December 7, 2021 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Painted Panels of LGBTQ+ History

There’s a certain crispness in the air as one walks down Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood as of late. Days are shortening and the leaves in William S. Hart Park are starting to turn and fall. This is a perfect evening to go for a stroll take in the enormity of the latest City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division instillation.

“A Mecca of Bold, Retold” is a 140-foot-long temporary mural by Aaron Glasson that highlights historic figures and significant events in the WeHo’s history. Scheduled to be displayed until the end of the year, the mural exemplifies the diversity and intersectionality that creates the West Hollywood community. The LGBTQ+ community is represented in seven of the 19 panels.

The mural is part of the City’s Art on the Outside program, which installs rotating artworks in public spaces throughout the City. Works include sculpture, murals and other outdoor works. Most works remain on display from between six months and three years, according to the City of West Hollywood website. This instillation was commissioned in celebration of the “Summer on Sunset: A Tribute to the Summer of Love” events promoted by the visitors bureau of the City of West Hollywood.

Photo: Morgan Genser.

LGBTQ+ Representation

The seventh panel of the mural recognizes the evolution of the area during the silent film era,  as represented in the depiction of Russian immigrant and known bisexual Allah Nazimova. Her mansion, called The Garden of Allah, was located in Los Angeles, just outside of the City of West Hollywood’s border on Sunset Boulevard. Artists such as Nazimova were early trailblazers who set a precedent that attracted other like-minded progressive artists and activists to the area.

In panels 11 and 12, Avant-garde clothing designer Rudi Gernreich’s is depicted. His clothes are generally regarded as the most innovative and dynamic fashion of the 1960s, consciously pushed the boundaries of acceptable fashion. He used his designs as an opportunity expand society’s perception of what was acceptable. He was the first to introduce unisex designs and cutouts in clothing and designed the first thong bathing suit, the first swimsuit without a built-in bra, and the topless monokini. Gernreich and his lover Harry Hay co-founded the Mattachine Society, one of the earliest LGBT gay rights organizations in the United States. Their goal was to improve the rights of gay men. Gernreich later lived together in West Hollywood with his partner Oreste Pucciani, who was also a pivotal figure in the gay rights movement, until he died in 1985.

Panel 13 features gay rights activist Henry “Harry” Hay, Jr. In 1989, the West Hollywood City Council named him as Honorary Citizen of West Hollywood.  Also featured in this panel is actress, singer and gay icon Judy Garland. She lived just north of the Sunset Strip. She is famous for her role as Dorothy Gale in “The Wizard of Oz” (1939). She was the first woman to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year for her live recording “Judy at Carnegie Hall” (1961), according to the City of West Hollywood website.

Panel 16 highlights the early days of the gay rights movement. The LGBTQ+ community in Los Angeles experienced the first gay-rights protests after officers beat gay patrons and arrested 14 people for same-sex kissing at the Black Cat bar on New Year’s Day in 1967. The first LA Pride Parade was organized in 1970 to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots.

Panel 17 takes us to 1984, the origin year of the City of West Hollywood. An unlikely coalition of LGBT activists, seniors and renters came together with progressive policies and strong tenants’ rights protections. The city was officially incorporated as an independent city on November 29, 1984.

Panel 18 looks at the current state of the LGBTQ+ community, highlighting  L.A. Pride and the  Resist March. In 2017, the colorful floats that were typically seen in the Pride Parade were replaced with people marching for human rights. The Resist March, harkening back to the roots of the original Pride Parade, was a demonstration of fighting for human rights, inspired by the massive women’s marches that took place across the globe the day after President Trump’s inauguration.

This mural is located at William S. Hart Park, located at 8341 DeLongpre Ave. and can be viewed facing Sunset Boulevard on the Sunset Strip. For more information, please contact Rebecca Ehemann, the City of West Hollywood’s Public Art Coordinator, at (323) 848-6846 or at rehemann@weho.org.

Related Posts

WeHo’s 31st Annual Toy & Food Drive

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

The City of West Hollywood and the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station are partnering to help give back to those in...

Congregation Kol Ami To Host World AIDS Day 2021 Event

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

Progressive, Reform Congregation Kol Ami will mark World AIDS Day with a special interfaith observance, combining awareness, remembrance, and speaking...

Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Culinary Arts Program Served Hundreds For Thanksgiving Holiday

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

The Los Angeles LGBT Center Culinary Arts program served nearly 900 people Thanksgiving meals making it the largest undertaking so...

The Center Long Beach Older Adult Service’s Rolls Out In-person & Hybrid Programming

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

The Center’s Older Adult Services Program rolls out in-person activities and adopts a hybrid programming model.  Socially distant, outdoor in-person...

WeHo Wins ‘Most Business-Friendly City Award’ from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

The City of West Hollywood has been awarded the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation’s 2021 Most Business-Friendly City Award....

The Center Long Beach Will Participate In Giving Tuesday

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

The LGBTQ Center Long Beach will be participating in Giving Tuesday, a global day of generosity taking place on November...

WeHo Commemorates Transgender Day of Remembrance 2021

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

The City of West Hollywood commemorated Transgender Day of Rememberance through a virtual event.  Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is...

TransGiving Dinner 2021

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

The 21st annual Trans-Giving Dinner was held on November 20th at the Unique Woman’s Coalition (UWC) in West Hollywood.  The...

LGBTQ Center Long Beach Adds New Staff

November 16, 2021

November 16, 2021

The LGBTQ Center Long Beach has added three new members to its board of directors as well as the new...

34th Annual AIDS Walk Long Beach

November 16, 2021

November 16, 2021

The 34th Annual AIDS Walk Long Beach, a benefit for the LGBTQ Center Long Beach and other local providers returned...

LA County Addresses Disproportionate Amount Of Women and LGBTQ Populations In L.A. Jails

November 16, 2021

November 16, 2021

On Tuesday, October 19, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed a motion that the board hopes will do...

County Board Of Supervisors Approves $3.6 Million To Serve LGBTQ Foster Youth

November 16, 2021

November 16, 2021

L.A County Board or Supervisors has passed a supplemental budget to its fiscal year 2021-2022, which includes an allocation of...

City Council of WeHo Approves Draft Ordinance to Implement a Citywide Minimum Wage

November 10, 2021

November 10, 2021

The City Council of the City of West Hollywood has unanimously approved a draft Ordinance to establish a citywide minimum...

WeHo Approves Resolution Recognizing November As Native American Heritage Month

November 10, 2021

November 10, 2021

The City of West Hollywood City Council has approved a Resolution recognizing November as Native American Heritage Month. The Resolution...

WeHo Halloween Carnaval 2021 Cancelled

October 31, 2021

October 31, 2021

The City of West Hollywood is reminding the community and the region that the City’s annual Halloween Carnaval will not...