L.A.'s gay community isn't going to let a little setback like mean ol' Proposition 8 spoil the party. And what a party the Los Angeles LGBT Pride Festival is. Here's a handy guide that'll fit in the hip pocket of your shorty shorts, or whatever you're planning to wear. (Do leather chaps have pockets?) And we know you've already planned your outfit. First thing's first: Tickets for the two-day festival are cheaper if you buy them online — so do that while your curlers are setting.
The weekend kicks off with Dyke March Rally & Lesbian Visibility After Hours Party . After a presentation of the Third Annual Melissa Etheridge Award, vaginarians and their pals will take to the streets to celebrate all things lesbian. Well, maybe not all things. The march ends at a free party with live music, held on the festival grounds. Starts at intersection of Santa Monica & San Vicente blvds., W. Hlywd.; Fri., June 12, 7:30 p.m.; free. www.weholvc.org.
Is it really necessary to have four separate dance areas for the L.A. Pride Festival ? Apparently, it is. You have your choice of the country, Latin, soul and “circuit” pavilions. That's in addition to the big entertainment stage. Please wear a fabric that breathes, because you are going to be one sweaty dance maniac. Take a break at “Erotic City,” site of the Mr. Christopher Street West Leather Contest, where you can buy items you may need later. Families can gather at the tropical rainforest–themed David Gamboa-Brandhorst Children's Garden (named for the L.A. boy who died with his two dads on September 11), for a moon bounce, crafts and snacks. The main stage features a slew of singers. Fantasia and Deborah Cox headline on Saturday. And on Sunday, it's Terri Nunn & Berlin. We can only imagine the undulating flesh when the band kicks into “Sex (I'm A …).”
Festival organizers promise a surprise act to finish off the weekend. Could it be Liza? Could it? Two entrances: San Vicente Blvd. at both Santa Monica Blvd. and Melrose Ave.; Sat., June 13, noon-mid., Sun., June 14, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; $20, $15 in advance, children under 12 free. (323) 969-8302 or lapride.org.
Sunday morning, it's the 2009 L.A. Frontrunners Run/Walk for LGBT Pride , with 5K and 10K runs, as well as a 5K Race Walk, the annual Kids' Race and the Ultra Pride Run. If those are too strenuous, come out and cheer them on. Proceeds benefit Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing. Starting line at West Hollywood City Hall, 8300 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Sun., June 14, 7:45 a.m. (5K); 8:15 a.m. (10K); 9:30 a.m. (Kids' Race). To register: www.lafrontrunners.com.
WeHo's Halloween street procession may have more false eyelashes and glitter, but the L.A. Pride Parade should be a raucous and emotional display. More than 400,000 people are expected to cheer on representatives of the LGBT community “on behalf of legal equality and social acceptance for all members of the human race.” This year's grand marshal is Chelsea Handler, who once said, “I have no idea why gay men love me, but I would have to assume it's because they know how much I love the gays! Everyone needs a good gay man in their life.” Santa Monica Blvd., from Crescent Heights Blvd. to the main entrance of the L.A. Pride Festival at San Vicente Blvd., W. Hlywd.; 11 a.m.; free.

June 12-14, 2009

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