Updating and Alienating: Is Gay Pride in L.A. in Midlife Crisis?


Just forty-five years old, Los Angeles’ gay pride event is finding itself in an identity crisis. Now held in West Hollywood, it is not just a parade; it’s a multi-day festival celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. But increased ticket prices and recent attempts to “rebrand” more prominently as a music festival to appeal to millennials have resulted in protests and boycotts from portions of its community who don’t like what the event has turned into and what it has left behind as emphases. Protesters are calling the remade event “gay Coachella,” and have organized themselves under the hashtag #NotOurPride.

According to The Pride, organizers Christopher Street West (named for the site of New York’s historic Stonewall Inn) will, for space reasons, eliminate small business booth vendors, limit the number of nonprofit groups that can sponsor outreach booths, reorganize the transgender march and “dyke march” portions of the event, and relocate or eliminate other non-music-related programs the festival normally offers.

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