WEST HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — The L.A. Pride Parade kicked off Sunday in West Hollywood, with thousands marching in the streets in support of the LGBT community.
Approximately 400,000 spectators and marchers participated in the annual event, which got underway at 11 a.m. at Crescent Heights and Santa Monica Boulevards.
The march continued westbound along Santa Monica and ended at Robertson Boulevard around 2 p.m., with Santa Monica re-opened to traffic shortly thereafter.
— Greg Mills (@GregMillsTVNews) June 14, 2015
At noon, participants joined for a moment of silence to remember those “who who have sacrificed their lives in service of the Pride Movement,” stated a spokesperson for Christopher Street West Association, the non-profit that organizes the event.
“There is so much we can accomplish through this action of peaceful protest to remember those who are no longer with us, or cannot be here today, to celebrate those that fought for Pride and the freedoms we now enjoy and to think of those who cannot celebrate Pride and remain oppressed,” a statement on the CSW’s website read, noting there remains “so much more to be accomplished.”
The day wasn’t a solemn one, however, with marchers encouraged to “whoop, holler, and yell so loud that we are heard all the way to the Capitol, to let the world know that we demand equal rights…”
Several performers were also on hand to celebrate, including Maceo Paisley, Sean Van Der Wilt, Luciana, Dina Nina Martinez, Becky G, Peter Paige, Ty Herndon, Eden XO, Fifth Harmony and Who is Fancy.
CBS2/KCAL9’s Greg Mills reported the huge crowd was clearly “enjoying the fun,” as he watched floats pass by with participants dancing in colorful clothing and waving LGBT pride flags, a group marching not far behind displaying signs in support of LGBT rights.
He spoke to many parade observers and participants.
“It’s amazing, it’s fun,” said Derek Keleka who wore nothing but a smile and rainbow colored tighty-whities.
Mills asked David Mateo if he was in the parade to which he replied, “No, I wasn’t, but I am a parade, darling!”
Lawyer Gloria Allred was there rocking out with “The Supremes” (not the real Supreme Court justices, but close enough.) She was there with two nurses from Michigan — Jan and April — hoping the Supreme Court will make same-sex marriage the law of the land. Jan and April also hope to adopt five special needs children and they will be unable to do so in Michigan unless they are legally married.
He spoke to one man who said the West Hollywood Pride Parade is by far the country’s best.
“I’ve been to [parades] Long Beach, Miami, the Twin Cities,” Gurkan Nadier said, “LA is everything.”
Stars of the upcoming male stripper-themed “Magic Mike XXL” — Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer and Adam Rodriguez — appeared on a float (with clothes on) while a half-dozen group of mostly shirtless men gyrated and promoted the movie.
Celebrations were scheduled to continue into the evening.
For additional details about Sunday’s L.A. Pride Parade and other events, visit LAPride.org.