When LGBTQ rights are under attack…
What do we do?
SPEAK UP, FIGHT BACK!
On June 11, the ACLU of Southern California marched at the 53rd annual Los Angeles Pride Parade as this year's Community Grand Marshal. It was an honor we took to heart — and an opportunity to bring our community together to celebrate our affiliate's pioneering support of the LGBTQ community.
In fact, in 1970, we helped L.A. Pride parade organizers secure the permit for the first permitted pride parade in the nation. Fifty-three years later, the march down Hollywood Boulevard was louder and made us even prouder. Over 250 activists, supporters, and former clients showed up to march, chant, and celebrate with us in our largest L.A. Pride parade contingent ever.
"Hey hey! Ho ho! Cops at Pride have got to go!”
In true ACLU fashion — and a big middle finger to anti-drag legislation across the country, we produced the parade's opening number on ABC7 featuring a spectacle of drag performances set to tunes by legendary songwriter and Bill of Rights Awards honoree Diane Warren.
Drag artist Big Dee as Lady Liberty led our marching contingent followed by dancers, flag bearers, and a balloon-festooned float, where singer and actor Janelle Monáe brought the party to the people, vibing with drag performers, chanting, and singing her newly released and aptly-titled single "Float."
In an interview, Monáe encourages people to "Love yourself. Even when it makes others uncomfortable, just know that it will get better."
L.A. City Councilmembers, former ACLU SoCal clients, and Abby Thomas, who days before was violently arrested by the L.A. Sheriff's Department for defending her trans friend at West Hollywood’s Pride Parade, joined our contingent.
After the two-mile parade procession, we topped off the day poolside at an after party with our closest supporters and former clients, sponsored by Forever Dog and SKYY Vodka. DJ Brynn Taylor spun the mood and Sister Unity of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence graced us with her humor as host and gave a fiery introduction to surprise guest U.S. Senator Cory Booker.
Senator Booker wrapped up the festivities, pumping up the crowd and congratulating the ACLU SoCal for "100 years of fighting to make this nation live up to its promise to be a place of liberty and justice for all."