Opinion: The Resist March Is What WeHo Is All About

The annual L.A. Pride parade and festival, which moved to West Hollywood in 1979, is a celebration of more than the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, although the oppression of them is what inspired it.

la pride
A clash at the Pride parade in 1989 in West Hollywood. Photo shows gay rights supporters clashing with Rueben Israel, right, organizer of Christian Brothers, who shouted, “Go back to the closet.” (Los Angeles Herald Examiner Collection, Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)

Pride also is one of West Hollywood’s ways of loudly and proudly declaring itself as a city that embraces diversity — ethnic, sexual, economic, racial and national (although perhaps not so much when it comes to politics). It is the second largest event in the city after the annual Halloween Carnaval. And it generates an estimated $5.1 million in revenue for local businesses and workers.

In the years since L.A. Pride began in 1970, it has come under criticism for its evolution into an event focused more on fun than on history and civil rights. That criticism reached a peak last year when Christopher Street West, the non-profit that stages the annual event, decided to promote the festival as a music festival for millennials.

This year CSW has done an about face, throwing its support behind local activist and entrepreneur Brian Pendleton and his call for the L.A. Pride parade to be replaced by the Resist March. The goal of the march is to bring together people of all sexual orientations, races, ethnicities and income levels to protest efforts underway in the United States to scale back the basic human rights we long have fought for.

Go go boys on a Micky’s bar Pride parade float in 2014 (Photo by Matt Baume)

There is opposition to the Resist March. Some complain that it is too focused on politics (i.e. the Trump administration), that it will mean less revenue for local businesses, that it is taking us away from what Pride has become.

Yes, the Resist March might mean less revenue for local businesses, although it could mean more. Its impact on our local economy is unclear at this point. Yes, it clearly is focused on politics, despite efforts by organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce to tame down that aspect of it. Yes, the Resist March is a radical departure from that traditional parade of go go boys, marching bands, politicians and floats sponsored by corporations who want to give the LGBT community a wink during the traditional parade but don’t have the guts to go near the Resist March.

For all the doubts and questions, one thing is clear: the Resist March is a way for us to say we will oppose a government that wants to take away basic civil liberties and access to affordable health care, to bust up immigrant families, to increase the gap between the ultra-wealthy and the rest of us, and will blunder through the world in a way that could result in a nuclear war.

Our Resist March, along with others across the nation, is a first step in what may have to become a fight to preserve the country we love. So let’s resist with love on June 11, knowing we may have to resist with anger later.


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fine7760
Guest

The RESIST MARCH could have been held anywhere in the Los Angeles area but the organizers chose to interrupt our Gay Pride Parade. It’s nothing more than the lefts true homophobic leanings to pursue their own agenda while interfering with our celebration . If the City of West Hollywood and those indoctrinated into this mindless affair chose to do so, have fun. I’ll stay at home armed and ready to confront any who attempt to show me harm or attempt to vandalize me home.

AM
Guest
AM

I think Woody McBreairty summarizes well the bottom line: There’s a right time & place for everything. This is the time & place for a protest that makes the most far reaching & strongest statement. Hard to celebrate in anger & fear with a heavy heart. Woody is also right that we have come full circle. From the protest to the celebration & back to the protest again. That’s who we are, that’s what we do at the appropriate times. Protest. Resist. Celebrate. The revolution is not over

Randy
Guest
Randy

fine7760, several answers to your question: – It could be chaotic to have a parade end and start around the same point. – What if someone wants to march in both, and their schedule doesn’t allow both to happen? They have to pick one or the other? – CSW already saw an event with organization in the works, so of course it made sense to collaborate with them. – It is nice to try something different. Go back to the roots of the CSW parade. Every year people complain about LA Pride being the same old, same old. Now people… Read more »

fine7760
Guest

And how many homophobes will be in the Resist March? You know the ones who oppose Trump and also gay rights. Let’s not forget those great Democrats who opposed gay rights like Bill Clinton, his wife Hillary and Obama to name a few. And no excuses for any of them, they did it.

Richard Cortijo
Guest
Richard Cortijo

Str8 political protest to round out gay pride weekend or the Gay Pride Parade? Wow tough one….

Randy
Guest
Randy

fine7760, one more point of clarification. This is a “National Pride march.” So definitely not some conspiracy against LA Pride, or some “hidden agenda.”

http://www.towleroad.com/2017/01/national-pride-march-planned-june/

fine7760
Guest

RESIST, yes; PRIDE , no!! But why does it has to interfere with the Gay Pride Parade? Hollywood and Highland to Santa Monica and Crescent Hghts. can get their point across. Continuing to San Vicente seems independently and singularly greedily an attack on our Pride Celebration.

Randy
Guest
Randy

“fine7760: There are 52 weeks in the year and these protestor chose Gay Pride week-end to invade our city.” June is Pride month, across the country. I don’t think there was some conspiracy to mess with LA Pride. Rather, they wanted to pick a weekend in June, and it was going to conflict with some major Pride festival, somewhere (SF and NYC are also in June). josh, Trump only has that title of “accepting gay marriage” because it was already in place, before he even announced his candidacy. I’m not defending Obama or Clinton here – I wish they had… Read more »

A resident
Guest
A resident

I read this stuff and several things stand out. First, none of these comments has that fire in the gut, we shall overcome, here we are and what are ya gonna do about it energy that originally fueled gay rights parades in the beginning – I can’t get that image of Market Street , full to the gills with Candles when Harvey Milk was killed – that was activism and pride. Even after that, there was a novelty to the whole spectacle and the year of the first Gay Rodeo in Reno, Joan Rivers came out with about 100 different… Read more »

Robert
Guest
Robert

The “parade” has always been slow and dull. It’s more stop and wait than parade. I haven’t gone for several years but I always hit the bars after. The march might actually get me to participate. If you want to be festive, do so. Nobody said you had to be somber (or sober) while marching! Get creative, enjoy, and have a proud march.

jeffery ward
Guest
jeffery ward

The resist March is a nice distraction from the complete and utter failure of our Civic and City Leaders and their support of CSW in Our Pride and Our parade and Our Festival, which has been a losing cause since I came to the city 19 years ago! Year after year CSW has failed to live up to its Mission Statement, been a thorn in the sides of those that want open government, has had financial issue after financial issue, has been fodder and truth for gossip and dismay from within and without, and the People of West Hollywood, the… Read more »

SE
Guest
SE

I don’t see how anyone loses with this march. We can still take great “Pride” by marching and showing up, while opening our arms to all the other disenfranchised terrified about the new regime. Participants have an opportunity to create signs expressing their feelings, so carry rainbow-colored signs and make sure everyone knows how much pride you have as a member of the LGBTQ community while you stand in solidarity with the others. Having this march is not giving into the new regime. In fact, boycotting and avoiding it is exactly what the new regime wants. They don’t want solidarity,… Read more »

Anthony
Guest
Anthony

March or Parade? This subject has divided our community when right now it needs to be unified! Sad to see.

Shawn Thompson
Guest
Shawn Thompson

Personally I have mixed feelings about this march. In one sense Trump wins and we lose our gay pride parade which was a celebration of many aspects of the gay community and its supporters. On the other hand protests are good and democratic and raise awareness. Why this resist march couldn’t of been done as a separate event confuses many in the community. In the end will we look back at Pride 2017 and say as a community that we raised the bar in acceptance and visibility of our young gay youth entering a world full of obstacles. Or we… Read more »