You’ve been busy with a successful Venice Pride event, preserving the Rainbow Flag Lifeguard Tower and now the revival of Roosterfish, is this just the beginning for the Venice Pride organization?
It’s totally the beginning. For the most part, Venice Pride wouldn’t even exist if the Roosterfish hadn’t closed down. Some people think Venice Pride happened because of what was going on at LA Pride and nothing was further from the truth. I created Venice Pride out of the hopes of re-invigorating our community on the westside, whether it be through pop-up events or eventually inspiring business owners to create another gay bar or other kinds of gay events on the Westside. We saw that with the Birdcage for example. I think the success that we had with Venice Pride and the turnout that we had, helped inspire and move along the Birdcage. I definitely think it had an impact as well on Mario [Vollera] and Patrick [Brunet], who are the lease holders of Roosterfish to re-open Roosterfish as well.
Tell us more about the Roosterfish Revival Party you’re throwing this weekend.
We’re going to do a pop-up party this Saturday. It’s going to be a one day event from noon to midnight. We’re going to bring in some furniture for the event. It’s a fundraiser for Venice Pride. Obviously, we’re a 501(c)(3) non-profit. It will provide funds for us to operate as an organization that puts the annual celebration in June, as well as help us out with some of our new initiatives we’re going to be working on.
What are funds from the fundraiser going towards?
Funding will go towards a LGBTQ camp. Have you ever heard of Camp Lightbulb before? It’s a really cool organization. They throw camps for LGBTQ youth and we’re going to be raising funds for them to essentially do one of those camps here next June under Venice Pride. We’re also going to be doing some work with the LGBTQ senior demographic as well. The funds collected from this party are going towards us operating as an organization, so not only can we do a cool Venice Pride that occurs at the beginning of June, but also expand as an organization that will be beyond Venice Pride as an event, and doing other initiatives as well.
What do you get out of doing what you do for Venice Pride?
Everyone that is involved in the organization right now is essentially the board. I’m the founder and president of the board. We don’t have an executive director right now. We’re all 100% volunteers in this. I think at some point down the line, I may transition from the board to becoming the executive director, but right now what we get out of it is we have a gay bar in the westside that is welcoming to everyone. We have Venice Pride that is going to be free and open to the public for the next decade. Basically what we’ve gotten is that the LGBTQ community is re-invigorated. Now there is going to be a safe place where people can be who they are without fear of being hurt or called names. We have a safe place to gather and celebrate ourselves triumphantly.
Tickets for the Rooosterfish Revival pop-up fundraiser are $5 per person. To purchase tickets, visist: venicepride.org/roosterfish