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LA Pride parade will be back in person next summer after two-year COVID-19 hiatus

LA Pride parade will be back in person next summer after
two-year COVID-19 hiatus 1

After a two-year hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic, LA Pride will host an in-person parade in summer 2022, organizers said Friday.

The announcement comes as large-scale events — including this weekend’s Los Angeles Marathon, the Rose Parade, and Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers games with fans in the stands — are making a comeback.

“We know the SoCal LGBTQ+ community has missed this annual moment, so we’re absolutely delighted to plan on bringing it back after a two-year hiatus,” said Sharon-Franklin Brown, board president of Christopher Street West, the nonprofit organization that produces LA Pride. “It’s such a personal gathering of the community, and it means so much to come together in person in such a large capacity.”

LA Pride 2022 will take place June 10-12, and will include a music event, organizers said.

The massive street parade, one of the nation’s oldest and largest LGBTQ celebrations, draws hundreds of thousands of spectators each summer.

In-person LA Pride events were scrapped in the summer of 2020 and replaced by a televised and livestreamed “virtual parade” during what was to have been the parade’s 50th anniversary celebration.

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There were men bedecked in fairy wings. Go-go dancers on a flatbed truck. It was June 28, 1970, and it was the nation’s first legally permitted gay pride parade.

The parade would have taken place this summer, two days before June 15 — the day California officials fully reopened the state’s economy and ended many mask-wearing requirements for fully vaccinated people. But Christopher Street West again opted for virtual events.

It turned out to be a prescient decision. Coronavirus cases soared this summer because of the Delta variant, and masks again became required, including at large outdoor events.

The location for the 2022 parade will be announced at a later date, organizers said.

In July 2020, Christopher Street West announced that it was leaving West Hollywood after more than four decades in the iconic LGBTQ-friendly city.

In recent years, Christopher Street West — named after the New York City street on which the Stonewall Inn stands — has been criticized as too white, too corporate and dismissive of transgender and nonbinary people.

On the day the LA Pride parade would have taken place in June 2020, tens of thousands of people instead took to the streets for the All Black Lives Matter march. Many attendees said they had endured racism from LA Pride and within the city of West Hollywood, which is 75% white.

Brown took the helm of Christopher Street West later that year, becoming the first Black transgender woman to be president of its board.

On Friday, the nonprofit announced that she had been reelected president through 2023 and that the organization’s board of directors is now 71% people of color and 24% people who are transgender or nonbinary.

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