What Pride Means to Me


It’s the final day of Pride Weekend and festivities are in full swing. During this time of peak celebration, we think it’s important to reflect on the meaning of Pride. To that end, we asked some local politicians, activists, business owners, performers, and personalities: What does Pride mean to you? Here are their responses:

“Pride is all about being who you are, not allowing others to define you. In the City of West Hollywood, you are “free to be.”  The City has long been a safe haven for LGBTQ+ people and a fierce advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. I’m proud of what the City has accomplished since its incorporation — a relatively short period of time. For me, Pride is about acknowledging and appreciating the City’s LGBTQ+ history, successfully navigating present day challenges, and providing hope for the future.”

  • Lauren Meister, Council Member


“Pride means I get to do what I want to do. Not what you want me to do. Pride is representative of many colors, and I’m one of the many colors and so are you. So let your colors fly high. It’s completely free.”

  • Bobby Trendy, Celebrity Model



“What pride means to me is to be me! To have a voice, to feel free, to be human, to be proud of who I am and what I am.”

  • Laylah Amor, Hamburger Mary’s Host & Performer


“Pride makes me think of the unfortunate journey that so many LGBTQ people face with family abuse. I personally had to demote 18 family members to blood relative status and then choose to ex-communicate them from my life. And unfortunately, there are many others besides me that had to do the same for their own safety.”

  • Jonathan Wilson, Social Justice Advisory Board for West Hollywood


“Pride is a necessary celebration to remind people that this world of ours has a variety of wonderful people, and we should all be equal.” 

  • Anne-Marie Williams, Human Services Commissioner


“For me, Pride is a celebration of how far we’ve come as a community. We’ve made incredible advances and gained powerful allies especially among younger generations. That’s why our opponents have been trying to demonize us. They know we will ultimately win the fight for equality.”

  • John Heilman, Council Member


“Pride means courage: the ability  to live comfortably in your own skin, for all to see. Pride means striving for civil rights and for equality. And most importantly, Pride is celebrating who you are, because we are all beautiful and worthy of celebration.”

  • Laura Friedman, Candidate for U.S. Congress, Representing District 30


“Pride has always been about visibility to me. Be seen. Be heard. Be loud. Don’t let anyone silence you. Your voice is crucial. Be proud to be your authentic self. And most of all, enjoy your life.”

  • Jimmy Palmieri, Human Services Commissioner, Tweaker’s Project Founder


“Pride is community, resilience, freedom, and fun. Pride Month is my favorite holiday. Not only is it a full month dedicated to celebrating our community but it’s a reminder of our collective solidarity, power, and uniqueness. It reminds the Queer community that we are many, we are proud, and we belong. Happy Pride WeHo!”

  • Zekiah Wright, Labor and Employment Litigator in West Hollywood


“Everyday I live to invent a world where every single person is loved.”

  • John D’Amico, Former Mayor of West Hollywood


“Pride to me is being able to live my life out loud and unapologetically without fear of judgment. We’ve come so far with accepting everyone, but have much, much more to do.”

  • Cake Moss, Drag Performer


“I love Pride, particularly in West Hollywood because it represents everything that our city represents: diversity and community. I love how happy and excited people are and the way it brings everyone together, both physically and in spirit. It also is a galvanizing moment politically and culturally, which is so important considering this is an election year and the huge stakes that lie in front of us, both locally and nationally.” 

  • James Duke Mason, Politician, Writer, and Political activist


“Pride is my favorite time in West Hollywood. Everyone is in a good mood. You party with friends, make some new friends and the entire community comes together.”

  • Tristan Schukraft, Owner of The Abbey Food & Bar, Founder of MISTR, and CEO Tryst Hotels


“Pride is never having to defend, explain or apologize who you are – with a genuine responsibility to a life of service to others in our community.”

  • Jeff Prang 潘杰夫 Assessor, County of Los Angeles


“Pride is still an act of defiance. It means standing up with joy for all of those who never could and still can’t. Don’t forget the progress we’ve made. Don’t forget those who never got to enjoy that progress and don’t forget those who live in parts of the world who still can’t live openly as members of our community with Pride.”

  • George Nickle, Candidate for West Hollywood City Council
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About Brian Hibbard
Brian Hibbard is the Director of Marketing for Boystown Media, Inc.

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20 days ago

What Pride means…er meant…to me: Believe it or not, there was a time in L.A. and WeHo when you could be out and proud, sharing friendships across the political spectrum. You could dance together at the AIDS Dance-a-Thon or at Rage, and politics never got in the way. You could dress like you just stepped out of a Motley Crue video or as a street urchin Madonna, and the community supported you no matter what. It was a time of true acceptance and encouragement among gay people. You could go to a lesbian bar and rock out to Guns N’… Read more »

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