WeHo restaurant owner and reality TV performer Lisa Vanderpump will be the Celebrity Grand Marshal at the Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride parade on May 21.
Vanderpump is an owner with her husband Ken Todd of Sur restaurant on Robertson Boulevard and P.U.M.P restaurant on the corner of Robertson and Santa Monica. She and her husband also own the Villa Blanca restaurant in Beverly Hills.
The Long Beach event takes place on May 20 and 21. This year’s theme is “Vida La Viva” (Here’s to Life).
Other parade grand marshals are:
State Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), Grand Parade Marshal, who made history in 2012 by becoming the first openly gay person of color elected to the California State Senate. He serves as the co-chair of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus. Recently, he initiated the Sister-Pride Program, with Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride and Sydney, Australia Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, to move both organizations toward a common goal of supporting all LGBT community members globally.
Janice Hahn, Los Angeles County Supervisor, 4th District, selected as the “Morris Kight” Political Grand Marshal. Hahn, while serving on the Los Angeles City Council, voted to make marriage equality the official policy of the city and campaigned against Proposition 8. In Congress, Hahn was an outspoken member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus. She co-sponsored the Respect for Marriage Act and was an advocate for the repeal of DOMA. She co-sponsored the Equality Act which establishes explicit, permanent protections against discrimination of LGBTQ Americans as well as the Student Non-Discrimination Act which would prohibit public schools from discriminating against any student on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Hahn was elected L.A. County Supervisor in 2016.
Jeannine Pearce, Long Beach Councilmember, 2nd District, named the recipient of the “Whitey Littlefield” Community Bridge Building Award. Her first agenda item on the City Council was to permanently raise the pride flag at City Hall. She has a history of working with organizations to educate residents on the services, as well as, resources that can be provided for the LGBTQ community.
Jannay Lima, chosen as the Judith Doyle Community Grand Marshal. Lima, named one of the most influential lesbian Latina’s in Los Angeles County in 2016, has been an active member of the LGBT community as a LGBT advocate, the co-producer of Long Beach Festival Gay Latino and as a member of the Long Beach Pride Parade Committee. She also served on several non-profit organizations board such as including AIDS Food Store Long Beach. She was elected Ms. Long Beach Gay Pride 2016 by the International Imperial Court of Long Beach for raising money for non-profit organizations around the city.
Michelle Molina, selected as the Special Recognition Grand Marshal. Molina has supported numerous causes within the Long Beach LGBTQ community including supporting young people and feeding the sick.
Rory Moroney, named the Bob Crow Community Grand Marsha. In 2014 Moroney was the victim of an undercover sting operation performed by the Long Beach Police Department that targeted homosexual men for indecent exposure and lewd conduct. Moroney fought the charge, and after almost two years Superior Court Judge Dhanidina invalidated the charges made against Rory and dismissed the case. His fight has resulted in the uncovering of other sting operations and have become precedent for other courts around the state, as well as, the nation.
Sabreena, the recipient of the Marilyn Barlow Community Grand Marshal. Sabreena has been a figure in the Long Beach drag community for more than 25 years. Sabreena has been a long time member of International Imperial Court of Long Beach and has reigned as Empress three times over her long affiliation. She created the King and Queen of Hearts contest which has raised over $25,000 for local charities.
Abel Avalos, selected for the Dr. Robert Garcia Youth Grand Marshal Award. Thanks the comfort he feels in Long Beach, Avalos felt safe enough to come out as bisexual and then as a trans man when he was 15. He was raised by a single mother, the youngest of five kids and second generation Mexican-Dominican
The parade kicks off at 10:30 a.m. at Ocean Blvd and Lindero Avenue. It travels west on Ocean Bouleard and ends at the curve on Alamitos Avenue. The Festival Celebration includes seven large dance areas including a main stage, which has featured musical artists such as Grammy Award Winner Jennifer Hudson, Queen Latifah, Maya, India.Arie, and Village People. More information is available online www.longbeachpride.com.