The Ultimate Guide to Celebrating Pride in LA
After a pandemic hiatus, LA’s Pride Month festivities are back and bigger than ever, including a parade, Pride In The Park festival, and more.
When the non-profit Christopher Street West put on the planet’s first-ever permitted parade advocating for gay rights in June of 1970, it was 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 the beginnings of a widespread and interconnected gay liberation movement. Prior to the Stonewall Uprising, similar demonstrations protesting police brutality towards LGBTQ+ communities occurred at Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district in 1966 and at Silver Lake’s Black Cat Tavern in 1967.
While times have changed, they still haven’t changed enough. Around the globe—including in many cities and states across America—there are ongoing efforts to deny and strip rights from LGBTQ+ communities, especially trans people. That’s why it’s so important to counteract such measures by making your voice heard and demonstrating your acceptance of all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Now extended from a one-day parade into an entire month full of activities, Pride is a reminder to do just that.
This year marks the return of Christopher Street West’s official Pride Parade, the first since 2019, and a slightly delayed celebration of the parade’s 50th anniversary, which was in 2020. As Gerald Garth, board member of Christopher Street West and Vice President of Community Programs and Initiatives at LA Pride, puts it, “The original Pride Parade began in Hollywood, so this is a grand return.”
June is LGBTQIA+ Pride month in LA, so you can expect activities and festivals throughout the city as well—Santa Monica Pride is back this year, as is San Fernando Valley Pride at the end of the month. Then there are the endless events, discounts, and themed products—from wine to special menu items—that businesses are rolling out, with many donating a portion of proceeds to LGBTQIA+ nonprofits. Here’s everything you need to know to get in on the Pride festival and parade.
Where and when is this year’s official Pride Parade?
The 2022 Pride Parade is June 12, with step-off scheduled for 10:30 am at Hollywood and Cahuenga, then it will proceed West over to Highland, down to Sunset, and back East on Sunset to Cahuenga. Sounds confusing, but it’s basically a sideways U.
What’s happening at the parade, and how do I get there?
There will be over 130 floats, marchers, exotic cars, twirlers, performers, and more. Parking in Hollywood is tough to begin with, and that’s before they close all these streets and thousands of revelers descend upon the area. Take public transit! The Hollywood and Highland station is right there.
What do I do after the Parade?
At the end of the Parade’s yellow brick road there’s Pride Village, a street fair on Hollywood Boulevard between Cahuenga and Vine. There will be a bar and beer garden, community vendors, two stages of DJs and performances, and a whole ass Ferris Wheel. It runs just about all day, from 11 am to 10 pm at night and entrance is free and open to everyone. The goal, according to Garth, is for “All of those community experiences to bring Pride to life in Hollywood.”
Is there a festival too?
On June 11, there’s Pride in the Park, a massive all-day party featuring music, activities, exhibitions, vendors, food, and plenty of drinks. It’s at LA State Historic Park in Chinatown, and you should definitely take public transit to this one too.
The lineup for Pride in the Park is insanely good, with two stages of music headlined by Christina Aguilera and Anitta. There are tons of other awesome performers like Syd, Chika, Michaela Jaé, and a collab set with Boy Untitled and Boy Apocalypse. The venue also has a food fair, a beer garden, a sober garden, and an erotic city.
Do I need a ticket?
Yes, tickets are available online. General Admission is $60, and VIP runs either $200 or $300. That extra cash gets you access to a couple of special viewing areas, a VIP entrance, a VIP lounge, premium food vendors, and—best of all—luxury bathrooms.
Anything else going on?
There’s so much more. West Hollywood, for example, is having its own Pride festival, a street fair with a stage and a parade, this weekend from June 3-5.
Garth is particularly excited about Pride is Universal, a rainbowed-out after-hours party at Universal Studios; Drag me to the Loews, a drag performance hosted by legendary Lady Bunny; and the ongoing charitable initiative Pride Makes a Difference, which kicks off June 5 with an event assembling toiletry kits to be given to those in need.
The most important thing, says Garth, is to remember that “Pride doesn’t look like any one experience, and it doesn’t belong to any one neighborhood.” Everyone is welcome.