Organizers of the story hours say that social media accounts are fueling the backlash and that opponents claiming they want to protect children are actually scaring and endangering them.
Onlookers carried LGBTQ+ pride flags, donned jackets with colors of the rainbow and embraced one another as the new tower was unveiled.
“The Pride Tower represents our unwavering commitment to our LGBTQ employees and to the diverse communities of Long Beach,” a city official said.
The previous tower, which was painted by lifeguards in honor of Pride month last year, burned down in the early morning hours of Tuesday, March 23.
Porter Gilberg has served as executive director of the Center since 2014.
Danny Johnson received a notice saying his store had one week to respond to a renewal of their lease, increasing their monthly rent from $3,300 to $9,000.
“Sister Spit’s annual stop is hands down one of the most creative, innovative and acclaimed LGBTQ arts events in Long Beach,” said The Center’s executive director Porter Gilberg.
The annual index from Human Rights Campaign has consistently named Long Beach as one of the best cities for its LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law and policies.
We didn’t lose anything, fellow gays. It’s our own collective fault that Paradise closed because—bluntly put—we all stopped going to it with any sense of regularity. We favored these spaces ten times over the eastern-most queer watering hole that was an essential cog in Long Beach’s gay history—but the last thing we should be doing is spewing vitriol toward a new small business owner.
Fourth District Councilmember Daryl Supernaw’s office responded to the Post on Friday with a statement, which was also included in the councilmember’s weekly newsletter released the same day.