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    On the 47th anniversary of the world’s first permitted LGBTQ+ parade, LA Pride and Christopher Street West, remain where they began, at the intersection of activism and celebration of our diverse community. For decades, the greater Los Angeles community has strived for equality only made possible through the endless efforts of activists like this year’s Grand Marshal, Alexei Romanoff.

    Alexei Romanoff, Photo credit: lapride.org

    In 1967, 50 years ago LGBTQ+ activists assembled in front of Silverlake’s Black Cat tavern to protest numerous incidents of police targeting local gay bars, where use of excessive force was a common occurrence, all hidden under the guise of upholding laws on “public lewdness.” An obvious infringement of human rights, the community had never stood up publicly against these injustices until concerned members of the community like Alexei Romanoff stepped up, organized and protested. Preceding the Stonewall Rebellion by two and a half years, hundreds came together and took to the streets of Los Angeles to protest as a community. What happened next was a series of protests which helped to propel the issue of gay rights in the United States.

    Photo: twitter.com

    Born in the Ukraine, Romanoff immigrated to the United States during War World II, moving to Los Angeles in 1958 where he became an active member of the city’s activist and leather communities. As his level of engagement increased, so did his arrest record for ‘civil disobedience’ in organizing protests against unfair police raids. Romanoff has founded several LGBTQ+ organizations, including the Santa Monica Bay Coalition for Human Rights and the Avatar Club of Los Angeles. At the height of the AIDS epidemic, Romanoff also fought long and hard for the funding of research and assistance programs as well as the rights of AIDS victims.

    “I have spent a majority of my life fighting for equality and standing up for the unalienable rights of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Romanoff, who will also be very active in this year’s #ResistMarch. “I have marched alongside the community in solidarity ever since the first LA Pride Parade 47 years ago, and will do so as long as I live.“

    Romanoff will be featured, along with many other local LGBTQ+ activists, in LA Pride’s 2017 ‘OWN YOUR PRIDE’ marketing campaign, launching today. “This year’s LA Pride experience will be different from what we’ve seen over the past few years,” says Chris Classen, CSW Board President. “So, our campaign needed to be different, too. We are committed to honoring our community’s rich history of activism by encouraging everyone to own their pride this year. Our choice for the 2017 LA Pride Grand Marshal was easy. Alexei is a renowned activist, a champion of human rights, a long-time LA Pride supporter, and our friend. He represents the very best of what our community stands for as well as what it can be.”

    Visit the ‘OWN YOUR PRIDE’ homepage to see the campaign video along with video vignettes of all those who participated in the campaign. ‘OWN YOUR PRIDE’ shines a spotlight on the people who are making a difference in the LGBTQ+ community every day. Share how you plan to ‘OWN YOUR PRIDE’ this year by using #OwnYourPride on social media.

    While 2017 marks the organization’s 47th anniversary, it also marks a pride season of change.   This year, Christopher Street West celebrates the right to demonstrate with #ResistMarch, an all-inclusive march that will take place on June 11th. The march begins at Hollywood & Vine and will work its way through the city, ending at West Hollywood Park where participants can continue celebrating at the LA Pride Festival.

    Chromeo, Photo: twitter.com

    The LA Pride Festival returns to West Hollywood park for two days of live entertainment and community programming on June 10th and 11th.  This year’s Main stage, renamed the Park Stage Presented by Blue Shield, will feature a collection of Pop artists including established and emerging talent.  Park Stage’s eclectic lineup will feature Weekend Headliners, Chromeo and Brandy. Single day and weekend passes are now on sale here.

    Brandy, Photo: twitter.com

    On Saturday, CHROMEO will thrill the LA Pride crowds with their electro-funk beats. Members Dave 1 and P-Thugg began creating music together in 2002 and have since released 4 albums. The duo is known for a unique mix of guitar, synth, and vocals to create their signature sound. The following night Brandy takes the stage as the evening’s headliner. The award-winning singer, songwriter, recording artist and actress will bring her R&B hits from the past and present to LA Pride.

    Also performing on LA Pride’s Park Stage presented by Blue Shield of California is a distinct collection of artists from openly queer performers to ones who openly celebrate our community, the Park Stage weekend lineup includes:  Young M.A, Erika Jayne, Brooke Candy, Kat Dahlia, Aaron Carter, ILOVEMAKONNEN, Spencer Ludwig, Starley, Tish Hyman, Leon Else, Connell Cruise, and Jesse Møntana.

    Erika Jayne, Photo: twitter.com

    “This is our 8th year producing LA Pride’s celebration, and I have to say that this is one of my favorite lineups of talent for the festival,” said Jeff Consoletti of JJLA. “This lineup is edgy, yet balanced with established hit-makers and, much like the community itself, is very progressive.  I think people will love how this year’s lineup will make for a fun weekend-long celebration of our community.”

    Latin, Hip Hop, and R&B lineups will also be announced in the coming days.

    A week-long celebration, LA Pride will host both free and ticketed events beginning on Monday, June 5th and continuing through Sunday, June 11th.  Key events include the annual LA Dodgers LGBT Night (in partnership with LA Pride) and other community events (to be announced soon) that will lead into the two-day Festival on Saturday and the #ResistMarch on Sunday.

    This year, the annual Parade is on hiatus as the organization transforms the experience into a Human Right’s March and Rally on June 11th at 8AM at the intersection of Hollywood and Highland, marking the very intersection where Christopher Street West, the organization overseeing LA Pride, began over 47 years ago.  The march is open to the public and will progress through LA’s streets until reaching West Hollywood Park on San Vicente and Santa Monica Boulevards.

    LA Pride Festival Tickets Now On Sale

    General Admission Weekend Pass: $35
    Single Day Tickets – General Admission $25
    Single Day Tickets for Veterans, Active Military, Seniors 65+, and Children 12 & Under with proper form of ID: $15 available at the box office day of.

    For venue details including ticketing, location specifics and more, go here.

    Twitter: @LAPride
    Instagram: @LAPride

    For more information on #ResistMarch, visit resistmarch.org.

    Tickets for the LA Pride Festival, where Chromeo and Brandy will be the weekend headliners, are now available for advance purchase. The full schedule of LA Pride Week events to be announced soon. For information on this year’s LA Pride events, visit lapride.org.


    Christopher Street West (CSW), a 501(c)3 non-profit, organized the world’s first permitted parade advocating for gay rights on June 28, 1970 as a response to and in commemoration of the Stonewall Rebellion on Christopher Street in New York City the year prior. Since then, we have built a rich history as an active voice for the LGBTQ+ community across the Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. And today, we continue to produce the LA Pride Parade and Festival every June in the City of West Hollywood. We also organize a number of events throughout the year with our non-profit, philanthropic, community, and corporate partners. Visit lapride.org for more information.


    The #Resist March includes people of every race, religion, philosophical belief, immigration status, gender and sexual orientation. Our human rights march is a peaceful declaration of resistance against forces that intend take away hard-won basic human rights. We resist forces that would divide us. We resist those who would take our liberty. We resist homophobia, xenophobia, sexism and racism. Join us at 8am in Los Angeles, on June 11 at the intersection of Hollywood and Highland prepared to march 3.2 miles peacefully. Bring your signs, your enthusiasm, your authentic selves and show up ready to march! We encourage larger groups to meet at a designated area of their choice and walk together. For updated information please visit resistmarch.org.


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    Marco Colantonio
    Marco Colantonio
    Marco Colantonio is recognized as one of the most dynamic, high-performance Realtors in the Los Angeles and Palm Springs luxury home real estate market. He is consistently ranked as a Top Producing Agent at Coldwell Banker Realty, Palm Springs. ([email protected])
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