Guest Column

Craig Cooley, President

Laguna Beach Pride 365

June is Pride Month: Festooning Laguna Beach with Rainbow Pride flags celebrating diversity and equality!

With June Pride Month coming close, it is time to reflect and look to the future…

With a Rainbow Flag and Summer of Pride Celebration, Laguna Beach Pride 365 speaks up with a message that diversity and equality are basic human rights and matter for everyone. Starting at 1 p.m. and continuing to 4 p.m. on May 31, on the eve of June Pride Month, we will gather at the west end of the Forest Street Promenade, where we will organize and distribute rainbow flags to anyone from local businesses, residences and to individuals. From 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., we will take the celebration to the Susi Q Community Center patio-veranda with entertainment, beverages and lite bites; a $10 donation is suggested. The next day, June 1 the City of Laguna Beach will raise the rainbow flag in front of City Hall as they have done for the last five+ years and where it will proudly fly for the next 30 days.

The details…

What: Rainbow Flag distribution and Summer of Pride Celebration

When: Friday, May 31 from 17 p.m.

Where: Forest Avenue Promenade, 1-4 p.m. and Susi Q Community Center, 4-7 p.m.

More details…

For the Rainbow Flag distribution, from 1-4 p.m., we will meet at the west end, the ocean side of Forest Avenue Promenade in Downtown Laguna Beach. Laguna Beach Pride 365 will provide flags of various sizes to distribute to anyone, business, residence, or individual to display and share a message embracing diversity and equality. We suggest comfortable shoes and clothing. We will have bottled water and a limited amount of energy snacks available. Bring a friend if possible, as it is always better to work in pairs. Consider UBER, LYFT, or public transportation, as parking is limited. You are not required to arrive at 1 p.m. to participate. If you can make it at a later time, we will need your help! Or just come to show your support!

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Craig Cooley

Rainbow Lifeguard Tower of Diversity on West Street Beach

We also celebrate these milestones:

Laguna Beach Pride 365, established in 2018 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, is in its 6th year of operation bringing “Pride” events to the community with the mantra: “Building unity and commerce through the power of diversity.” From one-of-a-kind pride festivals to supporting the Laguna Pantry and Friendship Shelter, Laguna Beach Pride 365 has an excellent record for supporting the community.

Club Q, an LGBTQ+ senior social organization established by Larry Ritchie, has been organizing events for more than 10 years. Events range from drag bingo, movie shorts, fun and games, and informational guest speakers, to whale watching and day-long excursions.

Rainbow Lifeguard Tower of Diversity. This past year, we embarked on a project for the placement of a rainbow-colored lifeguard tower on West Street Beach at Camel Point. Last summer, that dream became a reality with generous donations from the community and many hours of organization by Laguna Beach Pride 365. This summer, we will place a commemorative plaque on the tower expressing a welcoming message of diversity and equality for all.

Proclamation! In 2017, then-Mayor Toni Iseman submitted a proclamation before the Laguna Beach City Council to celebrate the contributions, heritage and culture of the LGBTQ+ community in June each year. It was unanimously approved!

Rainbow Radio, now in its seventh year on KX FM 104.7, has expanded to two hours every Sunday from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. The program brings local, national and international LGBTQ+ news and hosts conversations with movie producers, book authors, event organizers, business owners, activists and LGBTQ+ allies.

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