, where it has been held ever since. 

In addition to producing the annual LA Pride Parade and Festival every June, the organization also organizes a number of events throughout the year with its nonprofit, philanthropic, community and corporate partners. 

Independent Staff Report