Rainbow Reflections…

A column about LGBTQ life in Laguna

By Craig Cooley

Rainbow reflections Craig

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Diversity and the Creative Economy

For many of us that were fortunate enough to take advantage of the recent symposium with guest speaker Richard Florida, it hit on a topic relative to everyone. It explored the viability of various programs across the nation that were tested, and the results quantified in an effort to keep the nation’s cities thriving and livable. Some of the tested programs worked, sort of, and others stood out as viable solutions for marginalized cities or cities that were in great decline. 

The conclusion or “take-away” from these years of definitive studies indicated that it is most often the power of diversity that provides the necessary elements, components, that make any city thriving and most livable. The clear message was that diversity, in all its forms, is the key to a new chapter in the development of a more dynamic commerce that spurs creative growth, and that it works for everyone!

Rainbow reflections boots

That brings me to the “boots on the ground” in this effort. Laguna Beach Pride 365 is more than just a once a year party event. Laguna Beach Pride is a nonprofit organization for the entire community all year long – supporting organizations like “Gay 4 Good”, Shanti, the Laguna Playhouse and a long list of other nonprofit and community efforts. 

With just two weeks to go before the Laguna Beach Pride Festival kicks off on May 31 - June 2, for a long weekend event, there is a strong sense of urgency as we need corporate sponsors to bring it all together. The benefits of becoming a sponsor are invaluable to promote your business and the community. The sponsorships last the entire year, and they are an excellent way to support the growing commerce and revenue that this diversity brings to Laguna Beach. It means new business that supports everything from hotels and resorts, to the many dining establishments we have to offer, from all kinds of retail outlets to surfboard and watersports equipment rentals and activities. Being a sponsor brings new business growth. Please consider the many benefits of becoming a supporting sponsor. Please contact us today at

The Laguna Beach Pride 365 team is stretching our new wings for diversity…

Festooning the City with Diversity Flags

Rainbow reflections flags

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Submitted photo

Volunteers Bonnie, Julie, and Ava

In that June has been proclaimed as LBGTQ Heritage and Culture Month, this week and next week Laguna Beach Pride will be distributing the Rainbow Diversity Flag – small, medium, and large double-sided window posters of Laguna Beach Pride 365 Festival – and Pride Post Cards, in and around our fair City. If you would like any of these items for your home or business, please let us know. We have some free flags, small and large, in a limited amount, or you can purchase a flag on Laguna Beach Pride. All the other items are free!

Rainbow Radio this Saturday, May 18 features…

Alan Barrows... 

With a cause and a message for everyone, Bonnie and I welcome “Master Curator” Alan Barrows. We will be discussing many things about Alan and his latest curated exhibition at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Advocate & Gochis Galleries. Please tune is as we get to know the person behind his latest exhibition and his efforts to make the world a better place. 

Rainbow reflections Barrows

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Submitted photo

Alan Barrows

In his own words…

As a recent guest curator, Alan Barrows puts it this way: “It is impossible not to be aware of homelessness and the impact of losing one’s home, whether it’s due to natural disaster, economic change, or discrimination. Especially in our LGBT community, at-risk seniors, youth, and trans people are disproportionately affected by the crisis of homelessness.” 

Tune in or live stream the program this Saturday at 9 AM on KX 93.5 FM in Laguna Beach. 

So, there you have it for this week…

Lots of going on here in our beautiful beach city…lots to be prideful of…until next week, Craig Cooley here doing my best to keep up with all the LGBTQ fun in Laguna Beach.

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