By Susan Payne
Happening now through the end of June, WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival celebrates the artistic contributions of the LGBTQ community and Pride month.
Presenting both in-person and virtual events, the festival runs until June 30, in congruent with WeHo Pride Weekend from June 3 to June 5.
Starting with a virtual staged reading of the play “Dear Harvey: Stories of Harvey Milk” by Patricia Loughrey, this year’s theme is “With Liberty, Diversity, Inclusion and Progress for All.”
This documentary-style ensemble play recounts the life and lasting impact of the LGBTQ activist Harvey Milk as told by the people who knew him best, according to the Los Angeles Blade.
This year’s production features an entirely transgender and non-binary cast including: Luckie Alexander, Blossom C. Brown, Abdullah “Abby” Rahsheen Hall, Marval A. Rex, Mallery Jenna Robinson, Sydney Rogers aka Miss Barbie-Q, and Emily Westheimer. This performance is directed by Brittney S. Wheeler and produced by Parnell Damone Marcano and Celebration Theatre, LA’s oldest theatre dedicated to producing LGBTQIA+ work, The Blade reported.
The reading will be available for the public to view for free on the City’s WeHo Arts YouTube page for one week from May 22 to May 29.
Some highlights of the 40-day festival include:
- QUEER DIASPORAS: Lavender City of Dreams — May 27 to Aug. 19, free. Presented by by Rubén Esparza and Queer Biennial, this is an online exhibition with some in-person events at ONE Gallery that touches on identity, activism, futurity and beauty. Digital galleries, spaces, textured backdrops and live performances will be held May 28, June 3 and 4.
- Queer Crossroads — June 1 at 10 a.m., free. Explore queer intersectionality through video performance and conversation. Join the conversation if you’re queer and Black, differently-abled, neurodivergent, HIV positive, Trans, or Muslim, etc.
- Write Out Proud LGBTQ Writing Workshop — Wednesdays or Saturdays in June from 6-9 p.m., or 1-4 p.m., free. New and seasoned writers are welcome to write and share fun, flirty stories influenced by personal ideas of gender, sexuality and sexual orientation. Online reading will be held June 29 from 6-9 p.m. To sign up for this free workshop email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Pledge Allegiance to Your Flag: A Festival of LGBTQ Flags — June 4 from 2-4 p.m., free. Erase shame and stigma and claim your LGBTQ identity better by choosing an LGBTQ color guard flag and creating a personalized made-up mad cap mad lib Pledge of Allegiance. For details: http://www.writeoutproud.com/pledge.html.
- Church of Trans Love — June 5 at 2 p.m., free. The fictitious “The Church of Trans Love” presents a queerdo take on ecclesiastical liturgical practices in the tradition of “The Book of Mormon.” Performances includes music from David Bowie and features Key Exchange, the show’s gospel choir of professional trans and non-binary singers. More information: https://bit.ly/churchtranslove.
- WeHo Reads: Pride & Joy in the Matrix — June 7 at 6 p.m., free. LGBTQ+ authors take a hard look at society in real life and virtually, pinpointing ways to better connect and love each other. RSVP for this online session here: www.weho.org/wehoreads.
- Pride Poets – “Pledge” Poetry Hotline — June 11from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. overnight, free. LGBTQ poets stand by to tackle poetic needs by phone. Call in and have an original poem created for you or a loved one. This year’s this is “Pledge: come share your allegiances with us!” Call 202-998-3510.
- Q Con: A One Day Comic Convention Celebrating LGBTQ Comics — June 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Plummer Park’s Fiesta Hall, 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard, free. Find an exciting, diverse selection of LGBTQ comics and graphic novels all in one place. Q Con is family friendly, and admission is free. Cosplay is encouraged. Join in the costume contest for fun and prizes. For the latest updates on Q Con, visit https://www.prismcomics.org/q-con.
- Trans Pride LA 2022: The VarieTy Show — June 18 at 7 p.m., free but RSVP required. The VarieTy Show serves as the grand finale of the annual Trans Pride LA Festival. RSVP here: https://transpride.lalgbtcenter.org/.
For additional information, please visit www.weho.org/arts. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.