Everyone needs a comprehensive guide to Pride in SoCal, home to two of the best cities where you can celebrate the LGBT+ community. While festivals and parties might be at a minimum this year due to the pandemic, you can still participate in events and support worthy organizations.
Missing the party aspect? Read on for some bar and restaurant recommendations to frequent during June and July with your fellow queers. Both San Diego and Los Angeles host a myriad events and house many organizations dedicated to marginalized groups, specifically QTPOC.
Everyone knows that nightlife in SoCal never stops. Don those rainbow colors, gather your group of gays and hit the town for a month (or two) of pride. Make sure to consult this guide to Pride in SoCal for all the best events and hot spots this Pride month.
San Diego Pride
Not even a pandemic can stop San Diego from going all out in July with events, rallies and more. Formed in 1974, just five years after Stonewall, San Diego Pride always plans a wide range of activities to make sure the LBGT+ community is properly recognized and celebrated.
Staff and volunteers have teamed up with community partners, donors and small businesses to present a lively schedule filled with appropriate venues and restrictions for COVID-19. With both livestreaming and in-person events, San Diego Pride won’t disappoint this year.
The highlights for the summer of 2021 include art exhibitions, womxn-centered programs, community marches, block parties, livestreaming parades, picnics, pool parties and so much more. Perfect for friends, family and partners, San Diego Pride ensures that the entire community is included. Head over to Hillcrest for the festivities.
Los Angeles Pride
Of course La La Land, the City of Angels, hosts the LA Pride Parade & Festival, the county’s second largest Pride celebration. The Greater Los Angeles area has made a collective effort to build and continue LGBT+ history over the past 50 years. Even when it isn’t June, they organize and support other community events during the year, and partner with the community to promote diversity, equity and inclusion.
So what’s in store for 2021? Events include concerts, after parties, a party at Universal Studios, Pride Night at the Dodgers Stadium and more. While San Diego Pride definitely one-upped LA Pride this year, LA hasn’t skimped out on events for the LGBT+ community.
Gossip Grill – San Diego, CA
Welcome home, beautiful. These words lit up in neon pink usher you into Gossip Grill, one of the only – and probably the best – womxn’s bars in SoCal. Looking for some stellar drag? Buy a ticket for a cabaret drag brunch or dinner. And don’t forget Blackout Bingo on Wednesday nights. Aside from these riotous events, bring a small group of friends for a summer night of dancing and drinks. It’s the perfect place to meet fellow gays and connect with the community.
The New Jalisco Bar – Los Angeles, CA
While West Hollywood dominates the gay nightlife scene, and Precinct draws the crowds in Downtown LA, the New Jalisco bar has offered refuge for the Latinx LGBT+ community. Hit hard by the pandemic, New Jalisco has raised thousands to help save this spot for queer community. Though it’s been closed for a while, it’s time for Pride Month and the community to give their business and support to smaller bars. Be sure to donate and visit after it reopens on June 15, especially because QTPOC spaces are sparse.
San Diego LGBT Community Center
Located on the fringes of Hillcrest, the San Diego LGBT Community Center has been operational since the 1970s. It began as an answering machine that served as a 24-hour hotline for those who needed military or LGBT+ counseling. You could call the number, leave a message and one of the members would return your call.
Originally called The Center for Social Services, Inc., the center worked to move beyond counseling and hoped to provide the community with resources for education, health and more. Mental health services have always been at the forefront of the center’s mission.
Since 1972, it has become one of the largest and most diverse LGBT community centers in the country. With over 1,200 volunteers, several board members and almost 60 staff members, the SD LGBT Community Center offers services to men, women, youth, seniors, transgender and nonbinary individuals and families. Donations help them to offer more than 87,300 annual service visits.
Los Angeles LGBT Center
The LA LGBT Center provides a wealth of services including health and wellness, education, social services, housing, leadership, advocacy and more. The center employs more than 800 individuals, thus providing more services to the LGBT+ community than any other organization worldwide.
What began as a small community effort in 1969 has turned into a force to be reckoned with. If you identify as LGBT+ and need a community within the Greater Los Angeles Area, check out the events page for information on meetings, celebrations and more.
If you do not identify as LGBT+, be sure to donate to your local organizations and reach out to friends and family who do identify as LGBT+. As they say, “Ally” is a verb.
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