LA PRIDE 2017


What does Pride mean? 






A party? A time to get drunk and dress scantily clad in the streets? Perhaps it's all of these.

BUT IT IS ALSO -- SO MUCH MORE.


As we celebrate Pride month I'd like to share brief history about just how far we have come and why it is still so important.



In the late 1960's, Los Angeles took to the streets, like a lot of America did, for the women's movement, anti-war rallies, and of course for LBGT rights. It has been quite the battle over the years as the power in politics has changed hands, over and over again. 

Unfortunately the threat of rights and violence is still prevalent today, especially on a global level, where lgbt people are being thrown off buildings, beheaded, stoned, and held in confinement camps. 

In the 60's to be gay, meant you had a mental illness and were considered immoral human beings. Same-sex relationships were considered illegal and you could be locked up for kissing in public or even holding hands. People's lives were destroyed. coming out wasn't even a possibility, so men and women were forced to live secret lives and in shame, left feeling dirty and disgusting, having to congregate in secret clubs, just to feel accepted. 
Most were rejected by their religion, places of work and friends and family.
The police used to constantly raid these underground venues, beat and drag the community out into the streets, exposing them to more hatred and violence.




Luckily, over the last few years the LGBT community have had quite a lot to celebrate in the US. Gay marriage was finallyrecognized in all 50 states, anti-discrimination laws were passed, thanks in part to the last administration. 

And thanks to with the LA British Consulate we have partaken in the Pride marches down Santa Monica Boulevard along with 50+ other floats recognizing and celebrating how far we have come, in regards to -- equality. We had the big double decker bus float, keeping it typically British, First year we had volunteers dress as traditional British Characters, The Spice girls, Mary Poppins, etc...

Then last year it was a tie-in with the "Absolutely Fabulous" movie, with quite a number of drag queens dressed as the icon duo. Unfortunately this march was clouded by the tragic events that happened at the nightclub "Pulse." (a year ago, today)  And the day before LA's pride was under threat by a bomb scare.
This year the parade organizers, instead decided to combine forces with other organizations and create the #resistmarch for which I volunteered. In unison with
"Black Lives Matter" and the successful "Women's march" earlier this year, to create one of the largest marches LA has ever scene. It took place on Sunday and starting at the famous Hollywood and highland and marched on to West Hollywood. It was truly nice to see so many allies, children and people with disabilities represented marching in solidarity.




So who was invited to take part? Anyone who believes America’s strength is its diversity! People just like you and I  who care about human and civil rights! So next year Invite your friends, your family, everyone! Visit www.resistmarch.org to see how you can get involved as it's worth 
Remembering that... "To have rights is a privilege and to protect them is our duty!"


Also Last weekend, The UKares foundation  were invited to The British home, where Executives Marina Paganucci and Adam Beach proudly presented them with a check for $3000 to help them build a new recreation area at the home and fix a lot of the paving around the site, in order to make it easier for the residents to get around and enjoy their days in the sun.  So a big thank you to all of you who have made donations to Ukares Foundation over the past two years to make this possible.


cheers

Craig

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