Monday, June 11, 2012

Joining in the L.A. Parade with Pride...

This year instead of simply standing on the sidelines I decided to join my fellow Team to End AIDS runners and walk with AIDS Project L.A., the charity we run marathons for to raise much need funds, in the annual L.A. Gay Pride Parade.

Getting ready to set off before the Parade
Team to End AIDS LA Pride Parade 2012
Fortunately my lovely boyfriend was on hand to snap a few photos to capture some of the Parade highlights for me to share.

Walking with AIDS Project L.A. along Santa Monica Boulevard
Team to End AIDS LA Pride 2012
Following an overcast start, the June gloom soon dispelled to make way for a hot and sunny Sunday Parade through West Hollywood.

L.A. Pride Grand Marshal Molly Ringwald 
Molly Ringwald LA Pride Parade 2012
Molly Ringwald Grecian float LA.Pride 2012
This year 80's movie star Molly Ringwald, of The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles fame, was on hand to officiate at the Grand Marshal of the Parade, an honour previously held by Olympic ice skating sensation Johnny Weir and mother and daughter combo, Sharon and Kelly Osbourne.
Equality California LA Pride Parade 2012
Police LA Pride Parade 2012
In addition to some celebrity spotting, the thousands of spectators also get to see all the important clubs and societies, plus essential services provided to and by the LGBT community.
It Gets Better LA Pride 2012
LGBT Pride LA Parade 2012
It's always great to see local youth getting involved to champion equality and gay rights, showing there's hope for the future.
Boycott Hyatt float LA Pride 2012
Plus although there seems to be less political activism these days, it's nice to see that gay workers rights can be highlighted at this annual event alongside important issues like marriage equality.
AIDS Lifecycle riders LA Pride 2012
And it's also essential to celebrate victories, fundraising achievements and community heroes like these AIDS Lifecycle riders, who rode 545 miles over 7 days from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise over $12.6 million this year.
Sister Perpetual Indulgence LA Pride Parade 2012
LA Pride Parade drag 2012
Aside from the worthy causes, Gay Pride is also just one big party and a time to have fun.
Abbey gogo boys LA Pride 2012
I'm always a sucker when it comes to seeing a whole parade of rainbow flags, drag queens and hot go-go boys.

Comedienne Fortune Feimster and West Hollywood's 
very own Jesus on The Comedy Store's float
This year funny lady Fortune Feimster was also on hand to entertain the crowds with her fun sense of humour. I've seen her stand-up several times at the monthly Gays R Us comedy night at the Hollywood Improv and she's always hilarious.

Jason in Hollywood marches with Pride
Jason in Hollywood LA Pride Parade 2012
For me though, this year will always be remembered as the time that I took part (in however small a way) and celebrated my own Pride in my adopted West Hollywood home.

Of course after the Parade I raised a glass, or two, and the real celebrations began...

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