Here it is: the ever-anticipated, SoCal PRIDE events calendar! I have listed the major Pride events that I am aware of taking place this week in Long Beach and Orange County.

It’s time to be together; time to celebrate those who have gone before us and those who continue to fight for our right to love each other in peace. There will be parties, laughter, theater, music, roller-coasters, and a parade! There will be activism, organization, and much rebel-rousing, but, most importantly, there will be community. So blow off the bad economy, and come out to as many of these events as you can pack into your (possibly jobless) schedule. You will be glad you did.

LONG BEACH:

QFilm-logo-2009-150

May 8-10:  Seriously, if you have not yet taken in a film at this weekend’s festival, you are missing out. Screening in Long Beach’s famous Art Theater, which is worth seeing in and of itself, the festival packs a huge punch in a short weekend. Tomorrow is the last day, and it promises great things, including several features, documentaries, Q&A with directors, a special panel with CLEVE JONES, a closing party, and a night with Nikki Coldwater.  At $12-$15 per event, these film prices can’t be beat. Did I mention the Art Theater has a wine bar? Check out the event lineup here.

tinkle_ad

May 14: The Laugh Factory in Downtown Long Beach presents: Laugh ‘Till You Tinkle staring Christine O’ Leary, Carlease, Jason Stuart, Lynda Montgomery, and your Host for the evening Sandy Seacrest. The show starts at 7:45, and tickets are $20 plus a two drink minimum. Tickets may be purchased online in advance at the Laugh Factory website.

May 15: Free Concert at Bixby Park: Bring your chairs and a picnic basket to enjoy this family friendly evening of inspirational music held at Bixby Park. Performing live: Marvin Matthews, Shawn Thomas, Praising Hands, Kim Yarbrough, South Coast Chorale. Bixby Park is located on Ocean Avenue between Junipero and Cherry. The concert starts at 6 pm.

pink_party_ad_pride_guide_cropped_400May 15: 2nd Annual Long Beach Pink Party: Long Beach Downtown Association helps to kick off PRIDE weekend by throwing a huge party right on Pine Avenue! Hosted by famed drag performer, Jewels Long Beach, the Pink Party lineup includes: Comedian, Alec Mapa, of ABC’s Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives, Long Beach Drag Diva 2009 contest, and a few surprise special guests.  Live music will fill the streets with special guest DJs spinning on stage and a dance floor in the street. Plus, the newly-installed LED lighting throughout Downtown and along Pine Avenue will turn pink!

The official party goes from 7-11 pm on Pine Street between Broadway and 3rd Street. Plus, there is a price point for every pocketbook! Your options are:
Voluntary Donation: $10
Pink Pass: $20 (includes food and drink specials at participating restaurants)
VIP: $100 or more (includes food and drink specials and VIP tent access)
Broke as a Joke but Here for the Free Music: Priceless.

The Pink Party raises money for the Center Long Beach’s Mentoring Youth Through Empowerment (MYTE) Program, which serves Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth between the ages of 13-18.

LongBeachPride2009

May 16 & 17: Long Beach PRIDE Festival: For $20/day, you can party with around 80,000 LGBTQI & Allies from 11 in the morning until 10 at night! Long Beach’s Pride Festival is one of the biggest in the country, and, in my opinion, it’s one of the best. The festival features almost as many dance tents as there are radio stations in LA, plus a main stage featuring headliners such as Smash Mouth, Jazmine Sullivan, Sara Bareilles, and Kat DeLuna. Click here for the complete entertainment lineup.

The best part of the PRIDE weekend, in my opinion, is the PARADE! Always on Sunday morning, the parade kicks of around 10:30 am at Temple Avenue and Ocean Blvd. and continues along Ocean until it reaches the festival entrance at Alamitos. Grand Marshall, this year, will be newly married, long-time activists Robin Tyler and Diane Olsen–of course, their marriage comes after 15 years together and almost as many years fighting with the state of California for recognition of their relationship.  These fabulous women were the original plaintiffs in what became known as the In re Marriage Cases, which led to the overturning of the state ban on recognition of gay and lesbian marriages. As if that isn’t enough, Political Grand Marshall is San Francisco Mayor and California Gubernatorial candidate, Gavin Newsome. Yes, that means Mr. Newsome will be at the parade.

The parade also features floats from over 200 community organizations. This usually includes LGBT police officers, fire fighters, active military service members, local churches, advocacy groups, and gay and lesbian owned and frequented businesses. Early risers are rewarded at Parade Central, where the music and entertainment start at 9:30 am.

Also this weekend, the Long Beach Playhouse is featuring Lanford Wilson’s “Fifth of July” about a gay Vietnam vet. You will get a $3 discount on tickets using the word “pride.” Also being featured is “Patti’s Place.” Written and directed by Long Beach’s own Debbie Rivas and produced by Long Beach famous gpromotion, this play is an interactive comedy presented in one act. It will be staged at 10 pm on Friday and Saturday and 4 pm on Sunday…and, IT”S FREE!!!!

May 19: PRIDE Late Night at the Aquarium of the Pacific – if you have not been to the Aquarium at night, you are really missing out. This event, thrown by the aquarium to celebrate PRIDE week in Long Beach, includes aquarium exhibits and activities, a no host cocktail lounge, and a queer scanvenger hunt! From 5 pm- 9 pm on Tuesday night, adults pay the children’s price of $11.95.

So there you have it, my pretties. Feel free to add to the list in the comments. I look forward to seeing you all there. HAPPY PRIDE!!!

article_gay_pride

Advertisements

Last night, Lt. Dan Choi spoke to Rachel Maddow about his impending dismissal from the Army National Guard because he is gay. Lt. Choi told Maddow that he “intend(s) fully to fight it tooth and nail.”

. Picture 2
Lt. Choi is currently residing in Orange County, CA. He is a part of Men Alive, the gay men’s chorus, and a member of the Orange County Equality Coalition (OCEC), which is a newly formed OC organization dedicated to furthering equal rights for LGBT people. Lt. Choi participated in protests in Orange County against the passing of Proposition 8, which removed constitutional equal protection for gay and lesbian people. Lt. Choi also heads the organization, Knights Out, a group of LGBT graduates of the highly prestigious, US Military Academy, West Point.

In response to the news of Choi’s dismissal, OCEC mobilized a group of 50-60 protesters to assemble on the foot bridge between UC Irvine and University Center–where there is a military recruiting office (numbers per media reports and protester accounts). The protesters received gratitude during the protest from Choi, himself, via speakerphone.

The protests were covered by the OC Register and the Daily Pilot.

Picture 1

Dan Choi, a Westpoint grad with a degree in Arabic who served an extended tour in Iraq, came out as gay on the Rachel Maddow show a few months ago. He will be on again tonight to discuss his release from the military.The Orange County Equality Coalition, of which Choi is a member, will be hosting a protest at the Military Recruiting office at UC Irvine today at 2 pm.

The full story is here. The protest info is here.

Gay Marriage Congress

What are these white kids from Dallas doing in Washington DC, getting married to protest marriage? wtf.

Gay Marriage Congress

She will always remember it as the happiest day of her life…..

Gay Marriage New England

In his own words, via The Huffington Post:

“I have followed closely the debate on this issue. I have listened to both sides, as they have presented their arguments during the public hearing and on the floor of the Maine Senate and the House of Representatives. I have read many of the notes and letters sent to my office, and I have weighed my decision carefully,” Governor Baldacci said. “I did not come to this decision lightly or in haste.”

“I appreciate the tone brought to this debate by both sides of the issue,” Governor Baldacci said. “This is an emotional issue that touches deeply many of our most important ideals and traditions. There are good, earnest and honest people on both sides of the question.”

“In the past, I opposed gay marriage while supporting the idea of civil unions,” Governor Baldacci said. “I have come to believe that this is a question of fairness and of equal protection under the law, and that a civil union is not equal to civil marriage.”

“Article I in the Maine Constitution states that ‘no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor be denied the equal protection of the laws, nor be denied the enjoyment of that person’s civil rights or be discriminated against.'”

“This new law does not force any religion to recognize a marriage that falls outside of its beliefs. It does not require the church to perform any ceremony with which it disagrees. Instead, it reaffirms the separation of Church and State,” Governor Baldacci said.

“It guarantees that Maine citizens will be treated equally under Maine’s civil marriage laws, and that is the responsibility of government.”

“Even as I sign this important legislation into law, I recognize that this may not be the final word,” Governor Baldacci said. “Just as the Maine Constitution demands that all people are treated equally under the law, it also guarantees that the ultimate political power in the State belongs to the people.”

“While the good and just people of Maine may determine this issue, my responsibility is to uphold the Constitution and do, as best as possible, what is right. I believe that signing this legislation is the right thing to do,” Governor Baldacci said.

Congratulations, Maine.

Gay Marriage Maine