Happy Pride month, homos (and allies)! This year the Annual Los Angeles Pride Parade was cancelled and replaced by a “Resist March.” The political climate has been stormy to say the least and the organizer of LA Pride thought that our community should take a stand and show that we are resisting those who threaten to take away our protection and our rights. I absolutely think this is crucial. We need to stand up and demand to be heard and counted! We are not going away and we are strong and deserving of more.
But whyyyyy did we have to cancel the parade?? Couldn’t we have done both? A March Saturday and the Parade Sunday? But really.
The Resist March had a published start time of 8:00am and I pride (no pun intended) myself on being timely. The first announcement on the loudspeaker came at 8:45am. There were a string of gay white men (mostly…besides Ru Paul who was incredible!) that came on stage one after another, speaking to the crowd. Most of the speeches were fiery and angry. I cheered and showed my support. But it kept going on and kept getting more angry and many of the speeches turned into political rants.
The news, my social media feeds, and many of my in-person interactions on a daily basis are dominated by people’s anger towards the POTUS and his administration. The Resist March was no different. And BELIEVE ME PEOPLE, I am on your side!
The early March crowd turnout was not huge and didn’t seem overly engaged (not a lot of cheering). People just seemed to be waiting for the march to start so that that feeling of unity could begin. This was how I felt. We actually began marching a little after 10:00am. Once the marching began, the atmosphere changed for the better. The crowd interacted with each other and marched together into West Hollywood. It seemed that about half of the LA Pride participants just waited for everyone to arrive in West Hollywood so that the party could start. I was towards the beginning of the march and when we got into WeHo around noon, the streets were lined with people and the bars and festival were already full.
LA pride was different this year. There was a definite missing piece in the heart of weekend. I know a lot of you are probably reading this thinking “This is not a time to celebrate, we need to be protesting and fighting!” Damn, I agree but can’t we also have time to embrace WHO we are as well? The parade isn’t just about a fun party, it is about love, acceptance, and support. We are LGBTQA and we rely on the our close knit community to keep us strong. Every year, there are tears in my eyes during the parade as I see the PRIDE in people’s eyes to be out and comfortable in their own skin. I just missed that. Am I the only one?
Here are my “day of” thoughts in my very first awkwardly composed YouTube video. If you like hearing the word “UM” a lot and enjoy a healthy amount of cleavage, you should definitely watch:
XO Liz Baxter
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YouTube: Liz Baxter