CHANGING THE FACE OF PRIDE

Last year a grassroots group of local residents, business owners, community leaders and queer nightlife producers came together to form DTLA Proud. We were born from the idea that together we could create an all-inclusive festival that represents the diverse population that lives, works, and plays in Downtown Los Angeles.

We strive to cultivate an all-inclusive and diverse community environment in Downtown Los Angeles for people of varying socioeconomic statuses, sexual orientations, gender identities, racial backgrounds, ages, religions, and other minority groups so everyone has a safe and welcoming place to express their authentic lives and celebrate alongside one another with pride.

Join us on August 26 and 27 to experience how we are working together to change the face of Pride.

Our Mistresses of Ceremonies

THE BOULET BROTHERS

The Boulet Brothers specialize in creating queer culture, media and nightlife events by celebrating the ghoulish, the monstrous and the beautiful diversity of drag artistry. These self proclaimed Drag Queen Overlords and nightlife provocateurs are sure to excite and astound with their alternative approach to the world.

At last year’s festival they provided just a glimpse of some of the wonderful and diverse talent that surrounds us here in Downtown Los Angeles. They are sure to make this year’s two-day festival twice as big, twice as fun, and twice as weird.

You can see them hosting the DTLA Proud Stage starting at 6:00pm both days alongside a diverse group of talented artists from both the local and national scene. We are so excited they are coming out to play with us.

TALENT

HOW TO BUILD A COMMUNITY

People often see the 1969 Stonewall riots as the birthplace of the LGBTQ civil rights movement, however the country’s first documented protest happened two years earlier here in Los Angeles. Up until the late 1960’s it was still against the law for two males to kiss each other in public, and on New Year’s Day in 1967 the police forced their way into the Black Cat Tavern to put an end to this kind of activity. When the raid was over, twelve people were arrested that morning. In response, On February 11, 1967, more than 500 people showed up to march in front of Black Cat to protest police harassment targeting the LGBTQ community. Personal Rights in Defense and Education was the name of the group that organized the protest, and from it a community, and the acronym P.R.I.D.E., was born.

For years to come cities across the U.S. built neighborhoods affectionately referred to as gay ghettos, fruit loops, gayttos, and gay meccas, which were all essentially gay villages. There were also many parks and public spaces in these neighborhoods that were notorious for cruising, and Downtown Los Angeles had ”The Run” in and around Pershing Square. Regardless of whether it was social, political or religious reasons that people came together, these gayborhoods continued to develop, and one in particular became a full-fledged city.

Today, Downtown Los Angeles is going through an exciting renaissance. It is important to note that some LGBTQ establishments popped up well before this renaissance, as The New Jalisco Bar was known as the only gay bar in downtown for years. In 2015, DTLA was well on its way of emerging as a re-born gayborhood when Redline, Precinct and Bar Mattachine all opened within months of each other in the Historic Core district of downtown. Each bar brought their own unique perspective on what they wanted to offer but all worked in harmony with each other. When we saw people from all walks of life come together, it inspired us to do more. This was the birth of the idea of the DTLA Proud Festival. We were proud of the community we saw developing and wanted to make sure that everyone felt welcomed.

In 2016 we held the first ever DTLA Proud Festival at Pershing Square. It was organized by the community, and for the community, to provide a space for every person to not just feel welcomed, but to feel celebrated. With only a few months to plan the event we worked with neighbors, political leaders, business owners, local community groups, and volunteers to bring the festival to life. We gave Pershing Square a makeover, concentrated on finding local performers, and set out to find every person who ever felt like they just didn’t have a place in Los Angeles and show them what we are building down here. We expected only a few thousand people to show up on August 7, 2016, and when almost 9,000 people showed up, we knew we had a bigger community to support and celebrate.

Since then we partnered with Night on Broadway, one of LA’s largest free street festivals, to provide a queer friendly space and to raise money for PAWS/LA, which was founded in 1989 in response to the extreme need for animal care assistance by people financially and physically debilitated by HIV/AIDS. We worked with Varsity Gay League to create a DTLA bowling league for people looking for something more social that didn’t necessarily involve drinking or clubbing. We continue to partner with community groups all through downtown to help find ways to connect our local residents with services that they may not even know exist for them, from legal services, to mental health services, to social events aimed at helping neighbors meet neighbors.

DTLA Proud is committed to celebrating everyone’s story, to spreading optimism, to growing our community and to expanding our definition of diversity.

We took the response from the community as a call to action and have worked hard to make this year’s festival more inclusive for the community that represents the diverse population that lives, works and plays downtown.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

WHERE TO STAY

As a proud and active supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, the Ace Hotel is partnering with us to bring you discounted rates for their Medium, Medium with Terrace, Large, Double (2 beds) & Loft rooms.

Book your room using promo code DTLAPROUD today using this link.

The Ace will also play host to a No-Alcohol-Youth-Friendly-Gaming space in Segovia Hall. We are teaming up with World 8 to provide a space for table tops, board games, card games, and a panel discussion on several aspects of CosPlay. We will also be hosting a video game competition where you can win prizes so start working on your Street Fighter and Smash Brothers skills now!

Free beverages and snacks will be provided to those who enter with a valid ticket and hand stamp from the DTLA Proud Festival.

We’re excited to announce Freehand Los Angeles as an official hotel partner this year!

The brand-new hotel offers spacious rooms with innovative design, award-winning food and beverage, just 2 blocks away from the festival. They are supporters of our community and have generously offered discounts on all room types to DTLA Proud festival goers.

Book your room using the code PROUD.

Welcome Freehand LA to the neighborhood!

HOW TO GET HERE

  • Driving

    Special rates and parking information can be found here.

  • Metro

    Pershing Square can be easily reached by the Metro Redline. For directions from your location, click here for LA Metro’s trip planner, where you can enter your starting point and destination.

SPONSORS

AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Angel City Brewery
Capital Group
Jack Daniel's
Reed Smith
Tito's Handmade Vodka
Ace Hotel
Blade
Broker's Gin
C2PLA Coalition
Cera
Cybersocket
Downtown News
El Jimador Tequila
Eric Garcetti
Freehand
GED
Historic Core
Live Wire
Mitch O'Farrell
Mount Gay Rum
Otium
Skyspace
The Fight
US Bank
USC
Weingart
World 8
WebDev2017 Festival