While the annual LA Pride festival and parade don’t occur until next month, the City of West Hollywood starts celebrating Pride this month with its One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival, which runs from between Harvey Milk Day (May 22) through the end of June Pride month (June 30). One City One Pride’s theme for 2019 is “Love is Love,” celebrating the universal bond that unites us during this 50th anniversary year of the Stonewall riots. LA Pride’s theme is #JustUnite.
Some highlights of One City One Pride 2019 and events scheduled to date as part of LA Pride include:
May 22: One City One Pride Kickoff & Harvey Milk Day Celebration: “Dear Harvey” Reading
This free staged reading of Patricia Loughrey’s “Dear Harvey” is produced by Celebration Theatre, LA’s oldest LGBTQ theatre founded in 1982. Extensively researched, this documentary-style ensemble play recounts the life and lasting impact of groundbreaking activist and politician Harvey Milk, as told by the people who knew him best, featuring a cast of professional actors, elected/appointed officials and community members including:
Emmy, GLAAD Media and APLA Hero Award winner Bruce Vilanch; West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Charles Flowers; Arts & Cultural Affairs Commissioner Dallas J. Dishman; Disability Advisory Board member Rick Watts; Human Services Commissioner Nate Clark; Lesbian & Gay Advisory Board member Jason Frazier; Lesbian & Gay Advisory Board member Sepi Shyne; Senior Advisory Board member John Allendorfer; Transgender Advisory Board member Alexis Sanchez; Women’s Advisory Board member Karen Eyres, and others to be announced.
It will take place at the City Council Chambers, 625 N San Vicente Blvd. From 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., there will be a reception and two queer poetry pop-ups: “Let Love Flourish,” featuring performances of poetry by queer poets, and “Everyone Deserves (A) Love (Poem),” an interactive art installation where anyone may request a love poem. The performance of “Dear Harvey” will begin at 7:30 p.m. Guests must RSVP online.
Other scheduled events include:
May 25, 26: “I Do,” New Stages LGBTQ Seniors Theatre Project
An evening of stories and music with LGBTQ seniors celebrating gay marriage and relationships. This musical is developed through a workshop process and incorporates the real-life stories of the participants under the guidance of teaching artists Mark Salyer, Kay Cole, Bruce Bierman, Debbie Lawrence, and Christopher Taylor. Produced by New Stages, supported by the LA LGBT Center’s Senior Services, and supported through a grant from the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division. It will take place at 7 p.m. on Mary 25 and 2 pm. on May 26 at the Renberg Theatre at LA LGBT Center’s Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Los Angeles. Admission is free. Guests must RSVP online.
May 28: Lambda Literary Book Club
West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Steven Reigns will be at the West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room, 625 N San Vicente Blvd., at 7 p.m. to discuss “Into?” by North Morgan. Admission is free. No RSVP is needed. More information can found online.
May 29: WeHo Reads: Lambda Literary Award Finalists Reading
There will be readings at 7 p.m. at the West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. from the Southern California finalists for the 31st annual Lammy Awards. Readers include Kazim Ali, Genevieve Hudson, Steve MacIsaac, Tommy Pico, and Mark Russell. Admission is free. Guests are asked to RSVP online.
June 1: ‘Between the Seam and the Skin’ Exhibition
Trans artist Pilar Gallego has created a series of new artworks that interrogate the codification of bodies through clothing using vintage men’s button-down shirts from the 1950s and 60s – garments they long to wear but which, according to the artist, never quite fit.
“What I am seeing in these dissections, is the same thing I did to my body when I underwent gender confirmation surgery when I opened up my own body in order to create something new. It’s through my transformation that I am seeing I can remake these garments in a similarly anomalous form, so that they may visually speak to a body that has had no real point of origin itself.” The exhibition will be at Plummer Park’s Long Hall, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd. Admission is free. The opening reception is on June 1 from 6 to 9 p.m. The exhibition will be open June 2-14 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m.
June 1, 2: Metropolitan Master Chorale presents ‘Considering Matthew Shepard’
This music shares the story Matthew Shepard, the gay student at the University of Wyoming who was beaten, tortured, and left to die near Laramie on the night of Oct. 6, 1998. While the story could be viewed through the lens of hatred, misunderstanding and divisiveness, this oratorio shimmers with the spirit of inclusiveness as it explores the light and darkness, loss and grace we all hold in common. It will take place at 7 p.m. on June 1 and 2 p.m. on June 2 at Plummer Park’s Fiesta Hall, 1200 N. Vista St. Tickets are $5-$25 and can be purchased online.
June 2: Vox Femina and Trans Chorus LA: Hearts of Courage
LA’s premiere women’s choir, VOX Femina, in collaboration with Trans Chorus LA, presents a free preview of its upcoming concert, “Hearts of Courage,” a celebration of Pride and the LGBTQ community, and a tribute to the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. The event will take place at 3 p.m. at Congregation Kol Ami, 1200 N La Brea Ave. Admission is free. Those attending can secure tickets online.
June 6-9: “Photo19”: A Photo Exhibition to Benefit Stories: The AIDS Monument
The Foundation for The AIDS Monument hosts a benefit photo exhibition including leading photographers Antonio Lopez, Melanie Pullen, Herb Ritts, and Firooz Zahedi. Proceeds from the auction will benefit “Stories: The AIDS Monument” (which will be installed in West Hollywood Park in the coming years.) The event will take place at the Leica Gallery, 8783 Beverly Blvd. on June 6. Opening night event tickets are $150 to $200. The event is free June 7 through 9 and there is a free closing party on June 9. More information can be found online.
June 7: Dyke March
A city event featuring speakers, entertainment and a march/rally that marks the start of LA Pride weekend, the Dyke March will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Pop-ups include a protest sign-making workshop by JP (all supplies included) and the One City One Pride interactive poetry pop-up “Everyone Deserves (A) Love (Poem).” Admission is free. The event takes place at Sal Guarriello Veterans Memorial, 8447 Santa Monica Blvd.
June 7-9: LA Pride Festival
The annual LA Pride Festival at West Hollywood Park is produced by Christopher Street West and hosted by the City of West Hollywood. It will take place June 7, from 6 p.m. to midnight, and June 8 and 9, noon to 1 a.m.
For the first time, the LA Pride Festival is expanding onto Santa Monica Boulevard with “Pride on the Boulevard,” a free block party allowing guests to gather and watch local performers on both Saturday and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. That includes staging a free concert on the festival’s main stage on Friday that will feature Paula Abdul. The block party will be located on Santa Monica Boulevard between San Vicente and Robertson boulevards and will be free to attend. A new Friday night program has been added to the festival on June 7 at West Hollywood Park. This free-to-the-public evening will feature an official opening ceremony, a WeHo Vogue Ball and Drag Show, dancing, music from local DJs, and special surprise guests.
Admission is free on Friday night and to “Pride on the Boulevard.” Tickets for the main festival are $15 to $50 and can be found online.
Other performers at the festival include Grammy Award-winning performer Meghan Trainor and British electronic pop trio Years & Years will headline joined by Grammy Award winner Ashanti, plus Amara La Negra, Dej Loaf, Greyson Chance, MNEK, Pabllo Vittar, and Ah-Mer-Ah-Su, with more to be announced. Regardless of genre, this year’s performers will come together on the Festival’s two main stages to embrace this year’s theme, #JustUnited.
June 9: LA Pride Parade
The LA Pride Parade is the oldest pride parade in the world and has been taking place in West Hollywood since before the city was incorporated in 1984. It will take place on Santa Monica Boulevard between Fairfax and Doheny from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
June 12: Rainbow Key Awards
The 2019 Rainbow Key Awards mark the 26th year the City of West Hollywood has honored those people and groups who have made outstanding contributions to the gay and lesbian communities. The event will take place at the City Council Chambers, 625 N San Vicente Blvd. There will be a reception at 6 p.m. and the awards ceremony begins at 7 p.m. Admission is free.
This year’s honorees are: Jake Mason (WeHo Dodgeball); Rabbi Lisa Edwards; Project Angel Food; Mecca LA Hosted by Kelly Gilliam; Asian Pacific Gays & Friends, and Jeffery Bowman (Legendary Bingo)
June 14, 15: TransPride
Join the LA LGBT Center for TransPride, an annual event with entertainment and resource booths, on Friday, 7 to 10 p.m. and Saturday, noon to 9:30 p.m. Admission is free. This year Trans Pride L.A. kicks off with the Center’s community forum series Big Queer Convo. This year’s speaker is Minneapolis City Council member Andrea Jenkins, the nation’s first openly transgender African-American woman to be elected to public office. Big Queer Convo is free, but reservations are recommended by registering online.
Immediately following Big Queer Convo, the evening will continue with the opening of “Let Me Show You Something Beautiful,” an art exhibit in The Village’s Advocate & Gochis Galleries, featuring the photography of Academy Award-nominated filmmaker/photojournalist Kimberlee Acquaro. Everyone is invited to a reception with music and refreshments in The Village’s spacious courtyard.
On Saturday, June 16, the celebration continues with a self-defense workshop; a clothing swap sponsored by TransTribe Los Angeles, and a discussion with gender nonconforming/nonbinary panelists. Approximately 40 organizations will participate in a resource fair to offer information on a wide array of services and programs vital to the trans community.
Saturday evening activities include a Happy Hour event presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka; a catered dinner prepared for more than 500 people; a special awards presentation; and a VarieTy show starring performers such as “Transparent”’s Alexandra Billings, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” vet Kelly Mantle, Sharon Brown, Billie White Acre, Jordan Balgat, Heather Barron, Ezra Michel, members of the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles and Kai Gloger, a nine-year-old trans female who will read her coming out story. The Center is located at 1125 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles
June 15: Lesbian Speaker Series: Tea Time with Stephanie Miller and Beth Lapides
The City of West Hollywood’s Lesbian Speakers Series presents tea time with Stephanie Miller (political commentator, comedian, and host of an eponymous talk radio show) and Beth Lapides (entertainer, writer, comedian, and founder of Un-Cabaret). The schedule is: 3 p.m. – Spill the Tea; 4 p.m. – High Tea with drinks & treats. Admission is free. The event will take place at the City Council Chambers, 625 N San Vicente Blvd.
June 16: ALAP Pride Play Reading Festival
For the 11th year in a row, the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights has commissioned new LGBTQ plays to present during Pride month with funding from the City of West Hollywood. This program features rehearsed readings of new LGBTQ short plays. It will take place at 3 p.m. at Plummer Park Community Center, Rooms 1+2, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd. Admission is free.
June 18: Celebration Theatre/Chuck Rowland Award
At this event at the City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., Celebration Theatre, LA’s oldest LGBTQ theatre, will presents this year’s Chuck Rowland Award. Admission is free. The event takes place at 7:30 p.m.
June 22: LAAA’s 12th Annual “Out There” Exhibit
“Out There,” a one-week juried art exhibition celebrating West Hollywood’s commitment to the LGBTQ communities, will take place at Gallery 825, 825 N. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles. The opening reception will take place on June 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. Gallery hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Monday through June 28. Admission is free.
June 22: Drag Queen Story Hour
The City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division and the LA County Library host for “Drag Queen Story Hour!” at 11 a.m. for children of all ages at the West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room, 625 N San Vicente Blvd. Admission is free.
June 25: Lambda Literary Book Club
Steven Reigns, West Hollywood’s first poet laureate, at 7 p.m. will discuss “Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls,” a lesbian memoir by T. Kira Madden, at the West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room, 625 N San Vicente Blvd. Admission is free.
June 26: “LA: A Queer History” screening
A screening of the nearly complete documentary film showcasing the LGBTQ history of Los Angeles by Gregoiro Davila will take place at 7 p.m. at the City Council Chambers, 625 N San Vicente Blvd. It is funded through a grant from the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division. Admission is free.
June 29: ALAP Pride Play Reading Festival
For the 11th year in a row, the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights has commissioned new LGBTQ plays to present during Pride month with funding from the City of West Hollywood. This program, which begins at 6 p.m. features a rehearsed reading of a new LGBTQ full-length play. It will take place at Plummer Park Community Center, Rooms 1+2, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd. Admission is free.
June 29 and 30: DoYou: Hathorian Hymns
A multi-media, site-specific performance art project incorporating electronic/acoustic world music, live singing, and video art, with the taste of immersive performance-theater and cabaret from transgender Korean artist Yozmit. This project, on view from 7:30 to 9 p.m., is funded through a Transgender Arts Initiative grant from the City of West Hollywood and will be at Plummer Park’s Long Hall, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd. No RSVP is needed
June 30: One City One Pride Day of Art
The City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division annual full day of One City One Pride programming will take place at the City Council Chambers, 625 N San Vicente Blvd., from 1:30 to 9 p.m. It will include:
1:30 p.m.: “Let Love Flourish” and “Everyone Deserves (A) Love (Poem) Queer Poetry Pop-Ups”
2:30 p.m.: Launch of “Crush: First Love, New Talent” an LGBTQAIU comic anthology about first (queer) love from Prism Comics presented as part of WeHo Reads. There will be readings from the book and a book-signing.
3:30 p.m.: QueerWise is a writing collective and spoken word performance group led by Michael Kearns, Hollywood’s first openly HIV-positive actor.
5 p.m.: “Where Love Is Illegal” panel discussion – Being LGBTQ is still illegal in 70 countries. Come see powerful images from award-winning photographer Robin Hammond’s project documenting images and stories from people in those countries; and hear trans leader Rikki Nathanson’s stories of courage and activism in Zimbabwe in a conversation about human rights and our movement for LGBTQ freedom, safety, equality and dignity everywhere.
7 p.m.: “Gaytino! Made in America”- Mariachi to Merman. Sondheim to Cesar Chavez. Decades of Mexican-American/Chicano and LGBTQ history intersect from a personal perspective in story and song. Touching, provocative and hilarious, Dan Guerrero presents this first public screening of a new film of his acclaimed solo play after critically acclaimed performances nationwide.
Admission is free. Those attending are asked to RSVP online.