“So what are you wearing to the Resist March for LA Pride?” I asked him nonchalantly.
“I have no interest in going to that crap.” He responded, curtly. “I don’t want to attend an anti-Trump protest. I think they’re stupid. People who go to those things are just being haters.”
“But the Resist March is not an anti-Trump protest,” I responded through clenched teeth and a thin smile frozen on my face. “It’s a march for human rights. LA Pride is going back to its roots and marching for equality for everyone. That includes members of the Republican Party who embrace human rights.”
“They can call it whatever they like,” he said tightly. “If it’s a protest march or resistance march or whatever, people are going to turn into an anti-Trump march. I don’t like Trump but he is our new president. People need to get over it. He is doing the best that he can and it sucks that we’re using our pride celebration to protest his presidency.”
This guy is 24 years old. He’s one of the pretty gays. He’s bright. He’s white. He can’t afford to live in WeHo, but he works and plays in the heart of Boystown. I like him, but when he told me he wasn’t marching at this year’s historical #ResistMarch because he doesn’t want to be a Trump hater, I wanted to bury my claws into his small shoulders and give him a hard shake to try to rattle some sense into him.
I could’ve ripped this young clueless gay a new one, but I retracted the claws. This last election already cost me a number of friendships. I already blocked a few family members from my FB feed—not to mention the random acquaintances who are now my mortal enemies because our politics do not align. At some point, something’s got to give. We need to get over our bullshit and form some kind of unity.
So here’s the deal: This year’s LA Pride #ResistMarch is happening. We are 47 days away as of the publishing of this here post and we all need to get on the same page. We need to get our allies, families and friends to join us on June 11. We are meeting at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue at 8:00 a.m. sharp. We are pounding the pavement for 3.1 miles to Santa Monica and San Vicente Boulevard at the gates of the LA Pride festival in what little is left of West Hollywood Park.
Here’s another deal: The LA Pride parade is not happening this year (sorry/not sorry). There is no chicken on the menu, there was no Bernie on the ballot and there’s no LA Pride parade this year. I understand that some people would rather have their parade. I know people are upset. Some people don’t feel they are being represented or heard.
There are conspiracy theories that the big bad West Hollywood City Council is trying to push LA Pride out of WeHo because it’s a real money pit. But resisting the #ResistMarch, threatening to boycott it and plastering signage all over WeHo demanding that the city #ReturnOurParade, is not going to make the parade happen. That ship has sailed.
We have the perfect opportunity to organize the grandest, gayest LA Pride parade next year. This year, we’re having a #ResistMarch instead, followed by the LA Pride festival for those who simply must celebrate their gayness during pride weekend.
At some point we need to compromise. We need to get along and work together. If we don’t get over our differences and build some form of unity, we’re looking at eight whole years of anti-Trump marches… which the #ResistMarch is not.
I spoke to activist and Christopher Street West board member Brian Pendleton recently and he was clear that the #ResistMarch is not an anti-Trump march. He said it wasn’t anti-anything. It’s a march for unity and for human rights — not just for LGBTQ+ people, but for everyone—regardless of sex or sexual identity, and whether they’re immigrants, people of different colors, races, or religions. He’s not interested in being more divisive with an anti-Trump agenda.
Personally, I think if we’re ever going to have this kind of march, this is the year to do it. Last year the LA Pride Parade and Festival was on as scheduled only hours after 49 of our own were murdered in cold blood at Pulse Nightclub. Our hearts hurt, but we showed up and we celebrated our Pride with pride and then mourned our dead the following day. It makes perfect sense to have a #ResistMarch a year after Orlando. It just feels right to skip the parade this one time.
Yet people like the guy I mentioned earlier are confused about the purpose of #ResistMarch, despite the tireless work from organizers, planning committees and volunteers who are organizing this event. Something is getting lost in translation. Too many people don’t know what’s happening, when it’s happening or why. We need to do more outreach. The City of West Hollywood needs to promote this march as if the WeHo Halloween Carnival was coming to town. Everyone should be in the know at this point.
The #ResistMarch is happening people. Get ready. It’s all going down in a month and a half. I don’t care what you wear. Show up with anti-Trump signs, in a tutu, on stilts, in a speedo, in a three-piece suit, or in a costume that looks like a parade float if you simply must be a gay on parade. We just need to make sure that we show up and bring a group of friends with us because that’s how we do it. We show up in a massive way and show the world that we can get past our differences and gather as a community of LGBTQ+ people and our allies to march for all human rights. That’s a good fucking deal.