And your big honorees for L.A. Pride are… Magaret & Andy!!! LOOOOOVE them!
Pride Season is nearly here! As every good gay knows, every June brings a rainbow-filled Pride month, with celebrations from coast to coast celebrating the spirit of equality and LGBT pride that was launched officially at the Stonewall riots in New York City back in 1969. Expect parades, rallies, social events, dance parties, political moments and a focus on how far the LGBT community has come in the past 40+ years and on the new battles we’re still fighting (gay marriage, adoption rights, equal protection under the law, hate crimes).
And what’s Pride without a few boldfaced names to lend a bit of celebrity wattage to our annual proceedings. (Remember when Lady Gaga was new to us all and rocked San Francisco Pride wayyyyy back in 2008? Awww, monster memories…) Here’s a very early and quick rundown of who you can expect to see onstage at a festival or riding atop a convertible in big-time parades in three big-deal cities!
L.A. PRIDE, JUNE 12-14
One the earliest big Pride celebrations will take place in L.A. the weekend of June 12-14 and as would befit any celebration in the land of showbiz, expect names, names, NAMES!
First off, L.A. Pride has two fab gaytastic celebs selected as their big honorees this year. At the top of the heap is Margaret Cho, who’s being honored with L.A. Pride’s Morris Kight Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes an individual whose lifetime of work has left a lasting major imprint on the LGBT community. And who better than our community’s #1 champion, Ms. Cho. She’s a killer comedian, fab actress, major activist and a staunch humanitarian bringing laughter to the world, and especially the LGBT community, as she advocates for acceptance and equality.
Also up for big props in L.A. is Bravo-lebrity Andy Cohen, host of the channel’s “Watch What Happens Live” (and all those “Housewife” reunion specials). Cohen will receive the Person of the Year award, which is given annually to an individual who is continually involved in an important undertaking that makes a positive statement for the LGBT community as a whole. Well done, Andy!
Here’s a peek at some of the sassy talent hosting your Pride Fest in L.A.
Expect to see Cho and Cohen all over West Hollywood’s Pride festivities throughout the weekend. And they’re just the tip of the celeb iceberg at L.A. Pride. On Friday night, the big women’s event, The Purple Party, will feature a performance from music superstar Macy Gray. Then on Saturday and Sunday, the Pride Festival will feature a massive cavalcade of bigtime performes on its stages, including (get ready) as hosts Candis Cayne, Drew Droege as Chloe, Jessica & Hunter, Rhea Litre, Mr. Gay USA Eddie Rabon and others!
Music talent for L.A.’s Pride Fest will include (for starters) Cece Peniston, Prince Poppycock, Mya, Matt Morris, Our Lady J, Aimee Allen, the Perry Twins, and Sunday look out for pop diva Estelle, hottie Sam Sparro, Magaret Cho, Justin Utley, Kat Graham, TranzKontinental and lots more! For the full run-down visit LAPride.org.
And, some of your onstage musical talent for L.A.! Encore, encore!
TWIN CITIES PRIDE, JUNE 25 & 26
Pride is by no means limited to just coastal celebrations. All across the big fab U.S. you can march and party with likeminded and celebratory LGBT’ers and their friends and family. And of the biggest and best parties anywhere is Twin Cities Pride, which rocks Minneapolis/St. Paul the last weeked in June.
And yes, they’ve roped in some star quality talent to take the stage and thrill the masses. For their big Pride in Concert event on Saturday night at Loring Park, dance under the stars with queer rap/pop superstars God-dess and She, and then keep moving as the Billboard’s dance charttopper Kaci Battaglia gets things rolling. And finally, wrap up the Prideful night with pop legend Deborah Gibson, delivering her classic and hits from Broadway and beyond. And yes, there will be fireworks to cap off the night.
NEW YORK CITY PRIDE, JUNE 18-26
Yep, NYC is the big granddaddy of Pride. After all right back in 1969, this is where it all began. So it’s not surprising that every year the city is packed with starry fierce events popping up all around Pride. Even our run-of-the-mill local politicians marching in the parade are superstars (Bloomberg! Cuomo! The Clintons! Names, Sweetie, names!!). Dance parties are hosted by world-class DJs, any bar may be crammed for gay reality starlets, and even our clubkids are nationally known (Work, Amanda Lepore!)
So for our official slots of Pride Grand Marshal, Heritage of Pride tends to choose inspiring local talent or strong grass roots activist types at Grand Marshals for the big Pride March. This year it’s all about honoring journalist and rabble-rouser Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller for their work creating the life-saving “It Gets Better” campaign. Also, local activist legend Rev. Pat Bumgardner is honored for her lifetime of work for the community, and NYC’s flamboyant fundraisers, the Imperial Court of NY wil also be bearing the scepters of official Grand Marshals.
Who’s-who at NYC Pride? (Clockwise from top left) Oh Land, Terry Miller & Dan Savage, DJ Lina, DJ Ana Paula and your fab Pride Rally host Ross Mathews!
Also, this year Pride Week kicks off with the annual Pride Rally, held for the second year in a row at Summerstage in Central park. It’s on Sunday, June 18, hosted by TV personality Ross Mathews (Loooove him!) and indie-pop siren Oh Land will be headlining.
And lined up for Sunday’s legendary Dance on the Pier: Dance 25 (aka “the Pier Dance”) you’ll find international circuit superstar-DJ Ana Paula helming the decks. And she’s supported by opening DJs (and NYC legends Lina and Vito Fun. The children will be twirling!!! And as always, there’s the wide open possibility for a big special superstar performer. In year’s past, Jennifer Hudson, Jennifer Lopez, Whitney Houston and other mega-talents have surprised the mobs. Who might show up this year? Who can say? Get your ticket early (if dancing amond shirtless throngs is your thang) and find out!
Of course, no matter where you celebrate Pride – L.A., Minneapolis, NYC or in Peoria or Palm Beach – you’re the real star. Helleaux, Happy proud traveler! As Gaga would say, “Paws up!” And let your fierce freak flag fly!!!