Christopher Street West, the nonprofit organization behind SoCal’s largest Pride celebration, has announced it will no longer host LA Pride in West Hollywood, the city where the festival has been held for more than four decades.
In a letter sent to the West Hollywood City Council, the nonprofit said come 2021, LA Pride will find itself in a new home that has yet to be determined.
The organization cited construction concerns, demographics, and more as its reason for moving the historic celebration.
“[Our reasons] include construction in West Hollywood Park [where the main festival occurs], the changing demographics of Greater Los Angeles, our commitment to being responsive to the LGBTQIA+ community’s needs, and our allyship and collaboration with other movements for social change,” the letter says.
LA Pride has taken place every year in West Hollywood since 1979 but has also faced its share of change as the face the LGBTQ community both grows and diversifies.
Now dubbed the “Gay Coachella”—its festival has become heavily music-centric over the past four years—LA Pride has morphed to reflect a more contemporary audience. With the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent protests, this year’s parade—which marked its 50th anniversary—became a Resist March that was focused heavily on the Black Lives Matter movement, especially its Black Trans Lives Matter extension.
In a Beacons Economic study commissioned by the nonprofit, LA Pride’s economic reach is far and wide: It not only increased economic output in Los Angeles County by some $75 million, but nearly $28 million of that is concentrated in West Hollywood alone. On top of this, labor income for workers across the county increased by $33 million, including nearly $15 million in West Hollywood.
“What began in 1970 as the first legally permitted parade of its kind, LA Pride has become a powerful and globally-recognized symbol of the LGBTQIA+ movement, and we look forward to maintaining positive relationships with the City of West Hollywood as our programming evolves,” the letter said. “While the locations of our activities may change, we remain excited to explore opportunities for collaboration in 2021 and beyond, and hope West Hollywood can be part of a more diversified celebration throughout Greater Los Angeles.”