From Frontiers LA:
Approximately 50 concerned residents attended a community forum on Wednesday, Oct. 30, in the West Hollywood Library to discuss ways to improve the long-troubled Christopher Street West/L.A. Pride. The forum—facilitated by the City of West Hollywood’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board (LGAB)—was overwhelmingly positive in tone, covered a wide range of areas of concern and even involved a considerable amount of praise for CSW.
The first of the night’s speakers—legendary lesbian artist and LGBT/women’s rights activist Ivy Bottini—outlined one of the primary themes for the evening when she decried the level of public drunkenness that accompanies the annual celebration. “Alcohol demeans us,” she said, “we are better than just a party.”
…some common points of contention were the $20 entry price, the quality of the entertainment for the festival and the selection of the grand marshal. Lucas John of the gossip blog WeHo Confidential suggested that due to a history of puzzling and irrelevant choices (i.e. Paris Hilton, Molly Ringwald and last year’s utterly forgettable honoree, Maria Menounos of Extra), selection of the grand marshal be taken out of the hands of CSW and be entrusted to the West Hollywood City Council. Another common refrain held that—nestled in the heart of the entertainment capital of the world as it is—Los Angeles Pride can and should be bringing in talent on the scale of Cher, who has performed at other Pride celebrations in the past.
As we get closer and closer to gaining full equality, I agree that our celebrations need to become more like festivals. Washington, DC’s Pride, in particular, has become more of a trade show block party vs. an entertainment venue. We should have more areas and activities to do than just the beer tent and the main stage. Business and organizations should work toward making there spaces something beyond just informational. Draw us to your booth with what activities and interactions you come up with, not just what you hope to sell us.