For the second year in a row, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia raised the Pride Flag—kicking off Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride weekend in style.
While raising that rainbow flag in the breeze on an overcast morning, Garcia cited a 2014 Nerdwallet study that ranked Long Beach as the fifth most LGBTQ-friendly cities in the U.S., which arrived at its ranking by evaluating the Human Rights Campaign Municipality Index (on which Long Beach scored a perfect 100 last year), percentage of same-sex households and number of sexual orientation-related hate crimes per 100,000 residents.
“Long Beach has been named, continues to be named, one of the most LGBT-friendly cities, really anywhere,” Garcia said. “As you all know, we continuously rank in the top five of LGBTQ-friendly cities, when it comes to LGBT law and the LGBT community, and we’re really glad about that. So let’s give Long Beach a round of applause.”
The mayor celebrated the opening of Pride weekend, listing tonight’s events, which include the Pink Party at the WE Labs at The Packard, the 4th Annual Dyke March and Rally and an After Party.
Also today, bring a box of breakfast cereal or other non-perishable food item to Cocktails for a Cause at Padre to benefit the AIDS Food Store. Gay Entertainment Directory invites you to kick back on Padre’s rooftop patio, enjoy good company, sip a few cocktails and kick off Pride by giving back. The all-inclusive social event will run from 7:00PM to 10:00PM. Visit the AIDS Food Store page here for more details.
You can celebrate tonight…or you can save some energy and get ready to rally for a number of events set to occur over the weekend, with the climactic Pride Parade and Neon Trees concert set for sunday. Check out the full list here.
[Editor’s note: The Pride flag is traditionally hung with the red strip at the top. The flag was re-hung and raised the correct way shortly after these photos were taken.]