The LA Pride Parade in West Hollywood will return to its customary format of celebrating the LGBTQ community Sunday after a one-year switch to what was dubbed a “Resist March” to protest the policies of President Donald Trump’s Administration.
The parade is set to begin at 11 a.m. at Crescent Heights Boulevard and will continue west along Santa Monica Boulevard to Robertson Boulevard. Admission is free. Organizers expect a crowd of 150,000.
An assortment of floats will convey the theme of the 2018 LA Pride Festival #JUSTBE, according to Shayne Thomas, marketing and communications lead and a board member of Christopher Street West, the nonprofit organization that produces the festival and parade.
“#JUSTBE is a deeply personal invitation for self-expression that, we hope, will empower members of the LGBTQ+ community — as well as our very important straight allies — to embrace, embody, and express what pride truly means to them in the rawest, most authentic ways possible,” Thomas said.
Parade entries will include a “Lifesaver” bus from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation intended to promote condom use to prevent HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and other sexually-transmitted diseases.
The bus is wrapped with a horizontal rendering of an unfurled condom placed on a red background with the word Lifesaver directly over the side of the condom.
The condom has six multi-colored bands of color echoing the LGBTQ community’s rainbow flag and a roll of Lifesaver candies, according to Ged Kenslea, the director of communications for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which bills itself as the largest global AIDS organization.
The grand marshal will be Michaela Ivri Mendelsohn, a transgender activist, CEO of Pollo West Group, one of the largest franchises for the El Pollo Loco restaurant chain, and founder of TransCanWork, a program promoting transgender inclusivity in the workplace.
The parade will have its traditional moment of silence at noon “to remember those who are no longer with us, or cannot be here today, to celebrate those who fought for pride and the freedoms we now enjoy and to think of those who cannot celebrate pride and remain oppressed,” according to organizers.
The parade was first held in 1970 in Hollywood, where it was held until 1979 when it moved to West Hollywood.
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