STUDIO CITY (CBSLA.com) —A local gay activist says it’s time for the LGBTQ community to turn its Pride Parade into a march.
“What’s really exciting about this moment in time is the diversity of people who are reaching out to us,” says activist Brian Pendleton.
He spoke to CBS2’s Tom Wait about his desire to advance the gay rights movement in LA, and around the country.
Pendleton spent years raising over a billion dollars for nonprofits – now his focus is the LGBT community.
“I’m not going to be the face of this movement. The face of this movement is going to be people of color, transgender people, lesbians and people we’ve never seen before,” Pendleton says.
His s first move — changing LA’s gay pride from a parade, to a march. The campaign has already attracted more than 20,000 supporters on social media. Pendleton says the changing political environment is his motivation.
“People who for the last eight years have finally felt that it was safe to come out of the closet. They’re out of the closet and we are so determined to not let the rug be pulled out from under them,” Pendleton says.
There are fears in the gay community that President Trump will erode the progress made for gay and transgender rights under President Obama — Trump stated as much in his campaign rhetoric. But Trump surprised some already by keeping in place a non-discrimination order meant to protect gays and transgender folks working in or with the federal government.
Pendleton says his new movement is meant to keep watch on everyone in power.
“The reason we’re marching is – it feels different. A parade feels like a celebration and it’s always really fun and we go every year. Quite frankly I want all those people on the sidewalks to get in the streets with us,” Pendleton said.