I don’t know where the time goes, but it’s June 1st 2014, which means that it’s officially LGBT Gay Pride month. The gay community has a lot to be proud of, and much to celebrate this month, so don we now our gay apparel, and really live out loud this month! Stand up and be counted, and support your LGBT community, because that ensures that our voices will continue to be heard far and wide.
LGBT Pride June 2014
President Barack Obama made his annual Proclamation that June 2014 is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. In the proclamation the President asked all Americans to continue to work for full equality for all.
The Presidential Proclamation reads in part:
As progress spreads from State to State, as justice is delivered in the courtroom, and as more of our fellow Americans are treated with dignity and respect -- our Nation becomes not only more accepting, but more equal as well. During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, we celebrate victories that have affirmed freedom and fairness, and we recommit ourselves to completing the work that remains.
This month, as we mark 45 years since the patrons of the Stonewall Inn defied an unjust policy and awakened a nascent movement, let us honor every brave leader who stood up, sat in, and came out, as well as the allies who supported them along the way. Following their example, let each of us speak for tolerance, justice, and dignity -- because if hearts and minds continue to change over time, laws will too.
Let each of us speak for tolerance, justice and dignity. Many of us try to do that every day, and that’s why we are celebrating LGBTQ Pride this month.
Read about the Pride celebrations in New Jersey, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Salt Lake City, Detroit, Youngstown, and Charleston by clicking “Read More”
New Jersey Pride
Everybody loves a parade and festival, and first up this month is New Jersey’s celebration in Asbury Park. This will be the 23rd edition of “Jersey Pride,” and the parade begins today at 12 noon sharp.
In the Daily Record, reporter Alex Biese writes about New Jersey’s LGBT Pride festivities:
For more than 20 years, through thick and thin, members of New Jersey’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community have converged on Asbury Park for life-affirming displays of pride.
This weekend marks the first Pride festival since the New Jersey Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex marriages to begin in the state last October.
Thanks to a May 20 court decision, Pennsylvania became the 19th state, in addition to the District of Columbia, to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.
"I’ve been involved since the beginning, and you can’t help but reflect back on what’s happened in the past year and what’s happened since the beginning, when we first started,” said Jersey Pride president Laura Pople of Jackson. “This past year in particular, with marriage equality coming to New Jersey and marriage equality now filling New England and the mid-Atlantic states with the Pennsylvania ruling, we’ve come so far.”
“When you think back to where we were 23 years ago, it’s humbling and exciting,” Pople added.
Pride Festivals and Parades are in full swing in cities across the country next weekend.
Los Angeles, California Pride
One of the biggest LGBT Pride festivals in the country, L.A. Pride, begins on Friday June 6th in Los Angeles/West Hollywood, and culminates with a big parade on Santa Monica Boulevard Sunday June 8th at 11am.
L.A. Pride is huge, and from my personal experience attending the festival and parade for many years, it’s great fun. The three day festival in West Hollywood Park has something for everyone, and this year will be no different.
On Friday June 6th, singers Mary Lambert and Betty Who will kick off L.A. Pride at the event Lavender Menace, A Free Friday Celebration Of Women, in West Hollywood Park. Lambert, best known as the powerful female voice on Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love,” headlines for the annual free event honoring women. Australian pop superstar Betty Who makes her pride debut with her hit “Somebody Loves You.” The song shot to popularity after being used in a same gender wedding proposal filmed at Home Depot.
On Saturday June 7th, the one and only Jennifer Hudson will be the headliner. Yowza that’s great. And on Sunday the 8th, Danity Kane (who knew they were back together?), The Bangles, Demi Lovato, and one of my all time favorite vocalists, Deborah Cox, will be appearing.
L.A. Pride made a special announcement about their Grand Marshal for the 2014 Pride Parade:
In honor of the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, two of the largest Pride events in the world— LA PRIDE and NYC PRIDE—have joined forces to announce the participation of one of the biggest names in Hollywood in this year’s LGBT Pride celebrations, Demi Lovato. On June 8th, the multi-platinum selling recording artist will join the LA PRIDE Parade as Grand Marshal and her participation will include a special performance. On June 29, Lovato will head east to headline perform at NYC Pride’s legendary Dance on the Pier on Pier 26 in Tribeca.
"It’s such an honor to be a part of both LA and NYC PRIDE celebrations this year,” says Lovato. “I have been an active advocate of the LGBT community and am wholly committed to supporting individuality and being comfortable in one’s own skin. I am thrilled to be a part of both events as they are a wonderful celebration of independence and self-confidence.”
Milwaukee, Wisconsin Pride
“Pridefest Milwaukee’s 3 day celebration starts on Friday June 6th, and their Pride Parade takes place on Sunday June 8th.
Pridefest Milwaukee has an impressive lineup of entertainment on tap during their festival, and they claim that they are the “nation’s largest showcase of LGBT talent.” On Friday June 6th, there’s a Cher and Cyndi Lauper concert at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Other headline acts include Sandra Bernhard, Macy Gray, Bruce Vilanch, Chad Michaels, Lisa Lampanelli, Mary Lambert, Big Freedia, and the gay country music sensation Steve Grand (pictured below when he was a model working as “Steve Chatham”).
Over the three-day weekend, these headliners will be joined by nearly 100 national, regional and local performers on eight stages throughout the festival grounds.
“We truly believe PrideFest Milwaukee offers something for every visitor,” said Kate Sherry, festival co-producer. “This year, we’re thrilled to host a dynamic mix of musical, comedy, and drag performances that reflects the diversity of LGBT culture and community. We’re honored to have access to such stunning talent — and our showcase continues to grow every day.”
Milwaukee’s PrideFest sounds like a winner!
Salt Lake City, Utah Pride
Utah’s Pride Festival at Washington Square in Salt Lake City spans four days, from June 5th to June 8th. The theme this year is “Love Equals Love.”
“2014 will be a pivotal year for the LGBTQ movement,” said Megan Risbon, Director of Events for the Utah Pride Center. “We want Utahans to know that love doesn’t discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity. ‘Love Equals Love’ also means we must love and accept ourselves to be truly whole.”
On Saturday June 7th, singer Betty Who will be the headliner (jetting in from Los Angeles after her Friday gig). Country singing sensation Steve Grand will be having a very busy weekend too, because he’s performing in Salt Lake City on Sunday after performing in Milwaukee the day before. The parade kicks off Sunday June 8th at 10am.
Detroit, Michigan, Youngstown, Ohio and Charleston, West Virginia Pride Festivals
The city of Detroit celebrates “Motor City Pride” with a two day festival on June 7th and 8th, and their parade starts on Sunday at 11:00am. The inimitable, and amazing singer Andy Bell (Erasure) will be headlining the festival on Saturday, and legendary singer Natalie Cole is the master of ceremonies on Sunday.
In Youngstown, Ohio the 6th Annual Youngstown Gay Pride Festival and Parade is being held on Saturday June 6th.
On Sunday June 8th, Rainbow Pride of West Virginia will hold their Pride Festival and Parade in Charleston, at Haddad Riverside Park. The parade begins at 1:30pm.
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