First published in the Oct. 16 print issue of the Glendale News Press.
The snacks and rainbow wristbands, face masks and flags were nice, but the good company was most likely better.
A few dozen local residents enjoyed an early evening at Adams Square Mini Park on Monday, where together — young or old, member or ally, out or perhaps not quite — they observed National Coming Out Day, in the glow of the Diversity Tree exhibit from the Gas Station display space. Attendees used the moment to catch up, introduce themselves or simply relax in the company of their community, the LGBTQIA community. Continue reading “National Coming Out Day Inspires Local Support”
After observing Pride Month with enjoyment and putting aside the disappointment of last year’s pandemic-caused festival cancellation, glendaleOUT — the city’s grassroots LGBTQIA organization — is setting its sights on what happens the rest of the year.
The organization and its members had a busy June. They staged a number of “pop-ups” outside of the Glendale Galleria, where passersby could show support or inquire about the group and its cause. In conjunction with the city’s Library, Arts and Culture Department, it produced a number of presentations and videos in observance of the month. The organization, using its “fairy ambassadors,” made contact with a number of businesses and entities to build a network of support. And on the anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, Dave’s on Broadway hosted the group and an LGBTQIA audience for the first in what could become a series of weekly gatherings.
As he took note of the massive protests forming in the Los Angeles area, Spencer Carney knew he had a decision to make.
The protests joined countless others throughout the nation and world, all to call out systemic racism and policy brutality after George Floyd was arrested in Minneapolis and died after one of the four arresting officers knelt on his back and neck for nearly nine minutes. But, Carney noted, they also ran contrary to social distancing widely adopted to help curb COVID-19, a disease of particular threat to senior citizens such as those who occupy most of the Glendale resident’s apartment building.
“The idea of going out to a protest and exposing myself to people not practicing social distancing or wearing a mask represented a conflict,” he said. “It was difficult for me to brainstorm these things, because in the past, I was always that guy who would go out and protest. I’ve been to the last two Women’s Marches. I went to USC and helped start One for All, which is a social justice theater troupe.”
Having attended various Pride events in years past, Carney also took note of the All Black Lives Matter march in Hollywood last weekend, which called attention to the adversity faced by black members of the LGBTQIA community and took place in lieu of the canceled Pride Parade. Continue reading “Activist’s Effort Was Solitary, but Now There’s Solidarity”
June is officially Pride Month for Glendale, and the city will formally promote the virtual event that takes the place of what would have been the city’s first pride festival.
The City Council officially made the proclamation this week after signaling its intent to do so earlier this month in time for the virtual event. Councilman Dan Brotman, who made the initial push for the proclamation, read the item aloud at Tuesday’s meeting. As part of the observance, City Hall will be lit in pride colors to show support to the city’s LGBTQIA-plus community.
“Though Glendale’s first-ever Pride Festival was forced to cancel due to COVID-19, we invite everyone to support the community by coming to see our light display in front of City Hall and by participating in their reimagined e-event, ‘Glendale Pride Because,’” Brotman said.
Participants in the virtual event are invited to use the hashtag #GlendalePrideBecause in their applicable Instagram posts on May 30-31, “whether it’s a performance, drag, music, comedy, spoken word or just a bit of shared thoughts,” according to the Glendale Pride organization. The group also is collecting content using Flipgrid, which can be accessed on its website at glendalepride.org.
The original event, which was to have been at Central Park on May 30, would have provided food, music and other entertainment for guests and would have included a kid-oriented space to complement the rest of the family-friendly celebration. City officials got the ball rolling under direction of then-Mayor Ara Najarian.
Other organizations involved in planning the event include GlendaleOUT, the Gay and Lesbian Armenian Society, Equality Armenia and Revry.
“We have a great group of friends and allies who are helping us out through all of this, including the entire Glendale City Council, and we’re very thankful for that,” Grey James, one of Glendale Pride’s organizers, told the council on Tuesday.
Council members voiced their support at this week’s meeting.
“I’m so sorry that we didn’t get to move forward with your huge festival,” Councilwoman Paula Devine said, “because I know it would have been great and a lot of fun and great education for our community, but we’ll do it for real next year.”
Councilman Ardy Kassakhian quoted Harvey Milk, the gay rights icon who was assassinated 11 months after his election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1978: “It takes no compromise to give people rights and it takes no money to respect the individual.”
“Ultimately we need to strive for a society where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, regardless of who they are and who they love,” Kassakhian added Tuesday. “I know that this is a modest gesture by the council, but I hope it will go some ways to assuring our citizens that every single one of them adds value to our city.”
Glendale Pride will keep its May 30 debut date with a cyber celebration and online campaign. The organizers of the namesake pride festival will kick-off the 2020 pride season with a comprehensive cyber celebration and online campaign, featuring the social media hashtag #GlendalePrideBecause
“Coalescing the queer community in Glendale is a relatively recent undertaking,” said Grey James of GlendaleOut. “This was poised to be ours and Glendale’s first festival style Pride event, a very big deal for this town. It generated an unanticipated amount of buzz and interest, and such an amazing cross-section of people came together for it. Continue reading “Glendale Pride Holding Cyber Festival Event”
In the absence of what would have been Glendale’s first-ever pride fest, the City Council may vote in the future to designate June as the city’s pride month and emblazon City Hall with rainbow lighting in observance of it.
Councilman Dan Brotman brought forth the motion to consider the designation at this week’s meeting, and Councilwoman Paula Devine joined him by seconding it. Brotman said he had previously spoken with the organizations — including glendaleOUT, Equality Armenia and the Gay and Lesbian Armenian Society — which were planning the pride fest. Continue reading “City to Consider Pride Support in Lieu of Festival”