|“WE ARE GOING TO HAVE SOME KIND OF CELEBRATION OF THE STONEWALL. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO IN LOS ANGELES?”|
L.A.GAY, LESBIAN, BI-SEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY CELEBRATES 35 YEARS OF PRIDE
May 5, 2005
West Hollywood, CA – Christopher Street West, the non-profit group behind one of the country’s most high-profile celebrations for the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender community, announced today its plans
for the 2005 Los Angeles Pride Festival. Christopher Street West (CSW) and its flagship festival were first formed in 1970; the group is revealing a new look and plans for high-profile entertainment to
celebrate its 35th birthday.
The 2005 festival, themed “How Do You Wear Your Pride?”, is scheduled for June 10 through June 12 in West Hollywood, California. The festival will once again be held at West Hollywood Park, and will feature live
entertainment on several stages, dance pavilions, carnival rides, and informational booths. The festival doors are open on Saturday, June 11, from noon to 11pm and on Sunday, June 12, from 11am to 10pm. Among the
musical performers for this year’s festival will be Deborah Harry of Blondie, Deborah Gibson, and Tiffany. Admission is $15 each day. The 2005 Pride Parade will begin at 11am on Sunday, June 12 at the intersection
of Crescent Heights and Santa Monica Boulevards in West Hollywood. The parade route continues down Santa Monica Boulevard to La Peer Drive.
The parade is free. To find out more about this year’s festivities, visit www.lapride.org
The first-ever Los Angeles-area celebration was held on June 28, 1970, to commemorate the oneyear anniversary of the drag-queen-led rebellion at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. The Stonewall incident is
considered the beginning of the modern-day LGBT equal rights movement, and is celebrated each year by festivals across the country. On the occasion of CSW’s 30the anniversary, founder Morris Kight (1919 – 2003)
remembered the first celebration in this way: “I had had a note from a prime activist in New York, which said: Dear Morris, we, in New York, are going to have some kind of celebration of the Stonewall. What are you
going to do in Los Angeles?…I yelled out: We are going to have a parade!”
Not without difficulty, the parade succeeded and Christopher Street West continues to honor the founders of the GLBT movement while
engaging our leaders of tomorrow. Rodney Scott, president of the Christopher Street West Board of Directors since 2000 says, “I am humbled to be leading an organization, which today stands on the shoulders of our
courageous ancestors who 35 years ago began risking their lives to stand up for GLBT rights. Those founders of the movement insisted on not being invisible, and it’s because of them we continue our work.
Throughout the past 35 years, Christopher Street West has played a critical role in the movement. CSW is a part of the past, present, and the future.”
In addition to Kight, the first parade was organized by Reverend Troy Perry of the Metropolitan Community Church, and held on Hollywood Boulevard. Perry faced a hostile police commission and a Chief of Police who
likened homosexuals to “a group of thieves and robbers”. But with perseverance, and a ruling by the California Superior Court, the City of Los Angeles granted a parade permit, which led
the way for the first-ever parade of its kind in Los Angeles and paved the way for Christopher Street West to be the first-ever GLBT organization in the state of California.
Today, Christopher Street West Association, Inc., continues to be a non-profit service organization within the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community of Greater Los Angeles, committed to the goals of
human rights, education, outreach and better understanding within the GLBT community and the
heterosexual community. To find out more about CSW and it’s history, go to www.lapride.org.