WHY LAGUNA BEACH PRIDE 365?
Laguna Beach Pride is a year-round organization that promotes the culture and diversity of Laguna Beach and the LGBTQ community. Events from beach bonfire socials, to two-steppin jamborees, from comedy night and drag shows to outdoor activities, bicycle rides, and volleyball. The annual Laguna Beach Pride 365 festival takes place the first weekend of June and includes name entertainment, food, beverage, specialty vendors, and LGBTQ Pride organizations. The festival weekend includes many Laguna Beach venues, including California's premier gay beach destination, "West Street Beach" party on Sunday! Everyone, families, singles, gay, straight, locals and visitors alike, love, is love, is love!
Established by the Laguna Beach LGBTQ Heritage & Culture Committee, Laguna Beach Pride 365 celebrates the rich contribution of the gay community to Laguna Beach.
OUR RICH HERITAGE AND HISTORICAL TIMELINE...
The Year 1835... A SEAMAN NAMED DANA
"The name of Richard Henry Dana, seaman explorer and author of Two Years Before the Mast, is found on a list containing the names of nonfiction authors for whom evidence of homosexuality exists... Dana Point in south Orange County was named as a tribute to the explorer who spoke highly of the area."
The Year 1927... SOUTH SEAS AFTER DARK
"The South Seas Bar located in the Coast Inn in Laguna Beach opens [home of the 'Boom Boom Room']. Like many of the early gay bars, it was straight during the daylight hours and became gay after dark."
The Year 1964... "FAG CITY"
"A Tent City existed in downtown Laguna Beach and was very popular with the summer crowd. Police Sweeps of Laguna Beach gave the city the nickname of 'Fag City.'"
The Year 1967... STONEWALL WEST - PRIDE
"January 1 -- Stonewall West. The Los Angeles Police Department raided the "Black Cat" and "New Faces" bars, in the Los Angeles Silver Lake District. Many patrons and employees were injured. A demonstration was held on January 5, organized by the Personal Rights in Defense and Education (PRIDE).
The Year 1969... STONEWALL
"June 28... A police raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York City in the wee hour's leads to four days of battle between police and angry gays, lesbians, transsexuals, and drag queens."
The Year 1973... DISORDERLY CONDUCT
"December 15 - The American Psychiatric Association (APA) removes homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses. This was accomplished when activists stormed the APA convention and demanded the change or the convention would be disrupted every year."
The Year 1981... THE AIDS EPIDEMIC
On June 5, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) publishes a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), describing cases of a rare lung infection, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), in five young, previously healthy, gay men in Los Angeles. All the men have other unusual infections as well, indicating that their immune systems are not working; two have already died by the time the report is published. This edition of the MMWR marks the first official reporting of what will become known as the AIDS epidemic.
The Year 1982... FIRST OPENLY GAY MAYOR IN THE US
Robert F. Gentry is elected Mayor of Laguna Beach. At the forefront of fighting for services for HIV/AIDS, Mr. Gentry served three terms from 1982- 1984.
The Year 1994... FIRST LAGUNA BEACH PRIDE
April 29-May 1, 1994, Laguna Beach Pride was sponsored by Laguna Outreach (LO). The brainchild of Doug Reilly and backed by the City Council and many business folks it was hoped that it would bring the communities gay and non-gay together and offer support to local businesses making Laguna the 'Riviera of the Pacific Coast.' (Council withdrew support of the second event in 1995.)
The Year 2017... LAGUNA BEACH LGBTQ HERITAGE & CULTURE
Early 2017, a group of Laguna Beach businesses and residents, including Mayor Toni Iseman, gathered to discuss how to "bring the gay back". This group is now called Laguna Beach LGTBQ Heritage & Culture Committee and works to ensure that the gamy community is honored and celebrated in Laguna Beach.
The Year 2017... CITY HALL PROCLAMATION
May 9, 2017, among a room-filled City Council chambers, Mayor Toni Iseman presided over the resolution that the month of June to be LGBTQ Heritage & Culture Month in Laguna Beach forevermore.
The Year 2018... LAGUNA BEACH REVIVES PRIDE FESTIVAL
June 1st through June 2rd, a weekend long festival.....
Acknowledgments and Sources"`
1. Orange County Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Timeline research files. MS-R105. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Accessed March 20, 2018.
The text quoted above was sourced from the Orange County Historical LGBT Timeline Project, which results from the diligent work and generosity of Barbara Muirhead and Brad Brafford. These select excerpts do not reflect the Timeline in its entirety, nor do they represent a comprehensive history of LGBT events in Orange County.
We encourage readers to contact UC Irvine Special Collections to find out more information and to consider donating relevant materials for archiving in the LGBTQ Special Collection.