Mission: To promote the goals of human rights,outreach and education and the equality of the lesbian, transgender, gay and bisexual community. Produce the los angeles lgbt pride event.
Programs: La pride celebration: the 46th annual la pride parade took place in the immediate aftermath of 49 people killed and 58 others wounded in a terrorist attack/hate crime inside pulse, a gay nightclub in orlando earlier that morning. In addition, james wesley howell was arrested in santa monica with three assault rifles, high capacity magazines, ammunition and a five-gallon bucket of chemicals. Santa monica police initially reported that howell informed officers of "wanting to harm gay pride event". These were two seismic events that rocked the nation and la's lgbtq+ community on june 12, 2016. La county sherriff, lapd, homeland security and many other contributing law enforcement agencies tirelessly worked together to ensure public safety. The subsequent parade took on a more somber tone than in years past and had fewer attendees than in previous years. In 2016, the grand marshal was los angeles community activist jewel thais williams.
la pride festival: csw works each year to make sure that the greater lgbt community and their allies have a festival experience that offers something for everyone. The la pride festival is an opportunity to come together in a safe, accepting environment that is both educational and celebratory. Many attendees come from outside the la area, rural communities, and this is their one chance each year to be more of themselves while dancing, meeting friends and listening to great stage performancesmany of the nonprofit community partners, some with no marketing budget, are able to provide vital information to the community at large on topics that include equal rights, healthcare, hiv/aids prevention, and protections for youth and support services for lgbt seniors. Our nonprofit partners were also able to meet potential donors and volunteers. Csw elected to move to a 3-day festival model in 2016. While most of our infrastructure costs remained flat year over year, our talent budget was expanded by 33% in order to accommodate an extra day of performances. Unfortunately, due to several unfortunate incidents occurring on june 12, the festival saw a significant attendance drop on parade sunday resulting in a significant decrease in box office revenue when compared to the previous year.
la pride outreach & education: throughout the year, csw uses its active and engaged social media platforms to share vital information on issues such as education on transgender issues, hiv/aids prevention, healthcare opportunities, social services programs, bullying and more. Additionally, csw uses its growing email database to share vital information on issues that affect the lgbt community negatively such as laws being passed in other states that are harmful to the community.
This is an outstanding group of individuals that come together each year to bring about the best Los Angeles Pride season possible and somehow outdo themselves consistently. Every board member or volunteer I have come across has been excellent and kind to me. For full disclosure's sake, I was the honoree for outstanding youth leadership in 2009 and our relationship has held steady. To this day, I am still in touch with some of the members on a personal level and continue to give back when I can by being a parade judge, writing mini blogs about youth or just rounding up people to go in general. Even better than being an honoree, I was brought back next year to their special honoree brunch event and found out that because of my identifying as genderqueer, (in terms of gender) it inspired them to help make LA pride more inclusive. Traditionally, they had both a man and woman of the year, but realized that when they started to learn about different gender identities, they were not being inclusive and thus changed it to the person of the year award. They cared so much about my well-being and feeling included and would apologize if an event (as there are several) did not have a gender-neutral/unisex/family restroom for me to use. This meant more to me than the award itself (and that meant a lot!) and how they continue to tell the story about the change. Even with all of the faces they meet and all of the events they pull off, they still remember me and include me when possible. This organization has nothing but the best of intentions and I can't wait to celebrate more prides with them! I cannot say a bad thing about them as a whole because they do so much for our community and keep getting better :) Thank you, CSW!!!!!! You are much needed in our community!!!!!