Well, it's June. That can only mean one thing: It's Pride Month. Pride used to be one single, managable weekend. Out here on the West Coast, that meant trekking into West Hollywood on Saturday. Inside the festival we'd shop at the booths, ogle guys, get samples of free lube from scantily clad volunteers, grab some food and a beer, all the while taking photos of the previously mentioned guys asses when they weren't looking. Then we'd get a cone or sundae from the lesbians who had the ice cream truck parked in the middle of the grassy area before we headed over to the stage to see what act was performing and maybe we'd end up singing along with Romanovsky and Phillips.
West Hollywood kicked off its month of events with an exhibit of works by Jean Cocteau that continues through July at the new West Hollywood library. There's also a screening of Cocteau's La Belle et la Bête June 19th at 7pm in the library. If you haven't seen the film I recommend you see it, especially on a big screen. At 66-years-old the film is still wondrous and breathtaking.
The city of Los Angeles has chimed in and proclaimed June as the classy sounding LGBT Heritage Month. As part of heritage month, Novelist and art rescuer Noel Alumit is curating a lit event 7:30 pm this Thursday June 7th at Skylight Books in Los Feliz. The event is called Proud of It: Gay and Lesbian Writers Who Inspired Us. The impressive lineup of L.A. writers taking part in the evening are Hope Edelman, Leslie Schwartz, Frederick Smith, Lisa Yee, Imani Tolliver, Steven Reigns, and Raquel Gutierrez. I'm excited to go and listen to this group read works of the authors who inspired them. I'm also going to get there early enough to see what's new in the best children's book section of any bookstore in Los Angeles (that isn't a children's bookstore). Directions to Skylight here.
Not everything in June is part of Pride Month®. homo-centric participants Andrea Lambert and Katie Jacobson curate the reading series Featherless. The series is not specifically LGBTQ but the curators are. And this month they're featuring homo-centric alumni, Ofelia Del Corazon. Stop by Stories Books (you should know where that is by now) this Friday the 8th at 8pm and get your ears tickled by Featherless. It's a great series and Andrea and Katie should be um, prideful.
Speaking of pride but having nothing to do with being featherless, Ryka Aoki will spread her wings and fly to San Francisco for the Seasonal Velocities book release at Modern Times Bookstore Collective. Seasonal Velocities is a terrific collection of Ryka's writings. All you Centric types living in the shadow of the Golden Gate should head over to Modern Times Wednesday June 13th at 7pm to meet & listen to Ryka.
So start planning your pride weekend, or month if you're so inclined. There's more to talk about, so stay tuned. In the meantime, write or read or talk about something homo-centric. You have an entire month to be fashionably gay doing it!