How to Support LA’s LGBTQ Community During Pride Month
Including actual, in-person events!
The bad news is that most in-person events surrounding the fun, fabulous, and fabled LA Pride festival are canceled yet again this year (we were so close!), but the good news is there are still plenty of ways to celebrate (more on that in a moment). Pride Month’s roots run deep. The nonprofit Christopher Street West put on the planet’s first-ever permitted parade advocating for gay rights right here in our City of Angels in June of 1970, just a year after the police raid of Greenwich Village gay bar the Stonewall Inn, which led to days of escalating violence, protests, riots, and—as the LGBTQ+ community began fighting longtime, widespread discrimination—the formation of the gay liberation movement. Today, Pride events take place around the world (when COVID isn’t ruining everything) to help raise awareness about equality and inclusion, because while times have changed, we can definitely do better.
While the usual WeHo extravaganza filled with parties, parades, music, and revelry may be on hiatus, you can still celebrate and support our local LGBTQ+ community with plenty of LA Pride virtual happenings, a couple of actual in-person events, and a plethora of LGBTQ-owned businesses and nonprofits. Here’s how:
Watch one of LA Pride’s Thrive with Pride-themed events online or on TVAs we land on the other side of COVID, LA Pride is highlighting health and wellness to promote the idea that thriving is an act of social justice within the LGBTQ+ community, especially for underserved and overlooked members. The virtual festivities will kick off Thursday, June 10, with a free concert by Charli XCX live streamed on TikTok. Then on Saturday, June 12, at 9 pm, ABC7/KABC-TV Los Angeles will air a Thrive with Pride Celebration, slated to highlight members of LA Pride’s LGBTQ+ community with profiles of trans activists and spotlights on LA Pride’s 2021 honorees, along with a special Pride performance by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles from the Getty Center.
Keep on shopping
Many small businesses were hit hard over the last year, but that was especially true for independently owned retailers who were forced to stay shuttered during the first part of the pandemic (while big box operators got to remain open, grrrr). Support some local faves now with both in-person and online shopping.
Huntees, a QPOC-owned LA boutique, known for its pop culture-inspired tees, mugs, and home furnishings, has also been offering quirky and colorful face masks—stamped with caricatures of beloved famous faces like the Golden Girls and Cher—via its online shop. At celebrity choreographer Jamal Sims’s LA-based ready-to-wear tuxedo lounge GROOM, you’ll find everything from poppy kimono capes to couture face coverings. Playfully subversive ready-to-wear label Lockwood51, famous for its “Stay Queer as F*ck” casual wear, is still offering T-shirts, hoodies, hats, swimwear, and more through its online retail platform.
To toast kicking quarantine to the curb, pick up a few celebratory bottles at Vinovore, a wine shop owned by Coly Den Haan, one of LA’s first female sommeliers. Inside, she focuses on natural wines made exclusively by women winemakers, also highlighting wines made by women of color and members of the LGBTQ community.At Highland Park’s The Juicy Leaf, which sells unique terrariums, plant and flower arrangements, pottery, and furniture, husbands Felix and Felipe are also offering Insta live workshops, succulent kits, and mobile planting parties. Silver Lake’s The Plant Provocateur, owned by author and horticulture expert and speaker Hank Jenkins, morphed into a virtual store during COVID and has kept its online-only offerings, selling plants, pottery, art, books, and more, available for delivery or curbside pickup.