October 22, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Neighboring News: LGBTQ Pride, Venice Style

Local residents, organizations and out-of-towners celebrated Pride, Venice-style, during the third annual Venice Pride weekend June 2 and 3. The event included dance, music, a beach cleanup and rainbows as far as the eye could see. In its third year Venice Pride welcomed an award-winning LGBTQ icon to the stage, hosted socials throughout the area and concluded with a block party and sign lighting.

“Everyone is hanging out and having a great time,” said Grant Turck, President and Founder of Venice Pride on Saturday evening. “It is going to be a really exciting night,” he added, explaining that Thelma Houston, the Grammy-winning, disco legend would be

performing.

Turck, along with the Venice Pride Board of Directors (a team of nine), work year-round to make the annual Venice Pride Sign Lighting and Block Party possible. The inclusive event attracted thousands of people from across the Westside and beyond as DJs Whitney Fierce and Steve Bott spun an eclectic mix of music throughout the afternoon and early evening.

Among attendees on Saturday were the Stonewall Democrats, an LGBTQ political organization formed in 1975 and the oldest of its kind in the United States. The group endorses political candidates running for office on the local, state and national level; including candidates running for the Los Angeles County Judicial Offices, California State Senate seats, as well as representatives for the United States Congress.

According to Brian Bloom, a member of the organization, candidates seeking an endorsement from the club go through a screening process that includes a “seven-page interview that takes about three hours.” During the event, Nicholas and Brian Bloom and Jake Lewis registered voters.

While some used the event an opportunity to conduct broad political outreach, others such as Raymond “Raytings” Lancione, spoke to attendees about social activities. Lancione, founded the group QWRTY Gamers, an inclusive group of gamers that “game together for good.”

“We’re trying to connect communities, and we want to introduce the LGBT community to the gaming world,” Lancione said.

Started in 2015, QWRTY Gamers now consists of more than 800 members. During Venice Pride the group raised funds for the [email protected] Coalition, an organization hosting programs and services in L.A. that include English as a second language (ESL) classes, a computer lab, as well as economic and workforce development.

As the sun set and day turned to night, the Grammy award-winning LGBTQ icon Thelma Houston hit the stage wearing a sparkling white outfit. Her high energy performance was well received by those in attendance. People shouted, cheered and hollered “Thelma, we love you” and sung along to songs like “Ride the Rainbow” and “Don’t Leave Me This Way.” During her set, Houston, now 72, paused to speak with the crowd, stating that she hadn’t even heard of Venice Pride, and jokingly adding “you’ve been keeping it to yourselves,” before jumping into another series of songs. Intermittently, her son Rodney Houston took to the stage for accompanying duets. Prior to Thelma’s final song, Rodney returned to the stage stating, “they said there is not enough light on you,” and then pointed to an oversized pink lever. Thelma then walked across the stage, pulled the lever, and the iconic “VENICE” sign was illuminated, revealing each letter as a color of the rainbow.

All photos: Michael Ray.

After Houston’s set, attendees snapped photos in front of the multicolored sign, the world’s largest rainbow flag still visible in the night sky. The flag, which was raised the day before will tour the world as part of United We Pride.

 

Related Posts

LA County Says Younger Adults and Teenagers Are Driving COVID-19 Cases

October 20, 2020

October 20, 2020

68 percent of new cases among people between ages of 12 and 50 By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County health...

Santa Monica Has Issued Over 40 Face Covering Citations

October 20, 2020

October 20, 2020

City expanding COVID-19 compliance efforts with the addition of “Health Ambassadors”  By Sam Catanzaro The City of Santa Monica says...

Grand Jury Indicts Former Angel Employee in Tyler Skaggs’ Fatal Overdose

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Fort Wayne grand jury indicts Eric Prescott Kay on drug distribution and drug conspiracy charges By Sam Catanzaro A federal...

YogaWorks Studios Closing Amid Pandemic: Santa Monica Beat – October, 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * YogaWorks Studios Closing Amid Pandemic * Carjacking Suspects in Custody All...

Edify TV: More Bike Lanes for Westside

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

A Westside city is adding more miles of protected bike lanes. Learn more in this video made possible by Santa...

Outgoing Santa Monica Police Chief Set to Receive Nearly $100K of Severance Pay

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Santa Monica City Council approves retirement agreement for outgoing chief Cynthia Renaud By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica’s outgoing police chief...

Intravenous Vitamin Therapy: A Natural, Effective Solution for the Flu

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

By Dr. Mahboubeh Hashemi, ND and Dr. Matthew Cavaiola, ND  As fall and winter are fast approaching, many people, and...

Edify TV: Deal to House Homeless People Near Freeways

October 18, 2020

October 18, 2020

After months of negotiations, the City and County of LA reached a $300 million deal to house thousands of homeless...

Santa Monica’s Police Chief Retiring

October 16, 2020

October 16, 2020

SMPD Cynthia Renaud announces retirement, to be replaced by former Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica has announced...

Virtual Staging Changing The Way We Sell Property?

October 16, 2020

October 16, 2020

Today on Westside Cribz, Chuck Lorre buys his neighbors home, Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk selling his Santa...

O.C. Man Faces Federal Charges for Allegedly Setting SMPD Car on Fire

October 16, 2020

October 16, 2020

Nathan Wilson, 27, faces up to 20 years in prison An Irvine man was taken into federal custody this week...

Santa Monica Spa Owner Admits Price Gouging in Sale of Scarce N95 Masks

October 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

Niki Schwarz, owner of Tikkun Holistic Spa, pleads guilty to federal charges A Santa Monica day spa owner was charged...

Council Challenger Earns Endorsement After Coming Out Against Controversial Project: Santa Monica Beat – October, 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Council Challenger Earns Endorsement After Coming Out Against Controversial Project *...