WEHOville

How Is CSW Responding to Criticism of Its LA Pride Plans?

Tue, May 10, 2016   By Staff    26 Comments

Christopher Street West (CSW), the non-profit organization that puts on the annual LA Pride event, has faced blistering criticism from a variety of LGBT people and organizations with its announcement that it is shifting the annual festivals focus to music, moving away from its traditional focus on LGBT history and culture, and raising the admission price by 40%.

APAIT, a non-profit that provides HIV treatment services to Pacific Islanders and people of Asian origin, has said it will  boycott the event, citing the $35 festival ticket as one reason. “APAIT stands in solidarity with members of the LGBT community who feel that the changes made to this year’s event are a blatant commercialization of Pride,” it said in a recent announcement. An organization called #NotOurPride has organized to promote a boycott.

The LA Pride TranStation, where information about trans resources was distributed during the 2014 festival.

The LA Pride TranStation, where information about trans resources was distributed during the 2014 festival.

Rachael Luckey, a transgender activist, has said she is considering organizing a protest at the festival. Luckey is one of a number of transgender people who feel this year’s festival is not giving enough time and space to them. Ivy Bottini, a nationally known lesbian activist, has accused CSW of being “ageist” for announcing that it is focusing the festival’s programming on Millennials, a term used to describe those born from the early 1980s to around 2000.

LGBT publications have complained that CSW accepted only one gay publication, Frontiers magazine, and the Los Angeles Times as media sponsors (such sponsors promote the event, usually in exchange for a free booth at the festival or other amenities). Recently CSW added Adelante, a gay magazine for Latinos, to the list as a sponsor of the Latino music stage. And The Fight will sponsor the Erotic City event at the festival. Troy Masters, publisher of The Pride, an LGBT newspaper, has urged the half dozen other gay publications to join him in protesting CSW’s decision to exclude them. And Jay Jones, publisher of Rage, a gay magazine, said he wouldn’t be willing to sponsor LA Pride if he was asked. “CSW has gone in a direction that doesn’t embrace Pride for everyone,” he said.

Local small businesses and organizations are protesting CSW’s refusal to lease them booths at the festival, as has been done in the past. Booths now are available only to corporate sponsors such as Delta and Budweiser, who pay as much as $10,000 to sponsor the event, and to non-profit organizations. Will Hackner, president of Varsity Gay League, has complained about that decision in a post on Facebook.

So how has CSW been responding to the criticism? Here are the key concerns raised by LGBT activists and local residents about the June 10-12 festival and parade and CSW’s responses.

HIGHER TICKET PRICES

The festival’s daily ticket price this year is $35. That price, a 40% increase over last year’s $25, has outraged many community members, who say it makes the event unaffordable. (Tickets can, however, can be bought in advance for $30, a 50% increase over last year’s early purchase rate of $20).

In response, CSW has agreed to grant free admission on Friday night between the hours of 6 and 8 p.m. While West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister asked CSW to extend the free admission period to 9 p.m., it instead has decided to price tickets at $10 for admission after 8 p.m. The City of West Hollywood recently appropriated an additional $15,000 to CSW to pay for free tickets for local residents. CSW and the city haven’t yet determined who would be eligible for those tickets and how they will be distributed.

LESS TRANSGENDER FOCUS

Members of the transgender community are upset about CSW’s increase in admission costs and the festival reprogramming, which they say reduces its transgender focus. Last year, for example, the festival had a Friday trans party. And in 2014 CSW described its event as TLGB, putting the initial for transgender in front of the acronym to signal its focus on the transgender community. Rachael Luckey, a trans community activist who is also active in the Stonewall Democratic Club, has raised the possibility of a demonstration outside the festival to protest its changed focus.

In response to complaints from the transgender community, CSW has agreed to offer a limited number of free three-day passes to underprivileged transgender people. Those would be distributed through local transgender service organizations. As of this date it is not clear whether there will be further responses to the trans community’s complaints. CSW also offered to let the trans community have a stage for four hours on Friday night in the El Tovar Place parking lot.  That offer was declined.

SHORTER LESBIAN EVENT

Ivy Bottini, a prominent lesbian activist, has complained to CSW about its decision to limit the Dyke March and rally, traditionally the festival’s opening event, to 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday. Bottini said that won’t be sufficient time for the lesbian participants to complete their march and return to the festival and have time to dance and mingle. In its email to WEHOville, CSW said it will keep the hours at 6 to 8 p.m.

Someone casts his vote for a politician at Log Cabin Republicans LA's "dunking" station at the 2014 LA Pride Festival.

Someone casts his vote for a politician at Log Cabin Republicans LA’s “dunking” station at the 2014 LA Pride Festival.

NO SMALL BUSINESS BOOTHS

This year local small businesses are unable to rent a booth or table inside the festival to promote themselves. In the past many small businesses have purchased booths in the park to promote products ranging from vitamins and protein powder to jewelry and clothing designed for the gay market. Such booths this year are available only to non-profit organizations and to CSW’s major sponsors, such as Delta Airlines and Budweiser, who pay $10,000 for a float in the Gay Pride parade and a booth inside the festival. Some 50 booths will be available for a charge of $500 each to non-profit organizations.

CSW initially said it had to eliminate the local small business booths because the planned redevelopment of West Hollywood Park meant less space to work with. However, the park development cited by CSW as the reason for eliminating small business booths won’t begin until after this year’s Pride festival. In response to a question from WEHOville, CSW now says it is limiting the park space this year so as to plan ahead for how it will use the space next year, when the park will be under reconstruction, and to accommodate a new festival layout and “experiential art.”

CSW actually will have more space for this year’s event. It has leased the Pacific Design Center(PDC) plaza facing San Vicente Boulevard for this first time. That space will be used for the “Latin music stage.” CSW recently moved its office to the PDC

LIMITING MEDIA SPONSORS

CSW also has been criticized for limiting media sponsors to only two publications: the Los Angeles Times and Frontiers magazine. Sponsors typically are acknowledged on the Pride website and in promotional materials in exchange for their willingness to promote the event. This year, CSW has contracted with Frontiers to produce a “Pride guide” section in its magazine.

This decision drew complaints from many of the half-dozen or LGBT publications that serve Los Angeles County. Those excluded include The Pride, a relatively new gay newspaper; The Fight, a monthly gay magazine, and GED (Gay Entertainment Directory), an entertainment guide. Also initially barred was Adelante, the gay Latino magazine, which has been a media sponsor of the event for 10 years. Adelante posted a complaint on its Facebook page. “Without notice or even a phone call, CSW has decided to turn its back on the only gay Spanish/English Latino publication in the State of California,” the complaint read.

Now, however, CSW has added Adelante to the sponsor list along with a Pride.com, a website run by Here Media, owner of Out and the Advocate magazines. CSW did not directly answer a question from WEHOville as to why Adelante is the only local LGBT publication besides Frontiers allowed to be a sponsor. “Our media sponsor program is not just limited to Frontiers and the Los Angeles Times,” it said. “Our aim is always to include a diverse group of media partners.”


la pride 2013 entertainmentMILLENNIAL FOCUS

CSW has said that its decision to focus the Pride festival on music stems from the fact that a majority of attendees of lat year’s Pride festival were younger people who are more likely to respond to music than booth exhibits or other festival events. CSW said that since 2013 it has offered tickets for sale by credit card. An analysis by the ticket purchase processor of the credit card and market data indicated that the preponderance of attendees were young people, it said.

ATTENDEE ELECTRONIC TRACKING

This year CSW will track attendees by requiring them to wear a radio-frequency identification wristband (RFID). That device will enable CSW to grant a person re-entry to the festival after he or she pays an initial entrance fee. RFID devices are controversial because of fears that they can be used to track an individual’s behavior and tie it to a specific person. Some people have raised concerns about how CSW will use that information. CSW says it will use the RFID only to grant entry to the festival and will not track which music events or sponsor booths a particular individual visits.

LACK OF TRANSPARENCY

Local LGBT residents who attended a recent CSW board meeting noted that it, unlike Pride organizations in Long Beach, San Diego and San Francisco, doesn’t offer access to its tax returns on its web site. Those returns are available, for a fee, from Guidestar.com, which posts the tax returns filed by non-profit groups. Its latest posting from CSW is from 2013. The website also doesn’t list CSW’s officers and board members or give contact information for them.

CSW has said it plans to post its 2015 tax return when it is completed. Since the meeting with local LGBT residents, CSW has added the name of its board chair, Chris Classen, to the website but not those of its board members or its bylaws.

Craig Bowers, a member of the CSW board of directors, noted that the organization “is made up of volunteer community members from all walks of life. We are not perfect and will make some missteps along the way. No misstep is intended to alienate or disenfranchise any member of our diverse community. For those we have upset, we are sincerely sorry and are working tirelessly to address ways to enhance everyone’s LA Pride experience this year.”

Bowers also acknowledged that Pride means different things to different people. “While some may look for education and information about the community, organizations, programs, etc. others simply want to come to LA Pride, feel accepted for who they are and enjoy a safe environment of music and friends. Many attendees to LA Pride come from outside of West Hollywood and might not have the opportunity to be so open. Attending Pride is their chance to be out loud and proud. CSW works very hard throughout the year to make sure there is a little something for everyone from the 14-year-old newly out trans identified queer youth to the 70-year-old bull dyke who has been fighting for equality for 50 years.

“These experiences include the parade, the festival, the nonprofit booths, the dancing, art and cultural components that CSW has offered the past few years but it is also music. Music is a universal and often unifying force that brings people together. Naming it a music festival does help to attract the attention of a younger audience but let’s be clear, it does not mean that CSW forgets its roots or its heritage.”

Tagged ,

You might also like:

26 Comments

  1. Ty Geltmaker, Ph.D.Sat, May 14, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    Why is anyone surprised by this fiasco? The City of West Hollywood, once incorporated out of its past as a former vice outpost, a slice of LA County hedged between Beverly Hills and LA City proper, has from its inception been a prissy, full-of-itself exclusionary ghetto masquerading as a “progressive, creative” municipality full of damaged souls who feel special just because they are gay and got away from some awful previous situation. Every City Council, including the current one, has cynically played with and into this mythical hypocrisy, raking in a fortune of bucks. Anyone who knows the history of LA knows that there has been a real, historical division between pseudo-elitist West Hollywood and the more populist Silver Lake/Echo Park/East LA gay subcultures. Beyond the LGBT issue, this situation indicates the final ossification of WeHo. Without Booksoup WeHo would be nothing.

    Ty Geltmaker, Ph.D.
    “The Queer Nation Acts Up: Health Care, Politics, and Sexual Diversity in the County of Angels,” Society and Space, v. 10, n. 6 (London, 1992), pp. 609-50; repr. Queers in Space, ed. Gordon Brent Ingram (Seattle: Bay Press, 1997), pp. 233-74. Lambda Literary Award, best anthology 1997. [Reviews: Sexualities Journal, v. 1, n. 3, 1998,; Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review, v. 5, n.1, 1998, pp. 44-5; Gender & Society, v. 12, n. 2, 1998; Theatre Journal, v. 55, n. 3, 2003, pp. 395-412].

  2. MonicaSat, May 14, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Millenials are the worst.

  3. JeffThu, May 12, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    Nice. Get rid of booths for local business, and sell only to Budweiser, a company on the forefront of gay rights and pride. Every day, I see the positive effects of Anheuser Busch on our community. They truly are the only ones who should have a presence at our pride fest.

  4. chrisThu, May 12, 2016 at 8:35 am

    So, push out the old “uncool” people and bring in the new young ones huh… Disgusting. What a message.

  5. LetiThu, May 12, 2016 at 8:17 am

    This is so upsetting. It’s ironic that members of our community are not feeling validated by an event that is supposed to be about US! We don’t need this. Shame on you CSW.

  6. MarkThu, May 12, 2016 at 8:13 am

    They’re missing the whole point. This is supposed to be INCLUSIVE! Come on CSW. It shouldn’t be this complicated. Focus on featuring our community and history; rather than selling tickets to a VIP concert!

  7. Brad ShoreWed, May 11, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    Been going for 30 years but won’t be going anymore!

  8. Kelly WineWed, May 11, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Open your eyes Christopher Street West! There is still struggle and battles and a lot of people that are fighting to take away LGBT Rights that have only been recently won.

    LA Pride was founded as a political event, period! There is room for both celebrating and politics. Please understand that. And people that paved the way for LGBT youth to have rights and freedoms that we didn’t have at their age, should not be pushed aside.

    Folks that are considering attending LA Pride this year might find the prices and diversity and acceptance at Long Beach Pride to be much more appealing.

  9. Mark CramerWed, May 11, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    I was hired by CSW in 2012 to develop it’s art and heritage programming after a massive call from the community to make this event more than just a party with pretty boys. INSTALL served as it’s art programmer from 2012-2015. In that time I curated Momentum, Riot I and Riot II, the first public installation and performance art exhibits to be featured at Pride, culled from the community. From all walks of life – telling our shared story and history through experiential and engagement mediums. This was made possible by the festival’s executive producer, who recognized the importance of the COMMUNITY that this event was intended for.

    I met with CSW this year and was shocked when this plan was laid out. During my time with the organization, leadership changed very frequently under less-than-amicable circumstances. For these reasons, I stepped away from the organization this year, asking leadership to consider the effect this would have on the community at large. Their response: “We can’t be everything for everyone.” I’m so disappointed to see this come to pass and the callus disregard for the community as a whole, not just the older generations. We need to remember that millennials are JUST as important as every generation before and after them.

    This isn’t ignoring our forefathers, it’s doing a huge disservice to the generation they are supposedly catering towards. Forgetting where we came from will be detrimental for our community. Choosing to not educate our family is irresponsible at best. Having worked intimately with CSW for 3+ years, I know that there’s a litany of factors for all of these changes that will never be expressed and may have even have some basis in necessity. Regardless, the mission of CSW is not one that benefits the community and this serves as further proof.

  10. gaywehoWed, May 11, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Let’s all step back for a moment and watch Adam Conover from TrueTV’s “Adam Ruins Everything” explain at a marketing conference why MILLENIALS DON’T EXIST!

    I promise you, watching this inflicts an amusing new twist on this entire controversy.

    http://splitsider.com/2016/03/watch-adam-conover-explain-at-a-marketing-conference-why-millennials-dont-exist/

  11. Todd BiancoWed, May 11, 2016 at 9:43 am

    CSW’s 2014 Form 990 was only posted to Guidestar in the last few days – only after they took heat for it not being public. Why? Ah, there is a very good reason. There was a financial impropriety that I was not aware of before. What caught my eye was on Page 6 of the 990 under Part VI, Section A – Governing Body and Management questions. Question 5: Did the organization become aware during the year of a significant diversion of the organization’s assets? Answer: Yes.

    It’s described on Schedule O (Page 31) of the 990 as follows:

    “The secretary of CSW took a personal loan from CSW without permission using a corporate credit card. The loan was not approved by CSW Board of Directors and was discovered by the Treasurer. CSW immediately consulted with counsel and the CPA and took swift action to attend to this serious matter. CWS understands that it is the steward of the public’s contributions and these contributions should be used for the charitable purposes for which they were intended. CSW will not tolerate any activity which causes funds to be used otherwise. CSW has addressed this unapproved loan as outlined below and is confident that fiscal controls are now in place which will prevent events like this from occurring in the future. The CSW Board of Directors dismissed the Secretary . The Treasurer of the Board voluntarily resigned. CSW consulted with counsel to ratify and implement more stringent fiscal policies and procedures for CSW, including locking corporate credit cards into a safe when they are not in use during the year. CSW will hire an additional part-time employee to perform financial and oversight responsibilities outlined in the fiscal policies and procedures. The CSW Board will participate in a Board training with a focus on fiscal roles and responsibilities of Board members.”

    They don’t say how much was stolen or if it was recovered. Who knows?

    CSW seems to be losing money. According to the 2014 return, it lost $76,566 in 2013 and lost another $51,612 in 2014. Maybe that’s why the price hikes. But it shouldn’t be losing money.

    I think it’s time for CSW to move all of its activities – including the music festival – out of West Hollywood to Downtown LA. Calling it “LA Pride” would be more appropriate and inclusive and it could charge whatever it wants without West Hollywood taxpayer subsidies. The City of West Hollywood can have it’s own, smaller, local Pride event and it can be free and actually be about Pride.

  12. Christopher JacksonWed, May 11, 2016 at 7:37 am

    As Director of Sales and Marketing for GED Magazine and the one who has actually been distributing LGBT publications for over a quarter century throughout the entire west coast including the annual LA Pride Guide which I did for over 10 years at absolutely NO CHARGE to CSW. I am at a complete loss of words as to how it is has been possible for just a few individuals to have been able to take control of the CSW Board and empower themselves to in a short period of time with NO transparency whatsoever and completely decimate the vision, purpose and LGBTQ pride that has characterized this event for over 40 years. I have had the time of my life running the business of distributing the LGBT publications all over the west coast since the late 80’s as every market I would drive into everyone within those communities would embrace all the magazines with enthusiasm to learn about and be entertained by what was going on with other “family” members in other communities and the events taking place elsewhere that unified us as a solid voice of one regardless of what element of the human experience connected us was. No event gave us all the chance to come together as that “ONE” whole family better than the Pride Festivals in each city. I was so taken by this energy of mutual love for each other by individuals who didn’t specifically know one another but felt that bond to collectively keep moving progress for equal rights for the LGBTQ Community forward. This led me to fervently pursue my committed interest to ask every Pride Festival Board if I could PLEASE have the opportunity to distribute their Annual Pride Guide. I wanted to do this at no charge for my services but for the exhilarating sense of pride that I knew my efforts in bringing the guides with all the information of not only the entertainment secured to “COMPLIMENT” the event but the recognition of all those within that particular community who were being recognized for their active efforts to make our lives better would encourage others to make the trip and wish to celebrate our positive strides together at these festivals. Taking a little break from all this bonding and sharing ideas and thoughts on how we could continue making lives better for each other and enjoying twenty minutes or so of offered entertainment, usually music was nice, appreciated and in a small way added to the overall time we were sharing with our family, many of whom we had just met for the first time. So I have distributed Pride Guides for 7 Pride Organizations for over a decade, donating over $100,000 in services provided pro bono just in exchange for the indescribable feeling of making my small contribution in encouraging more and more folks to come be together for one magical weekend. But now this Board has absolutely vaporized almost half a century of efforts by many of us already gone, yes many of us a bit older, but still very much a part of this community, thank you Ivy, and yes newly “self ordained” Board of CSW, even some of those young Millennials you think you are marketing to with a vision???? to create Wehochella! Words cannot express my broken heart for OUR Community and MY Family. We have countless options to go watch musical performers, many of those events in three day weekend festivals, why must I ask have you destroyed this beloved event to jump on that “BAND wagon”? For PROFIT??? Well let me tell you something whipper snappers, you aren’t quite as savvy as you think you are. GED Magazine HAS become the go to magazine for destination events in FIFTEEN markets, EIGHT of these major markets that are not even a part of the reach of your ONLY LGBT Media Sponsor. And yet you decide NOT to include GED Magazine as a Media Sponsor? Now that was brilliant. Here’s a little Simple Math 101 for you boys: at about $250 per person, the likely out of pocket cost to be a part of your oh so ground breaking idea of a Mega Music Festival for the Millennials, GED Magazine would, if you even had decent marketing materials and graphics, which you do NOT, be able to encourage over 2000 more attendees from markets NO one including YOUR appointed Media Sponsor reaches to come to LA and attend your event. Back to the math lesson boys, that’s $500,000, half a million dollars that you would be taking in, presumably to give back to nonprofit LGBT Organizations in Grants etc?, BTW, I, excuse me, we would like to see those reports. But NO let’s not include GED Magazine as a Media Sponsor and lets go back and try and suck more money out of the City Of West Hollywood.

    I have to get back to work but in closing I encourage all that read this to keep checking in with GAYPRIDEINLA.COM, MAKEWEHOGAYAGAIN.COM and EROTICCITYLA.COM. These sites are secured and will be providing options for “OUR” family to consider and discuss in taking back our PRIDE as an LGBT Community. Enjoy the day all.

    Cheers

    Christopher Jackson

  13. Cy HusainWed, May 11, 2016 at 2:23 am

    Let’s see now Christopher Street West (CSW) is shifting the LA Pride annual festivals focus to music, moving away from its traditional focus on LGBT history, culture, POLITICS and raising the admission price by 40% to be more exclusive just to fit in with the main stream white capitalists! Basically at attempt to depoliticize the LGBT community, really think this a good time to be doing that?

    Tennessee Joins Spate of States Passing Anti-LGBTQ ‘Hate Bills’
    Tennessee lawmakers pass bill allowing counselors to reject LGBTQ patients and push measure banning female transgender students from women’s bathrooms
    http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/04/12/tennessee-joins-spate-states-passing-anti-lgbtq-hate-bills

    Bigotry Spreads as Mississippi Governor Signs Anti-LGBTQ ‘Badge of Shame’
    ‘This is no religious freedom bill but rather a bill that gives freedom to those who discriminate,” says US congressman
    http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/04/05/bigotry-spreads-mississippi-governor-signs-anti-lgbtq-badge-shame

    Planned Parenthood Official Faces Jail Time for Refusing to Submit Records
    Missouri Senate considers holding healthcare chapter president in contempt of court for resisting subpoenas
    http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/04/05/planned-parenthood-official-faces-jail-time-refusing-submit-records

    Ted Cruz Vows To Fight Gay Rights In Extremist Conference Call
    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/ted-cruz-vows-fight-gay-rights-extremist-conference-call#sthash.rzAh7qiM.dpuf

    The Little-Known Movers Behind North Carolina’s Anti-Gay Law: Ted Cruz’s Advisers
    A preacher and two real estate entrepreneurs offer a glimpse of how far the candidate could go in rolling back LGBT protections.
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/04/ted-cruz-advisers-north-carolina-anti-lgbt-bill

    Trump’s a Real Bad Deal for Equality | GLAAD

    DONALD TRUMP: OPPOSES NATIONWIDE MARRIAGE EQUALITY

    Now I’m sure that I’m going told something about the upcoming elections are going make sure that everything is going to be OK, after all the American People have made a-lot of progress in their acceptance of different people and their rights. I don’t disagree with this but, the problem is that our VOTES just might NOT count!

    Can GOP Voter Suppression Efforts Ever Be Stopped? – The Big Picture
    http://trofire.com/2016/04/13/can-gop-voter-suppression-efforts-ever-stopped-progressive-roundtable-big-picture/

    Recall the entire era of the Civil Rights struggle was NOT advanced by oppressed people going out of their way as to NOT offend the establishment or making every effort to be part of it!

  14. GGearyTue, May 10, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    Non-Profit… Humm It would be nice to see the current tax returns and how much each board member has received. How about changing to going Downtown and using Grand Park.. The theater row (Broadway) for the parade..The original LA Pride parade was on Hollywood Blvd.. So maybe time for a change to Downtown.

  15. John KingTue, May 10, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    I do hope someone gets photos of who from our illustrious city council hangs out in the VIP area.

  16. MaryTue, May 10, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    Nonprofits’ 990 forms are available for free on http://www.guidestar.org/Home.aspx (NOTE: .org, not .com!) CSW’s 2014 tax form is posted there.

  17. Jeffery WardTue, May 10, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    CSW seems more intent on becoming a self sustaining entity with pricey digs and heady salaries off the backs of those that have giving them no bid contracts and support over the years. The city and the COMMUNITY would be better served if these ties that bound us together be broken and new ones made. This is too little too late. The RFID tags says it all, a complete sellout of our roots.

  18. IsmybosslookingTue, May 10, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Why do we need CSW? No one will answer this question ? Now I want to know why the city is not DEMANDING to see the tax returns , not just the summary page , that CSW seems to want to hide from our community . The joy I feel walking up and down SM sharing the most beautiful words of , ” happy pride” shouldn’t systematically be taken away from us! Well fought for this, not the millennials!! What’s next? Our parade will require corporate entry fees?
    Come CSW, you owe this community answers ! You don’t want to give them , I’m sure the local bars will love to host bigger , better and inclusive pride parties ! You sow what you reap.,,

  19. Morgan SommerTue, May 10, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    Cybersocket Magazine has been a media sponsor of the LA Pride Festival for the past 18 years. For some reason our request to provide over $8,000 in free marketing for the event in our print magazine, on social media, in email newsletters, and on our family of websites was declined. For all of those years we were given a small booth, table, chairs and a handful of passes for our staff. Every year we give away 5-10,000 free gift bags from this booth. Last week we were able to finally secure a booth in the Erotic City area, we paid for it today. In the end we will do what we always do. But CSW did not get the free marketing we offered. I can see no logical reason whey they would not want free marketing. But there must be something I am not seeing 😉 I think the deeper people dig into the actual financial operations of CSW, the board members and the vendors it pays to produce the festival and parade the less this is going to look like a proper 501(c)(3).

  20. Steven HannestadTue, May 10, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    BULL

  21. Larry BlockTue, May 10, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Pride should be a free event for the whole community. 2 years ago after many complaints the city council formed a subcommittee of Duran and D’Amico to work with CSW to be more inclusive. It appears they were not successful. It also appears we need to move forward without CSW and create a community event for all. The city contributes and offsets over $600,000 in costs. I’d bet that there are many of us community volunteers who would work our hearts out to create an event that we all can be proud of. Utilizing sponsors we would offset all the costs. Because thats what sponsors do…they support an event with money contributions so that their names are associated with these type of events and they get lots of ‘advertising’ Sponsorships offset the costs of running the show. The people all get in free! Its terrible that the non-profits pay a fee to ‘see the people’ and then ‘the people who need help’ are outside the gate behind a $35 admission fee. I think we need to join hands and move forward without CSW. And Ive attended these CSW meetings and tried to contact them but they don’t reply.

  22. MannyTue, May 10, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    So out of touch.

    CSW says that for young people from outside of West Hollywood, “attending Pride is their chance to be out, loud and proud”…..Yes, but being out, loud and proud is going to cost you 50% more than last year……or even more if you feel like being “VIP” proud.

  23. Steve MartinTue, May 10, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Just prior to citizen’s comments at the start of the last City Council meeting, a Council member stated that there was a “lot of dis-information out there about CSW…”
    If only that statement were true.

    West Hollywood should not provide an additional subsidy to CSW by purchasing $15,000 in festival tickets to give to limited income residents. The courageous thing would have been for the Council to force CSW to lower the ticket price for all.

    The City Council should be furious that it was sandbagged by CSW on this issue, only being notified of the price increase at the last minute when it felt it’s hands were tied.

    The simple solution would be if everyone attending Sunday’s parade simply storm the festival gates and return Pride into a real celebration of community unity and power.

  24. Andy LucasTue, May 10, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    1) You can find their full 990 forms for free with a quick search: http://990finder.foundationcenter.org/ Strangely, though, the forms from 2014 are missing.

    2) Out there on the Boulevard, they’re sneering at this thing by calling it “Gaychella.” The shade – the (understandable) SHADE of it all!

    One quick glance at the NYC Pride site (http://www.nycpride.org/) shows – instantly – the difference in focus. New York is focused on the community and our shared struggle, and LA is focused on the Concert. New York is asking for volunteers and donations, and we’re selling tickets. The contrast couldn’t be more clear.

    CSW indicates that the festival has been skewing younger, but that’s only one data-point with zero context. Do they wonder WHY it’s skewing younger? Is it just because more young people are going, or is it because the festival has been getting progressively worse for the past 5+ years, and those who’ve been to our festival in the past have simply stopped going?
    Have they focus-grouped it? Taken surveys? Tried to discover what the community wants? Seems doubtful. So, instead of turning toward the community and celebrating its heritage, CSW is actively disenfranchising grassroots businesses and community groups: shoving trademark events like the Dyke March and Trans celebrations (in this year, in this moment, of all times) to the side in favor of random musical acts.

    What a debacle.

  25. LOVE NO HATETue, May 10, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    It’s about time, LGBT raising they voices.
    yes, we should not be part of this event.
    this city should be a shame, we become all about money.
    the city should “spend” our money and support those in needs,
    from METH. AIDS. HOMELESSNESS. SEX WORKER. and the list is long.
    HOW CAN WE SUPPORT AN EVENT THAT IS ALL ABOUT $$$ ?
    THIS MUST STOP,
    AND WE ALL PEOPLE LGBT OR NOT ARE THEY ONE THE CAN STOP IT.
    in this city to help people is all about fame, red carpets and lots of talk.
    Maybe, it’s time to bring our REAL PRIDE BACK.
    When we used to be one family, one people, one pride.

    this make me sick, first because those leaders in our city that care about they title and not our lives.

    second, we as LGBT community keep buying they B.S.

    Love NO Hate / where we raise love no money
    and the city “closed us down”. we did not match the image of fake 2 face people.

  26. RomaineTue, May 10, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    So disappointing. For an event that should be and feel includive, it sounds like more energy was spent thinking about how to exclude people. As a gay man, I understand the impact lesbians have had in not only gay culture but also our survival during the early days of AIDS. Cutting their time short is ridiculous and a slap in the face. LA Pride weekend has always meant a fun weekend in which we celebrate what we have accomplished. It’s now turning into another faceless, traffic-inducing mess. Please let someone truly invested in the history of our community plan it next year.

Leave a Comment (300-400 words maximum please)

Let WEHOville Email the News to You