LA pride 2014 kicked off Friday night in West Hollywood. It is the 44th year of this three-day event celebrating the gay, lesbian, bisexual, andtransgender community.
This year it's changed from LGBT to TLGB... with organizers highlighting transgender individuals and the challenges they face. The goal is to educate people, including gays, lesbians and bisexuals, on what it is to be transgender.
Maria Roman, 43, a transgender woman since the age of 19, has experienced discrimination much of her adult life... But says it is now a beautiful moment to see organizations making an effort to put the transgender community in the forefront.
Musical acts during LA Pride include Mary Lambert, Jennifer Hudson, the Bangles, and Demi Lovato as the grand marshal of the big parade on Sunday.
Almost a half million visitors are expected to pack West Hollywood by the time the weekend is over.
From Sandra Endo:
The 44th annual LA Pride celebration in West Hollywood kicks off tonight and runs through this Sunday.
More than 50-thousand people are expected to attend the festivities which include an outdoor skating rink, food vendors and trucks, live djs and performances at night from the likes of Mary Lambert, Jennifer Hudson and the Bangles.
The parade kicks off on Sunday at 11am, where singer Demi Lovato will serve as the grand marshal.
This year's celebration highlights the transgender community, singer-songwriter Ryan Cassata says "so often we in the transgender community gets over looked in the LGB family so this is a great way to really get a coalition together and celebrate our uniqueness and contributions."
Some road closures to be aware of, San Vicente between Santa Monica and Melrose will be closed until Monday at 10am. And Santa Monica between Fairfax and Doheny will be closed on Sunday between 5-5pm.
(FOX 11 / CNS) The 44th annual three-day LA PRIDE: The TLGB Celebration starts today at West Hollywood Park with Lavender Menace, a celebration of women, and Trans..Party LA. Lavender Menace, whose name stems from a group of radical lesbian feminists from the 1970s who came together to fight discrimination, will be held from 5 p.m.-midnight and feature performances by Mary Lambert, who sang during the mass wedding at the Grammys, and Australian pop singer Betty Who.
The Dyke March will begin at 7 p.m. at West Hollywood Park, head to Santa Monica Boulevard, then return to the park. It will include the presentation of the third annual Etheridge Award to Jeannette Bronson, a second-generation social worker and avid champion of the black lesbian community.
The award is annually presented to a woman whose community leadership has had a significant impact on the lesbian community. It is named for singer Melissa Etheridge, its first recipient.
Today's activities also include Trans.. Party LA, which begins at 7 p.m. It will include performances by singer-songwriter Ryan Cassata, comedian Dina Nina Martinez and the rock band Lunden Reign. Admission is free. Parking is available for $20 at the structures at 8383 Santa Monica Blvd. and 901 Hancock Ave.
San Vicente Boulevard will be closed between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue through 10 a.m. Monday to accommodate the celebration. A festival will be held at West Hollywood Park from noon to midnight Saturday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday. Saturday's performers include Oscar and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson and the hip-hop performer Azealia Banks. The rock band The Bangles will perform on Sunday.
The LA Pride parade will begin at 11 a.m. Sunday at Crescent Heights and Santa Monica boulevards. Singer Demi Lovato will be the grand marshal while the plaintiffs in the lawsuit that overturned California's ban on same-sex marriage and their attorneys will be the community grand marshals.
Producers of the event previously known as the Los Angeles LGBT Pride Celebration have changed its name "to make a bold statement about our commitment to education by leading with a capital T," according to Steve Ganzell, a board co-president of Christopher Street West, the event's producer.
"When you see the hate and ignorance directed toward the transgender community, sometimes even from within our own community, we felt compelled to use LA PRIDE as a platform to highlight issues surrounding the community as well as taking the opportunity to celebrate our transgender family," Ganzell said.