The Equality Network team celebrated Los Angeles Gay Pride by participating in several events throughout the weekend, including the Dyke March in WeHo on Friday night, Dyke Day at Barnsdall Art Park in Silver Lake and the following march, and the Gay Pride Parade on Sunday.
The Dyke March in West Hollywood on Friday night started off at Santa Monica and San Vicente boulevards, and headed to West Hollywood Park. The free event featured guest speakers, women on motorcycles, and the presentation of the annual Etheridge Award. Around 300 women joined in the march and pre and post gatherings.
Saturday, the Pride festival was in full swing in West Hollywood with special performances by Fantasia, Deborah Cox, Expose, Blake Edwards and Equlity Network supporters Citizen Savant. Over in Silver Lake was the Dyke Day celebration, featuring performances by JenRO, That’s what She Said, Fanatix and EZ Tiger, as well as guest Djs. The cozy gathering of around 300 then marched from Barnsdall Art Park to Edgecliff Dr.
The highlight of the weekend was the Gay Pride Parade, which began at 11 a.m. on Sunday in West Hollywood and went from Crescent Heights Boulevard west to Robertson Boulevard, with more than 125 entries, including floats, bands, marching community advocacy groups and convertibles with honored guests, including Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, both possible Democratic gubernatorial nominees in 2010.
The Parade even had a small contingent from the social awareness group Anonymous, who donned Guy Fawkes masks while holding signs and handing out fliers asking people to boycot Rockstar Energy Drink due to its alleged association with Michael Savage, an aggressive opponent of same-sex marriage who has spread hateful messages to the extent that he has been barred entry into the UK.
Organizations United Together West (OUT West), a coalition of over 40 grass roots organizations including Equality Network, was named as community grand marshal in recognition of its ability to unite and support communities on a grassroots level.
Equality Network had the greatest representation in the OUT West parade group, with a fourth of the marchers coming from EN. The group collectively got the crowds chanting as they marched along, and held signs about the HIV budget cuts, DOMA, and marriage equality.
The Equality Network recruitment team did tabling both Saturday and Sunday at the West Hollywood Pride festival, while other participants took the opportunity to hand out stickers and fliers at both Dyke March events.
The fliers helped advertise the weekly Equality Network meetings, where the group decides together on what actions to take toward the fight for equal rights for the LGBTQ community. To see when and where the next meeting is, check out our calendar page!