While plans for a traditional Pride this June have been derailed nationwide because of the pandemic, many efforts have been made to keep the annual celebration alive this summer.
In Boyle Heights, the nonprofit organization Latino Equality Alliance (LEA) is shifting the event online with a virtual celebration and call for racial justice, set to take place Thursday, from 6 to 7:30 pm.
This year’s event theme is “Pride is Racial Justice.”
“The whole world changed overnight and we had to adjust our plans for the community just as fast,” said Eddie Martinez, the Executive Director at LEA. “With all of the recent protests nationwide, we knew we couldn’t bring Pride to Boyle Heights without acknowledging its history as an uprising started by transgender and gender-nonconforming women of color against police brutality.”
After having to transition all of their programming online, LEA quickly put together a coalition of organizations to help support and organize Boyle Heights Pride. Those involved alongside LEA’s Executive Board and LGBTQA Youth Council include the Los Angeles LGBT Community Center, Equality California, and Assemblyman Miguel Santiago.
“We really want to use this Pride as an opportunity to highlight that queer and trans people are a part the community of immigrants, the people of color that make Boyle Heights what it is,” said Martinez. “Fighting for racial justice needs to be inclusive and we always need to stand in solidarity to address larger issues like discrimination and police brutality.”
The upcoming event, which will take place via a Zoom meeting, will feature special performances by transgender banda singer Gio Bravo, singer-song writer Irene Diaz, drag performer Joey Flamboyant and LEA census advocate Miss Census. The event is free and a link to RSVP is available here.
Latino Equality Alliance is a nonprofit organization located at Mi Centro LGBTQ Community Center in Boyle Heights. Its mission is to advocate for equity, safety and wellness for the Latinx LGBTQ+ community.