The City of West Hollywood is welcoming the new year with the installation of permanent year-round decorative lanterns above Santa Monica Boulevard in the Boystown nightlife district between
“The new festive lights on Santa Monica Boulevard are bright, happy, and colorful, and arrived just in time for a new year and a new decade,” said Mayor John D’Amico in an announcement of the installation. “Every night they will light up West Hollywood’s ‘Rainbow District’ to be sure. But, more importantly, they illuminate — with tremendous pride — our city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, heritage, and history.”
According to the announcement, the LED devices are programmable either as individual lanterns or entire strands of lights, which will allow the city to recognize national events or celebrations that traditionally use signature colors. All lanterns have UV protection to prolong the life and ensure clarity of the shield around the light fixtures. In addition, the lanterns feature easily replaceable fixtures and are custom-made in the United States of commercial-grade construction to withstand the elements for successful permanent exterior installation. The lanterns are engineered to meet the weight and wind-load requirements of existing light poles to which they are attached and are compliant with fire safety regulations.
Illumination for the globes will be set to rotate in rainbow colors in an embrace of the neighborhood’s LGBT community and bars, restaurants, and businesses.
“Since incorporation in 1984, the City of West Hollywood has become one of the most influential cities in the nation in advocating for the rights of LGBT people — no other city of its size has had a greater impact on the national public policy discourse on fairness and inclusiveness for LGBT people,” the city said in an announcement of the lights in Boystown.
“The ‘Rainbow District’ in West Hollywood in and around Santa Monica Boulevard has, for decades, been a thriving hub of LGBT businesses and nightlife and new lighting will enhance the neighborhood at nighttime.”
Some city officials and business leaders have pushed for the Boystown district to be redesignated as the “Rainbow District” so as not to focus solely on the city’s gay male population.
The city identifies itself as having a large LGBT community. The 2019 Community Survey reports that 43% of the population fits within the LGBT designation. Of the city’s overall population, 33% identifies as gay men while 4% identifies as lesbians, 3% as transgender, and 3% as “gender fluid.”