WeHo Celebrates LGBTQ Pride with Dozens of Cultural Events

One City One Pride’s “Queer Signs of the Times” project

Each year the City of West Hollywood celebrates Pride with its One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival, which runs from Harvey Milk Day (May 22) to June 30. The theme for 2018 is “I Remember,” which, according to a city statement, “celebrates our shared history and the people and events that paved the way for the rights we hold dear today.”

Highlights of this year’s One City One Pride include:

May 22, 7 p.m.: One City One Pride kickoff and free staged reading of “Dear Harvey” from Celebration Theatre.

May 30, 7 p.m.: Lillian Faderman presents her new book “Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death.”
June 2: A full day of screenings and panels including previews of documentaries about the history of the West Hollywood Aquatics Team, AIDS activist Connie Norman and the creators of the rainbow flag.

June 13, 7:30 p.m.: Special excerpted performances of songs from “Considering Matthew Shepard” with a talkback with composer Craig Hella Johnson.

June 22 to 23: New Stages presents “Heroic Lives,” a musical based on LGBTQ seniors’ lives created through a workshop process.

June 24, 5 p.m: Summer Sounds concert with Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles, the world’s only LGBTQ Mariachi Band.

June 30: TransLife LA PoP Up Film Festival

One City One Pride is organized by the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division. Up to date listings can be found online

Here is a detailed list of all of the Pride events:

One City One Pride kickoff & Harvey Milk Day celebration

“Dear Harvey” reading, May 22, 7 to 9 p.m.
City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.

Join the City of West Hollywood’s One City One Pride festival and WeHo Reads program for a free staged reading of Patricia Loughrey’s “Dear Harvey” produced by Celebration Theatre, the world’s oldest continuously running LGBTQ theatre. Followed by a kickoff reception for One City One Pride.
Free admission, RSVP required and can be  done online 

Lambda Literary Awards Finalists
May 23, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.

Join the City of West Hollywood’s One City One Pride festival and WeHo Reads program for readings from the 30th Annual Lambda Lit Award finalists. Free admission, RSVP required and can be done online.

Harvey Milk

WeHo Reads and One City One Pride present Lillian Faderman
discussing and signing “Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death”
May 30, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.

Join the City of West Hollywood’s One City One Pride festival, WeHo Reads program and Lesbian Speaker Series as Lillian Faderman (“Gay L.A., Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth to Century America,” “The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle”) discusses and signs her new book “Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death.” Free admission, RSVP required and can be done here.

One City One Pride Day of History
June 2, 1 to 9 p.m.
City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.

Join the City of West Hollywood’s One City One Pride festival for a day of screenings and panels around the theme of “I Remember.”

1:30 p.m. “Intergenitalic” to A documentary made by a young filmmaker featuring older gay men reflecting on West Hollywood, dating and life. Running time 40 minutes, followed by a Q&A with Victor Yates, filmmaker.

rainbow flag, lgbt
Gilbert Baker, creator of the LGBTQ rainbow flag.

3 p.m. “Meet the Rainbow Flagmakers: Original Rainbow Flag Artists and their Friends.” The first rainbow flags were conceived and handmade at the Gay Community Center called “330 Grove” in June of 1978 in San Francisco. Several of the artists, including producing artist Faerie Argyle Rainbow, their friends and volunteers who worked on the flags will share their stories of creating and flying the original rainbow flags. Preceded by a short slideshow of 330 Grove, the people and the flags from historian (and 330 Grove volunteer) Glenne McElhinney. Co-presented by the California LGBT Arts Alliance and Impact Stories History Project.

5 p.m. “Light in the Water.” Join filmmaker Lis Bartlett and the City of West Hollywood’s One City One Pride Festival for a sneak peek of a work in progress documentary about WH20, the West Hollywood Aquatics Team. From the team’s founding by athletes training for the inaugural Gay Games in 1982, through the impact of the AIDS epidemic, and two members getting married after marriage equality was passed, the story of WH20 also tells the story of West Hollywood and the gay community at large. Running time 45 minutes followed by a Q&A.

7 p.m. “AIDS Diva: The Legend of Connie Norma.” A work in progress screening: t As a self-appointed “AIDS Diva” and masterful spokesperson for ACT UP/LA in the late 80s and early 90s Los Angeles, Connie described herself as “ex-drag queen, ex-hooker, ex-IV drug user, ex-high risk youth and current post-operative transsexual woman who is HIV positive” and simply “a human being seeking my humanity.”

Standing proudly in her multiple, fluid and evolving LGBTQ identities, she was often the lone advocate for the fledgling trans community of that era. Connie’s soulful and salty rantings and intersectional politics were heard widely through her local LGBT newspaper column and her pioneering LGBTQ cable television talk show.

Running time 45 minutes. Followed by a reception and a panel moderated by Karen Ocamb featuring Peter Cashman, Jess Nowlin, Mary Lucey, Paul Langlotz and Valerie Spencer. Directed by Dante Alencastre (“Transvisible,” 2013; “Raising Zoey,” 2016). Free admission, RSVP required at  www.weho.org/pride

Celebration Theatre “Cabaret”
June 2 through August 19, 2018
Celebration at the Lex Theatre. 6760 Lexington Ave.

Celebration Theatre, the world’s oldest LGBTQ theatre group, presents Kander & Ebb’s dark, masterpiece directed by the multiple Ovation Award-winning Michael Matthews. Based on the play by John Van Druten and the stories of Christopher Isherwood. Previews begin May 25; runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets $25 to $55, can be purchased online here.

Sunday Funday Mini Ball
June 3, Doors open at 3 p.m. Show 4:30 to 8 p.m.
Rage Nightclub, 8911 Santa Monica Blvd.

Powered by REACH LA, an organization that supports young people of color through the House/Ballroom community and has performed previously at MOCA and for multiple years as part of One City One Pride. Free admission.

Vox Femina

Vox Americana
June 3, 3 to 5 p.m.
Congregation Kol Ami, 1200 N. La Brea Ave.

From the hills of Appalachia to the stages in Greenwich Village, the threads of folk music are woven deeply throughout our country. These tales of love, songs of protest and hymns of praise have traveled thousands of miles through times of hardship, war and change. VOX Femina is an all-female choir that debuted during a concert with GMCLA and is diverse in culture, belief, age and sexual identity.

Free admission, RSVP required, Free Admission, RSVP required and can be done online.

Rainbow Key Awards
June 5, 6 p.m. reception, 7 to 8:30 p.m. program
City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.

The 2018 Rainbow Key Awards marks the 25th anniversary of the City of West Hollywood’s honors for people and groups who have made outstanding contributions to the gay and lesbian community.

This year’s honorees are:

–Rudy Akbarian, openly transgender member of the U.S. Army who has served as a mentor to other trans service members;

–Kathy Griffin, actor to comedian and fierce ally of the community who has helped raise over $5 million for HIV/AIDS services;

–Matt Palazzolo, co-founder of Equal Roots, and a longtime member of the Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board, who died  in January;

-Brian Pendleton, organizer to philanthropist, founder of CauseForce and a leader of last year’s #ResistMarch;

–Bamby Salcedo, Trans activist who has worked with migration, HIV, youth, LGBT, incarceration and Latinx communities; and

–Elizabeth Savage, a longtime activist who recently retired after 22 years with the city, working for LGBT rights, affordable housing, and aging as part of a vital and diverse community.

Free admission, No RSVP required.

 

Paul with Erasmus in the field in “Ideal Home.”

Outfest West Hollywood Series: “Ideal Home”
June 6, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.

Join the Outfest West Hollywood Series for an exclusive pre-release screening of “Ideal Home.” The new comedy from director Andrew Fleming (“The In-Laws,” “The Craft”) stars Steve Coogan and Paul Rudd as Erasmus and Paul, a bickering gay couple. Their lives are turned inside out when a ten-year-old boy shows up at their door claiming to be Erasmus’ grandson. Neither Paul, nor Erasmus, are ready to give up their extravagant lifestyles to be parents, but maybe this little kid has a thing or two to teach them about the value of family. Followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker. Tickets $10, available online

LAAA “Out There” Exhibit
June 8, 6 to 9 p.m. (opening reception)
LAAA/Gallery 825, 825 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles

“Out There” is an all-media exhibition at L.A. Art Association. Opening reception June 8 from 6 to 9 p.m. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Monday through June 15.
Free admission.

Dyke March
June 8, 6 to 10 p.m.
Sal Guarriello Veterans’ Memorial, 8447 Santa Monica Blvd.

The annual Dyke March is produced by the City of West Hollywood. The schedule is as follows:

6 p.m.: Live set with Claudette Sexy DJ and a protest sign-making workshop led by artist Julianna Parr (with all materials provided)

7 p.m.: Rally with guest speakers including:

–Gloria Bigelow, Host/Emcee
–West Hollywood Mayor and City Council
–Angela Brinskele, June Mazer Lesbian Archives
–Councilmember Vivian Romero, City of Montebello’s first LGBTQ Mayor
–Alana Roshay, community activist
–Chris Jackson to Baldwin, Project LA
–Michaela Mendelsohn, TransCanWork

7:45 p.m.: March down Santa Monica Blvd.. to San Vicente and back

9 p.m.: Live DJ sets from Claudette Sexy DJ, WASI, Kaleena Zanders and Niña Dioz. Free admission

LA Pride Festival
June 9 (noon to 1 a.m.) and June 10 (11 a.m. to 11 p.m. )
West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente Blvd.

The LA Pride Festival has been organized by Christopher Street West since the 1970s. Headliners include Kehlani and Tove Lo, and the #SIZZLE sober area will return. Tickets ($25+) can be purchased online.

Queer Signs of the Times (Photo by Jon Viscott, courtesy of the City of West Hollywood)

LA Pride Parade
June 10, 2018 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m. )
Santa Monica Boulevard between Crescent Heights and Doheny

The LA Pride Parade is the oldest pride parade in the world and has been taking place in West Hollywood since before Cityhood.

Human Rights Speakers Series: “Real Boy”
June 12, 6:30 to 9 p.m.
City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.

“Real Boy” is an intimate story of a family in transition. As 19-year-old Bennett Wallace navigates sobriety, adolescence and the evolution of his gender identity, his mother makes her own transformation from resistance to acceptance of her trans son. Along the way, both mother and son find support in their communities, reminding us that families are not only given but chosen. Light refreshments will be offered before the screening and a panel discussion featuring filmmaker Shaleece Haas will follow.
Free admission, RSVP required and can be done online.

Our Journey with Matthew Shepard
June 13, 7:30 to 9 p.m.
City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.

Matthew Shepard (Photo courtesy of the Matthew Shepard Foundation)

In October of 1998, Matthew Shepard, a young gay student at the University of Wyoming in Laramie was kidnapped, severely beaten, tied to a fence and left to die. Approaching the eve of the 20th anniversary of his death, Grammy-winning conductor Craig Hella Johnson has created a musical response that seeks to celebrate his life and show how tragedy can be used to discover our common humanity.

Composer and Conspirare choir members will share the story behind creating the Grammy-nominated “Considering Matthew Shepard” in an evening of song and conversation.

Presented in partnership with the Ford Theatres and Chris Isaacson Presents. “Considering Matthew Shepard” will be performed in full on June 15 and 16 at 8:30 p.m. at the Ford Theatres. Free admission, RSVP required at www.weho.org/pride

Considering Matthew Shepard
June 15 and June 16, 8:30 p.m.
Ford Theatres, 2850 Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles

This choral drama features the full 30-member Grammy-winning Conspirare choir, a small instrumental ensemble, and projected imagery. Tickets: $25+, can be purchased online.

TransPride
June 15 (7 to 10 p.m. ) and June 16 (noon to 9:30 p.m. )
L.A. LGBT Center, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Los Angeles 

Friday night will feature Big Queer Convo, and Saturday will feature a panel focusing on the gender non-conforming/non-binary community, a clothing swap, a self-defense workshop, a resource fair, dancing and a variety show. Free admission, with more information available online

Red Circle Project at Plummer Park (Photo courtesy of APLA Health)

8th Annual “Celebrating All Life and Creation” Pow Wow
June 16, 10 a.m.to 6 p.m.
Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd.

Join Red Circle Project of APLA Health for a full day of traditional Native American music, dance, crafts and food, along with HIV testing and prevention resources.  Free admission, RSVP not required.

Celebration Theatre Chuck Rowland Award: Billy Porter
June 19, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.

Celebration Theatre presents this year’s Chuck Rowland Award to Billy Porter, along with a reading of his semi-autobiographical play, “While I Yet Live.” Free admission, RSVP requested at www.weho.org/pride

West Hollywood Artists and Icons: “When Bette Met Mae”
June 20, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.

The first meeting of West Hollywood resident Bette Davis and screen icon Mae West took place in 1972 at the home of Charles Pollock on Orlando Avenue. It was a cocktail and dinner gathering of only seven people. Bette and Mae discussed their careers, loves, families, hopes and thoughts on work in film, their successes, men, and each other. It revealed a rare and personal glimpse of these strong women.

Bette Davis with Mae West (Photo by Wes Wheadon)

The evening’s conversation was captured on cassette tape and 40 years later that tape was used to dub in the audio portion of a re-creation of that evening using actors chosen to visually bring the guests to life while hearing the actual taped words of Bette Davis and Mae West.

The film represents a first effort in history to create video from an authentic live tape recording.

“When Bette Met Mae” was named “Best Documentary” at Hollywood & Vine Film Fest, and “Audience Favorite Film” at the DTLA Film Festival.

This screening of the 65-minute documentary will be followed by a brief discussion/Q&A with Wes Wheadon, the writer/director of the film, and a panel of people involved in the film.

Free admission, RSVP requested at www.weho.org/pride

New Stages: “Heroic Lives”
June 22 and June 23, 7 to 9 p.m.
City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.

“Heroic Lives” is about the people who changed our world, told by the people who were there. Presented with the L.A. LGBT Center’s Senior Services Department and through a grant from the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division, New Stages take LGBTQ seniors through a series of workshops culminating in an evening of songs, stories and original writing about the individuals who fought for LGBTQ liberation and whose lives were acts of heroism. “Heroic Lives” is directed by Mark Salyer and Kay Cole and its music directed by Debbie Lawrence.

Free admission, RSVP requested at (323) 860 to 5830 or seniors@lalgbtcenter.org (reference event #0410)

Drag Queen Story Hour (Photo by Tony Coelho, courtesy of the City of West Hollywood)

Drag Queen Story Hour June 23, 11 to 11:45 a.m.
West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.

Bring the kids and join the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division and the West Hollywood Library for Drag Queen Story Hour. Free admission, RSVP not required.

ALAP Pride Play Reading Festival
June 23, 6 to 7 p.m.
Plummer Park Community Center,
Rooms 1 and 2, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd.

The annual ALAP (Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights) Pride Play Reading Festival features short plays around the theme “I Remember: Our Stories, Our Courage, Our Joy.” Free admission, RSVP requested at www.weho.org/pride

Summer Sounds: Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles
June 24, 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd.

Join the City of West Hollywood’s Summer Sounds series for a free outdoor concert with Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles, the first and only LGBTQ mariachi group in the world.

Led by director Carlos Samaniego, Mariachi Arcoiris also features Natalia Melendez, first transgender female in the history of mariachi, as one of its members. Presented by the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division as part of One City One Pride and Summer Sounds.

Free admission; seating is first come, first served.RSVP requested at www.weho.org/pride

Jewel Thais-Williams

Women In Film: “Jewel’s Catch One”
June 25, 7 to 9 p.m.
City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.

“Jewel’s Catch One” chronicles four decades of the oldest black-owned disco in America and the legacy of businesswoman, activist and healer Jewel Thais-Williams. Followed by a panel discussion.

Free for WIF members; $10 for non-members, RSVP required and can be done online.

Lambda Lit Book Club
June 26, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.

Join inaugural West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Steven Reigns and the West Hollywood Library for the Lambda Lit Book Club, discussing “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertall. Free admission, RSVP not required.

Outfest West Hollywood Series: Community Collaborator Film Guide Review
June 27, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.

Outfest’s festival programmers welcome community partners and the public for a preview of the Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival lineup. Programming presentation is followed by a mixer. To enroll your organization as an official community partner please email programming@outfest.org
Free, RSVP required and can be made online.

Jose Sarria, “Her Imperial Majesty, Empress of San Francisco,” who with his 1961 campaign for San Francisco City Supervisor became the first openly gay candidate for public office in the United States.

Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of José Sarria
June 29, 7 to 9 p.m.
West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.

José Julio Sarria was the first openly gay person to run for political office in the U.S. in 1961, and many credit Sarria with helping pave the way for Harvey Milk’s run for office. At the unexpected intersections of politics and high camp, this preview of Nelly Queen is a portrait of the Latino civil rights pioneer whose heroic drag is an overlooked cornerstone of the LGBTQ rights movement. Free admission with donations accepted.

TransLife LA PoP-Up Film Festival
June 30, 2 to 7 p.m.
City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.

The first annual one-day film festival features films created by and featuring transgender and gender non-conforming filmmakers, artists, actors, and themes; filmmaking/acting workshops, and an opening reception. Free admission, with RSVP required at  www.popupfilmfestival.org

ART EXHIBITIONS

Don Bachardy with a portrait of Christopher Isherwood (Photo by Wayne Shimaukuro)

“Adelaide Drive: Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy”
On view all of May and June
West Hollywood Library, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.

The City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division presents a new exhibition featuring photography by Wayne Shimabukuro and original artworks by Don Bachardy. Bachardy and Christopher Isherwood, the acclaimed novelist, were a couple for over 30 years until Isherwood’s death in 1986. They lived together in Santa Monica on Adelaide Drive, which provides the name of the exhibit.

On view during regular library hours Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. ); Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Closed holidays and June 8 to 10. Admission is free.

 

 

“Lost & Found: Safer Sex Activism”
On view all of May and June
ONE Gallery, 626 N. Robertson Blvd.

“Lost & Found: Safer Sex Activism” examines 30 years of inspiring and defiant safer sex and harm-reduction activism. The exhibition presents safer sex posters, comics, brochures, videos, PSAs, and safer

Chicos Modernos (Photo courtesy of ONE Archives)

sex and clean needle kits, among other archival items, all from the collections at ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries.’

Rather than stigmatize sexuality, these educational projects often went hand-in-hand with sex-positive practices.

Lost & Found: Safer Sex Activism is co-curated by David Evans Frantz, curator at ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries, and independent curator Hannah Grossman, with support from exhibition consultant Neal Baer, M.D. Lost & Found is organized by the ONE Archives Foundation Inc. with support from the Herb Ritts Foundation, the Calamus Foundation of New York and the City of West Hollywood.

On view Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 3 to 6 p.m. Closed Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and June 9 and 10. Admission is free.

LAAA “Out There” Exhibit
On view June 8 to June 15
LAAA/Gallery 825, 825 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles

“Out There” is an all-media exhibition. Opening reception is June 8 from 6 to 9 p.m. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Monday through June 15. Free admission.

Tiny Tim’s Showcase
On view all of June
Circus of Books windows, 8230 Santa Monica Blvd.

Circus of Books at the southwest corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and La Jolla.

On March 11, 1944, a swastika was painted across 8230 Santa Monica Blvd., the home of Tiny Tim’s Showcase Theater “devoted to amateur presentations.” While police downplayed the graffiti as the work of children, the makeshift theater may have been a target for other reasons.

At the same address in West Hollywood, over 30 years later, a heterosexual Jewish couple opened Circus of Books, which would become both a cultural touchstone for WeHo’s LGBTQ community as well as a target for anti-pornography crackdowns and homophobia. Tiny Tim’s Showcase is a window display and performance series that reimagines the history of this corner, from the 20s to the present.
Admission is free.

Heroes and History of the LGBTQ Civil Rights Movement
On view all of May and June
8120 Santa Monica Blvd.

The City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division in collaboration with the ONE Archives presents this outdoor exhibition of LGBTQ history and heroes on fencing along Santa Monica Boulevard.


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