Politicians Pledge To Improve WeHo Pride’s “Lame” Reputation—Next Year.

LA-queensSome queens think Los Angeles Pride sucks, calling it “tired” and  “kind of crappy.” (We think the unenthused ladies in this photo might agree.)

We’re not sure if its L.A.’s non-pedestrian culture, the fact that city is pretty gay year-round, or some other factor that has fostered this sense of ennui about the 42-year-old celebration. But the West Hollywood City Council is demanding action!

At a meeting on Tuesday, Patch reports, council members discussed options for improving the parade and its image. You’re never gonna guess what they came up with: They formed a committee! (Because nothing brings the party like a committee!)

During more than two hours of deliberation, some residents complained the the three-hour-long parade needed to be shorter, others that the fencing around the dance area was restrictive, still others that the $20 admission to the dance was too steep. Openly gay councilman John D’Amico said that, for him, “the politics [that sparked the event in the first place] have drained out in favor of commerce.”  The parade attracts some 250,000 to 450,000 people each year and adds $1.2 million to the city’s coffers.

Of course, it also costs about $1.2 million to put on the parade and festival, making it a bit of a wash financially.

Rodney Scott, executive director of Christopher Street West, which runs the parade, said that the main issues attendees have raised are lack of inclusion for younger people and for the trans community. Deciding that a committee should be formed to sort this all out, D’Amico told Scott that the city was willing to give whatever resources were available, but they had to know what was required. “Tell us exactly what you need from us,” he said. “If it’s $10 million and 10 acres, tell us.”

D’Amico and West Hollywood Mayor John Duran have even agreed to sit on this superstar committee, which will begin meeting in July—after this year’s Pride celebration in June.

Um, see you in 2013?

Photo via anokarina

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  • Gooey

    It does suck. Why don’t they move it to Downtown L.A. WeHo is so TIRED.

  • Jollysocks

    No, please do NOT move the parade to Downtown L.A. The city of LA proper is broke as joke and could never put on a parade the way WeHo does.

    Cries of “WeHo Pride sucks!” typically come from the same queens who think everything sucks. Believe me — our parade is great when compared to most every other city. Is it overly commercialized? Yes. But in the post-Prop 8 era it’s a great excuse to get every LGBT person on the same street to remind us all how many of us there truly are.

  • Michael

    While we are on the topic of the West Hollywood Pride Parade and Festival, let’s point out the faults within our own community shall we. While everyone complains that WeHo Pride is too “this or that”, there are a multitude of reasons about the issues with the City of West Hollywood.

    First, West Hollywood Park was not designed to be used as a Pride Festival arena. It’s a tiny park, which gets totally trampled upon during Pride weekend, to which the City of West Hollywood must pay to restore (think of the Occupy LA encampment cleanup fiasco).

    Second, Parking in West Hollywood, honestly, sucks. You have the Pacific Design Center parking structure, which is all fine and dandy, but fills up during Pride quite quickly. The areas around Santa Monica and San Vincente, are definitely not equipped to handle that many cars mobbing the city at once. It’s tough enough trying to navigate the streets on a regular Friday or Saturday night.

    My point is this… I love how the author considers the Festival to be a “Dance”… It could be… when the sun goes down over West Hollywood, the area around the community organizations, local businesses promoting themselves, etc. becomes a ghost town. Everyone flocks to the dance tent(s).

    So I don’t think that the same queens who think everything sucks is a true statement, I think they are just frustrated (as I am) with just getting to the festival, finding parking, etc.

    Plus Jollysocks, you have to remember your dealing with a bunch of Los Angeles based queens… Their voices still count. I think our parade is wonderful; but I agree with Gooey, the festival just doesn’t work anymore….

    But if you REALLY want to make it a COMMUNITY event, take out the “dance tents” and “alcohol”… The biggest downfall of our community is how easily we can be bought by SPONSORS… and the worst part is, IT SHOWS!!!

  • Lloyd

    2011 was our first time attending Pride in WeHo – it was fabulous!
    For all those Miss Doubting-pants who say it sucks…I’m sure nothing sucks better than you Sweetie.
    Be glad that the City leaders actually want to DO something to improve it!
    Rock On WeHo!

  • Giff

    Always wondered why it cost $20 to enter the festival when in other cities (admittedly I’ve only been to SF, SD and Madrid’s Pride festivals) it was free to enter (or a donation was requested but not required)? Always seemed like a ripoff.

    In terms of parking the city will claim that the new parking structure at the library should alleviate the issue you bring up.

  • Alex Sarmiento

    I went to LA Pride in 2008. It was the first time I ever attended a Pride event outside of San Francisco. While I enjoyed the parade, the post-parade celebration was a disaster IMHO. 300,000+ people crammed in a tiny-ass park. I was so overwhelmed and distraught that I actually broke down in tears and left the place. Worse, no one gave a shit. Yes, the SF Pride Parade has more people in it and watching it, but it’s spread out over a relatively large area. There are places to sit down and recharge one’s batteries without a fucking stereo set-up ten feet away playing whack dance beats, and the volunteers are a lot nicer. Not so at LA Pride. Having said that, I don’t think that they should move the event from WeHo. They should make the festival wider and space the stages and facilities better, so that even in such a restricted space, there is a freer and looser flow of people to and from wherever. And better yet, I’d like it if there were less beer. Not just for LA Pride, but for ALL Pride Parades in this country and the world. That is my biggest bone of contention with Pride events. Why do beer/alcohol companies support Pride? Not all gays want to get hammered on Pride weekend. How about Aquafina or Evian or San Pellegrino sponsoring Pride? Or even an organic soda or juice company? Something relatively healthy. Sorry for getting off track.

  • Isaac C

    @jeff4justice: Since it’s L.A. and WeHo, people probably come in with the expectation that it’s going to be *better* than all the rest of the country’s Pride celebrations, not comparable to them.

    There is actually another major Pride celebration that takes place in Long Beach, so when you have two major Prides in one region, there is going to be some competition.

  • One of the CA 36,000

    LA/WeHo Pride has the main problems that others have already noted of (a) excessive parade length and (b) festival facility inadequacy on multiple levels. The last time I went to Pride, the damn parade was FOUR hours long, with vast dead patches. And hundreds of thousands of people trying to have fun in a postage stamp-sized “park” (which seems more like a median strip to me) was no fun for me and my husband. We just went to the Abbey and hung out there (I know, cliché…).

    I also have a problem with so much sponsorship by liquor companies. Not that I regret my beer- and tequila-soaked youthful staggers through many a Pride festival. But this is about getting LGBTQ people together to celebrate our community and our strength as a united group fighting for full equality in American society yadda yadda yadda. We already have Porno Pete LaBarbera showing those slanderous videos to paint us all as drunk go-go boys and leather daddies– why further our reputation as drunks with this broad beer company sponsorship?!

    And what the HELL are they talking about RE: “no trans inclusion”? Half the queens in the parade were in drag, first of all; and there are lots of trans folk organizing and representing during the weekend. They can get a community meeting place for the festival and have quite a visible presence if they want.

    The Pride Festival in Long Beach is a bit more home-spun than WeHo’s, and has most of the problems of all pride festivals (too much presence of liquor concerns, not enough focus on community organizing), but it has the immediate advantage of having a large park in which to hold the actual festival (Rainbow Lagoon and Shoreline Village). And the parking is a bit better. And it’s much more chill than the tweaked-up WeHo festival. I’m just sayin’….

  • Spike

    Err, isn’t the fun that one has at a Gay Pride parade/festival directly proportional to the alcohol one consumes, and an how many lesbians volunteers there are driving around in golf carts during the parade.

    Case and point, 2011 Long Beach pride festival, rather then addressing underage drinking by creating a ‘beer garden’ enclosure – similar to the SD Pride Festival, they made buying a beer a complete nightmare. You had to show your id at entry to get the wrist band, then you had to show your id and stand in line to buy script, then you had to show your id and stand in line to use the script to buy a drink ticket, then you had to stand in line to use your drink ticket to buy a ticket. Oh yea, and the drastically reduced the number of locations where you could buy a beer so the lines were insane. The point of the story, LB Pride festival SUCKED!

  • Mike in Asheville

    @Gooey: Obviously you do not live in/around LA as NO ONE would who does would think that that was a good idea.

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