Wednesday not only marked the first day of June, but also the beginning of Gay Pride month. The city of West Hollywood officially recognized the start of Pride with two receptions Wednesday night.
The One City/One Pride reception kicked off a month of arts-related activities recognizing LGBT pride and history. Later, a mayor’s reception launched the start of the Christopher Street West pride festivities.
Mayor John Duran was on hand at both events. He welcomed all and invited everyone to enjoy themselves during the festivities.
The One City/One Pride reception was held at the Equality California offices on Santa Monica Boulevard with about 30 people in attendance.
SkyBar at the Mondrian Hotel on Sunset was the setting for the Christopher Street West party, with almost 300 people gathering poolside.
At both events, Duran noted that June also marks the 30th anniversary of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announcement that a mysterious illness was impacting gay men. The disease would come to be known as AIDS.
Duran, who has been HIV positive for almost 20 years, noted that the city of West Hollywood lost almost 10,000 residents to AIDS during the first 15 years of the disease.
“And that’s just in this small town,” Duran said. “Many, many more around the world.”
He pointed out that that was more than have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan combined, more than were lost on 9/11.
The Christopher Street reception brought out the entire West Hollywood City Council, as well as many members of the city’s various commissions and advisory boards, along with mayors from five other cities.
Signal Hill Mayor Larry Forester, the only other openly HIV positive elected official in California, was there, as was Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom. Sierra Madre Mayor Joe Mosca and Rosemead Mayor Steven Ly were also there. William Brien, the vice mayor of Beverly Hills, was in the crowd as well.
The LA Pride festival is June 10-12, starting off with the annual Dyke March on June 10 at 7:30 p.m. The official Pride parade is June 12 at 11 a.m. The parade goes down Santa Monica Boulevard from Crescent Heights to San Vicente. The Pride festival will be held at on June 10-12.
Meanwhile the One City/One Pride festivities, sponsored by the city’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission, Transgender Advisory Board and Lesbian & Gay Advisory Board, marks a month of plays, concerts, lectures and films all celebrating gay pride and history.
Among events this weekend are Outlaugh, featuring LGBT comedians at the on Sunset on Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m., and , a play about living with HIV at the Renberg Theatre, Saturday-Sunday at 7 p.m.