Los Angeles’s annual pride celebration will feature protest instead of a parade this year.
Christopher Street West, the L.A. Pride parade’s organizer, announced the change on Wednesday night, according to the Advocate. The organization expects somewhere between 250,000 to 500,000 LGBTQ advocates participating in the LGBTQ Resist March on June 11, which would make it comparable in size to the Los Angeles’s Women’s March. The protest will last for three miles, starting at Hollywood Boulevard and ending at San Vicente Boulevard in West Hollywood.
The march could prove a major complication for organizers, however. Due to West Hollywood Park construction going on at the LA Pride festival’s location, approximately 70 percent of the festival’s space will be unusable, leaving only one stage for performances. Because the protest terminates at West Hollywood Park and fuels the festival, there may be way too many marchers to accommodate the park’s available space.
Moving the march to a different location is out of the question, too: Local businesses see $9 million from parade attendees, meaning that Pride is a significant part of the summer season in Los Angeles.
“Security insurance costs the same [whatever the attendance], but I can’t pay for that if I don’t have the footprint to let enough people in to buy tickets and food and beverages,” Christopher Street West board president Chris Classen said, according to the Advocate. “Sixty percent of our income comes from people coming to this festival. Add on to that the fact that we may have half a million people who come on the march. If I only have room for 5,000 people on San Vicente, where do they go?”
L.A. Pride’s march also coincides with the LGBTQ March on Washington, D.C. during the Capital Pride Festival. Meanwhile, New York City’s Pride march is planned for Sunday, June 25. New York’s Pride falls just three days short of June 28, the 48th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.