Pride Picks and Pans

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WEHO PRIDE 2024 is over.

The most important thing is that we all had a safe Pride. Let’s thank the City and the Sheriff for keeping the peace.

This year’s OUTLOUD Music Festival appeared to be a hit in a Coachella kind of way, with big-name headliners such as Kylie Minogue and Adam Lambert.

The TV crews were out with WEHO PRIDE being telecast live on KTLA. Cyndi Lauper accepted the ICON Award, and our little town’s Pride event hit the big time.

There were lots of complaints that seemed to bother many of the guests and business owners. One of them was the ticket prices to the events. Most do not understand where WEHO PRIDE ends and the OUTLOUD Music Festival begins.

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The railings along Santa Monica Blvd. that boxed in people to one lane were a big problem. The Bayou owner was furious at how the rails prevented the traffic from flowing.. I personally asked about these rails in the Pride briefing meetings and could not get a consensus that this would be a problem. The rails were a hazard. People were boxed into lanes. On Sunday, a person could only cross Santa Monica Blvd. at La Cienega or San Vicente unless they wanted to hop over rails.

One officer told me it was poor planning. Another officer said there was supposed to be an opening at the ferris wheel.  But overall, people could not cross the street to get to El Pollo Loco or LA Buns without hopping the metal rail. It was hazardous. People were getting boxed in like sardines. They cut off the whole north side of the street without access both ways.

And down in the OUTLOUD concert area, a highly dangerous crowd crush occurred as concertgoers rushed toward the main stage ahead of Diplo’s performance.

Then there was the seemingly unusual positioning of the City of West Hollywood float, the Free Palestine float, and then the City Commissioner float. The Free Palestine flag was sandwiched between the two City of West Hollywood floats, their flags waving in unison.

With both Mayor John M. Erickson and Councilmember Sepi Shyne on the Pride subcommittee,  along with Chelsea Byers being a Director of a pro=Palestinian organization the placement seemed intentional — like an endorsement of the Free Palestine movement.

And there were large gaps between floats. There were no parade monitors, so long gaps left many wondering if the parade had ended. At one point, the Sheriff said the parade was over, and a bunch of people left mid-city and began walking down to the festival.  Ten minutes later I went back to the same Sheriff, ‘I thought you said the parade was over’.   But it had plenty to go..just empty gaps between floats.

Beaches Tropicana debuted a float just days after their public announcement that they would be taking over the Heart location.   The Abbey reminded us that they are just getting the party started.  At times, the parade gave hope that we can all march together and celebrate who we are, our differences, and our common ground.

We could not escape the preachers declaring homosexuality is a sin. The prophets spewed their verses at many of the passersby who just wanted to live in harmony. I’m not a fan— they got a giant “go fuck yourself” from me. Don’t come here and rain on our parade.

Lots of unpermitted street vendors selling merchandise. At one point, I stood next to the rails with two African American women selling Pride merchandise out of their carts. A friend passed by and said ” if the women were gay. She replied, “No, honey, it’s all about the money.” It seemed like outsiders were taking over our Pride.

Although Pride is supposed to be inclusive, don’t tell that to all the organizations that did not receive funding to participate. Among those were Emerald Village, whose job it is to promote the cannabis businesses within the City of West Hollywood.  Many spoke of the Trans and Latin communities being downplayed in this Pride celebration and that funding went to friends of certain council members.

The Women’s Freedom Festival also proved to be an inside payoff among friends of the City Council.  The received a 3 year contract for almost $250,000 worth of city dollars.   But the Women’s Freedom Festival had no significant operations and the funding was on its own, separate from all other grants.  Public records show a $1500 payment made to a local publication last year in exchange for positive coverage.

While putting together the WEHO PRIDE GUIDE, I reached out to Jackie Steele to get help to make the “best woman and lesbian page because I don’t want to hear any crap from you.” Jackie answered “You have those other lesbians,” a dig at Renee Sotile and MJ Godges, who had written two articles for WEHOonline. Renee was at her sisters bedside while she died.   She gave me the email to Chris Baldwin to offer a free page to promote their activities, but they just took the city money.  Never called back.  They were literally given almost a quarter of a million dollars, outside of the regular Pride allocations, to their friends. But we can do a story on them some other time.

It’s hard to celebrate when some people can’t find common ground during Pride . That goes for Chelsea Lee Byers and Sepi Shyne, too, who could not submit a “what pride means to me” for the Pride Guide.   And Lindsey Horvath who claimed she is ‘like Harvey Milk”. But Harvey Milk did not scrub the LGBTQ bio from his resume when he ran for office.   Feels like they are using the LGBTQ+community for political gain.

Then there is code compliance. Nowhere to be found when you need them. On Saturday, there were nine illegal hot dog vendors within 100 feet of my shop, all boxed in by those rails, and code enforcement showed up to ticket a dancer at Micky’s.   A very mean code compliance department let the illegal hot dog vendors have their day but disrupted Micky’s mood and celebration with a senseless ticket for a dancer shaking his buns.  And Im told AHF had a bare ass dancer on their float but they were not cited. 

And then I came home to the giant yard sale that took over the corner of Huntley and Sherwood. A giant truck, complete with dressing rooms for a huge store sale. No permit. Code compliance nowhere to be found. Traffic circling around the closed street. The giant truck in the red zone the entire day.

One Sunset Blvd. business owner summed it up this way: “It felt different this year, much more like a spectacle than a celebration.”

 

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Mitchell
Mitchell
5 days ago

The parade had a seemingly city promoted pro Palestinian anti Israel position with many city Employees with signs and dress supporting Palestine marching behind our mayor who is accused of making blatantly antisemitic statements and then a giant pro Palestinian entry. As a Jewish gay man I increasingly feel that the official West Hollywood LGBTQ community is no longer a welcoming or inclusive space but attempts to be performative as many of its members march by the homeless lining our streets who they could do something to help but we as a city and state have failed miserably but instead… Read more »

Truth Teller
Truth Teller
15 days ago

Jew hatred is alive and well here.

Incompetence
Incompetence
18 days ago

City of West Hollywood’s priority is no longer residents or businesses. Council-members and directors have turned WeHo into a private establishment where they can hire and promote their friends and allocate money where they see fit. Code compliance’s citation to Micky’s while ignoring all the vendors and the fire hazard at Beaches confirms the favoritism that has been spoken of. This is election year and it’s up to us to vote these corrupt individuals out of city hall. This includes David Wilson whose evaluation is up for review this year. Fire the man. He’s shown no leadership skills and has… Read more »

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
18 days ago

“like an endorsement of the Free Palestine movement.”

And is that supposed to be controversial, Larry?

Do you support Palestinian people being slaughtered and bombed out of existence? Please clarify

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
18 days ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

If you would read something other than what confirms your bias you would know that Hamas is responsible for what you are calling genocide. Hamas puts those people in harm’s way just so Israel will get the blame and then the uninformed like you will say what you’re saying. Israel gives advance warning before a targeted attack just so citizens can relocate out of danger but Hamas won’t let those people move. They are masters at manipulating the media with the narrative that best suits their purpose. They confiscate all aid that is sent in to provide for citizens and… Read more »

West
18 days ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

Israel has killed 40,000 people since Oct 7, with thousands dead under the rubble of bombed mosques, hospitals and water treatment plants. The IDF indiscriminately targets women and children, attacks humanitarian aid workers, and bombs refugee camps. Here in the US, the Israeli lobby holds an unholy grip over our Republic. HR 6090 is a threat to Constitutionally protected political speech critical of the state of Israel. Supporting the Boycott Divest & Sanction movement is banned for any person or entity doing business with the State of CA. All this while the ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan has sought arrest warrants… Read more »

Last edited 18 days ago by West
West
17 days ago
Reply to  Larry Block

Those that fail to learn from the mistakes of the past are destined to repeat them.

Singleguywh
Singleguywh
14 days ago
Reply to  Larry Block

A prostitute trying to tell the rest of the world how to run things? *eyeroll*
Larry, please don’t try to argue with him. You only make him believe his delusions.

West
14 days ago
Reply to  Singleguywh

You are entitled to your opinion— but as a former sex worker and published human trafficking policy researcher, I’m compelled to remind people that many sex workers have accomplished historical achievements. Intellectuals like Maya Angelou, Malcom X, and Ninon de l’Enclos, fierce warriors like Ching Shih, scholars like Brooke Magnanti, humanitarians like Julia Bulette, even the social foundation of the old West was built by sex workers. I’m merely a journalist, researcher & community organizer, but I’m not ashamed of my past.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
18 days ago
Reply to  West

Are you kidding me? voices opposing the genocide are systematically silenced”, you say …… they won’t shut up! Their’s are the ONLY voices I’m hearing!

As I said, Hamas is putting their own people in danger so it is Hamas that is responsible for what you are calling genocide.
Go back and read my last comment. I really don’t believe you actually read it the first time.

Eric
Eric
18 days ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

His hate for Israel, and arguably, Jewish people, is more passionately fueled, than that for who he is or the causes he advocates for. I think you safe knowing who you dealing with, without any answer.

SeeMe
SeeMe
18 days ago
Reply to  West

While I pray for a cease fire, it feels like you don’t really know the full history of this conflict and are parroting what you have heard on TickTock. I don’t agree with what Israel is doing right now but I do understand it because history has shown time and again that their surrounding countries don’t want them to exist. How would you advise Israel respond to the Hamas attack on October 7? And as Larry points out, it is highly hypocritical of Americans to be judging Israel’s response when our own country did far worse after 9/11. Do you… Read more »

West
17 days ago
Reply to  SeeMe

The US directly or indirectly killed around one million people in Iraq, 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan (i.e. a total of around 1.3 million). A more accurate estimate is closer to 2 million. Every war is sold on a lie, and every generation rediscovers this truth for itself.

Respectfully, I produce an on-air radio news program 3 nights a week. To grasp the true scope of US militarism post 9/11, check out The Cost of War Project. It’s not TikTok, but it’s a good starting point: https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/

Last edited 17 days ago by West
Eric
Eric
18 days ago
Reply to  West

Hopefully the voters don’t for one second entertain marking your name off on the ballot or have you already dropped out?

Joshua88
Joshua88
14 days ago
Reply to  Eric

Where was West wrong? Instead of nasty and/or jingoistic remarks, counter with evidence or facts.

Graham
Graham
17 days ago
Reply to  West

Propoganda written like a true terrorist.

West
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham

Let’s allow room for discussion and disagreement, without such ridiculous ad hominem. ✌️

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
16 days ago
Reply to  West

Anonymity killed respectful discussion and disagreement.

Joshua88
Joshua88
14 days ago
Reply to  Graham

What was propagandistic about his facts?

Truth Teller
Truth Teller
15 days ago
Reply to  West

Every word you typed is a lie. Including THE and AND.

Here’s a lesson for you. When you start a war you don’t get to choose the response or outcome. The people of Israel 🇮🇱 live.

WokeSucks
WokeSucks
18 days ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

The Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu knew about this for 2 years … That Hamas was preparing an attack.. He did nothing to prevent it from happening. Because he wanted to go into Gaza to attack Hamas. And that could only happen as a reaction to what happened on October 7th. Innocent people died, Israelis, and they could be sacrificed because Israel has what they call the Hannibal Code.

West
17 days ago
Reply to  WokeSucks

The parallels to 9/11 are significant. US intelligence ignored intel about a potential attack, and seized the opportunity to pursue long-planned geopolitical maneuvers. The difference is it took at least 5 years for Americans to see through the weapons of mass destruction lie. The entire world has seen through the many falsities spread by Israel (beheaded babies, mass sexual assaults) in less than a year.

And for the record, I was 15 years old when 9/11 happened. By 18, I was marching against the war on Iraq as part of the sustained antiwar movement that history has completely vindicated.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
17 days ago
Reply to  West

We knew that Saddam Hussain had weapons of mass destruction because he had used them on his own people. The US gave him a year and a half notice that we were coming after Saddam, during which time he did something with them that they could not be found. The biggest mistake we made with the war in Iraq is that we assumed the people there would value the freedom we provided for them. They did nothing to set up their own government and to participate in their new-found freedom. So after removing Saddam we should have packed up and… Read more »

Last edited 17 days ago by Gimmeabreak
Eric
Eric
17 days ago
Reply to  West

Yikes, this here raging antisemite makes Byers seam all warm and fuzzy. One always has to remember, things are never that bad that they can’t get worse.

Eric
Eric
18 days ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Free the Hostages and surrender. Stop trying to twist the narrative.

Singleguywh
Singleguywh
14 days ago
Reply to  Eric

This ^^^

Graham
Graham
17 days ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Figures Green Eyed Guy would be an anti semetic terrorist lover. Palestine 50% inbred, 100% use children as human shields, and 85% support the baby rapists and murdering Hamas, . Heard they wanted to invite you to a Gay’s for Palestine party on top of a roof where they typical throw people like you off. Have fun, hold on to your party hat on the way down.

Last edited 17 days ago by Graham
greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham

I’m literally Jewish, but okay. ‘

It’s really concerning that you choose to dehumanize an entire people. That is psychopathic behavior

Eric
Eric
16 days ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Kapo!

Graham
Graham
12 days ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Question really is why are you so self loathing?

Singleguywh
Singleguywh
14 days ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Hamas – Iran’s terrorists – start a war, and take civilians as hostages. Israel responds to (a) free the civilian hostages, and (b) dismantle the terrorists so they can’t do this again.

Now morons like you (and Chelsea Byers) echo Hamas – “ohhhh, Israel is a bunch of murderers!!” – and demand that Israel NOT DEFEND ITS CITIZENS.

You are a special kind of hateful bastard.

Last edited 14 days ago by Singleguywh
Oliver
Oliver
19 days ago

I was shocked at the empty storefronts in West Hollywood. The city has changed so much over the past few years.

Truth Teller
Truth Teller
15 days ago
Reply to  Oliver

We get what we vote for-as a whole.

Red Dragon
Red Dragon
19 days ago

The hot dog vendors were the only food at the street fair. The city or health department didn’t seem to care.

Curtis
Curtis
15 days ago
Reply to  Red Dragon

Many restaurants were opened on Santa Monica Boulevard during the street fair & parade

UGH
UGH
19 days ago

…….and who invited George Gascon?!

OurTown
OurTown
19 days ago
Reply to  UGH

Patricia.

Graham
Graham
17 days ago
Reply to  UGH

Gascon “The Progressive Marvin The Martian” of failure.

Tom
Tom
19 days ago

We had a Dial-a Ride van parked in the red zone on Sweetzer near the parade for about three hours. Didn’t let off or pick up anyone but the driver. Hope he had a nice time watching the parade. Sucks to be the people who’s driveway he was blocking..

WokeSucks
WokeSucks
19 days ago

You are so right. I would guess that less than even 5% of the people in the parade lived here. Indeed, it use to be rainbow flags and not a political statement for the #lgbtwa🧐 blah blah blah exclusive equity nonsense that is the political pitch of Shyne and Byers.n

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
19 days ago
Reply to  WokeSucks

Like so much of WeHo in 2024, this has been hijacked by outside forces and we pay the bills.

WokeSucks
WokeSucks
18 days ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

You are right. Actually, looking at that parade, it appeared like a location shoot for some movie. Because it basically had nothing to do with West Hollywood which has been taken over politically by that woke nonsense demonstrated by Ericsson, Byers and Shine every time they open their mouths.

SeeMe
SeeMe
18 days ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

I wonder how much money the city receives from Out Loud as a kickback. I can’t believe that when the parade ends, the only option for attendees is to go home, roam the street, wait in line at a bar or PAY $130 TO ATTEND A PRIVATE FESTIVAL.

Weho Resident
Weho Resident
19 days ago

Would they let the KKK stand behind the city float? I think not. Yet gays get killed in Palestine and the City of West Hollywood and some of its council member celebrate this.

Who plans these things?
Who plans these things?
19 days ago

That was the worst Arts Festoval I’ve ever been too. Weho get a grip.

Imposter
Imposter
19 days ago

Jackie Steele is a fake name. Her real name is Patricia. She is a fake person.

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
19 days ago
Reply to  Imposter

If I were her, I’d go by Patty. I’m thinking of Patty Duke, Patty Hearst. Maybe that’s just because I’m gay? Jackie is so trashy, at least go with Jacquie.

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