From City News Service
WEST HOLLYWOOD — Tens of thousands of people Sunday lined the route of the 43rd L.A. Pride Parade, celebrating the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.
The colorful parade began at 11 a.m. at Crescent Heights Boulevard, and continued west along Santa Monica Boulevard to Robertson Boulevard.
A moment of silence was held at noon “to remember those who are no longer with us or cannot be here … to celebrate those that fought for pride and the freedoms we now enjoy and to think of those who cannot celebrate pride and remain oppressed,” according to parade organizers.
Maria Menounos, a host of the syndicated entertainment news magazine “Extra,” was parade grand marshal, selected “for her dedication to the LGBT community and her continuing efforts using her platform for equality,” organizers said.
“The LGBT Pride Parade represents something truly American,” Menounos said. “It’s a celebration of community, a celebration of uniqueness, diversity and progress and it’s the celebration of a new United States where we do more than tolerate or accept our gay brothers and sisters, but embrace and celebrate them.”
The community grand marshal was the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which trains activists and helps state and local organizations build campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT ballot measures and advance pro-LGBT legislation.
The parade prompted the 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. closure of Santa Monica Boulevard from Fairfax Avenue to Doheny Drive; Crescent Heights Boulevard from Romaine Street to Fountain Avenue; and streets one block north and south of Santa Monica Boulevard from Fairfax Avenue to La Peer Drive.
The parade has been held every year since 1970, except for 1973 when infighting over crude displays the previous two years left the organizers in disarray. The parade was held in Hollywood until 1979, when it moved to West Hollywood.
PHOTOS BY GARY MCCARTHY