This month as the world comes together to celebrate PRIDE—recognizable by a colorful rainbow, equality and the belief that love is love. The flag itself means something. Red means life, orange means healing, yellow means sunshine, green means nature, blue means harmony, and purple means spirit. And in the spirit of unity and being a part of the LGBTQ community, we are celebrating PRIDE. In honor of our local chapter, the amazing Los Angeles LGBTQ Center, we encourage you to volunteer, donate, and support your own local chapters.My third year attending PRIDE, I was fortunate to be a volunteer and actually march in this year’s parade alongside the LA LGBTQ Center. There is nothing quite like the energy of a crowd full of diversity, sparkle, community, expression and love. Below is a look at the parade, and to follow are links to how you can participate and volunteer in your local chapters.
What better way to celebrate who we are, where we’ve come from, and where we’re going than with a year-long set of opportunities for everyone to get involved! Celebrate 50 years of queer!
In 1972, the Center establishes Herself Health Free Clinic, the world’s first lesbian clinic staffed by volunteers who are all lesbian medical professionals. In 1972, the Center applies for nonprofit, tax-exempt status at the IRS building in Hollywood. The IRS denies the application and advises the Center that it is “neither benevolent nor charitable” because it serves homosexuals. The Center appeals the denial, beginning several years of litigation.
In 1974, the appeal of the IRS decision is successful and the Center becomes the first openly LGBT organization to receive tax-exempt status, but only on the conditions that it not “advocate the practice of homosexuality or contend that homosexuality is normal” and that no “avowed homosexuals” would server on its Board of Directors.
The Center accepts the tax-exempt status, but does not comply with the conditions. Although never followed in practice, the conditions were legally removed a decade later. In 1992, 20 years after the initial denial, the Center purchases the IRS building in Hollywood and moves in to its new headquarters, now known at the McDonald/Wright Building.
To commemorate our 50th anniversary, the Center worked with ad agency RPA to create a striking new logo that celebrates the relentless efforts of the community in the fight for equality by using images from multiple protest signs to create a singular symbol.
To both pay tribute to the movement’s past and convey the momentum that’s being carried into the future, the Center with RPA and Raconteur, a consultancy focused on a creative storytelling approach to marketing, created a logo out of 292 images from collections at ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries. Images included some from Chuck Stallard, a photographer whose largest body of work covers the war against HIV/AIDS as seen from the battlefronts of street demonstrations; Pat Rocco, an activist who documented the LGBTQ rights movement in film and photographs; and the Center’s archive. All the images were taken from protests from the past 50 years from several different mobilizations around the U.S., mainly in Los Angeles. This video, narrated by Patricia Arquette, tells the story of how the innovative logo was crafted.
More than 125 letters or symbols were chosen from different protest signs to make up the logo. The new “Forward for 50” logo directly speaks to the Center’s 50-year commitment to moving in just one direction — toward progress, by honoring the decades of struggle that have paved the way to freedoms and acceptance.
As the Center and its community look to meet the challenges of the future, a typeface that celebrates the 50th anniversary borrows each of its letters directly from the powerful signage of the movement’s past and serves as a reminder of the passion and sacrifice required to make this lasting change happen.
“We instilled the passion of the movement directly into our logo by using letters from multiple protest signs to create a singular, symbolic phrase—Forward for 50—that they can carry with them into the future,” explained Jason Sperling, SVP/Chief Creative Development at RPA.
Not all countries are created equal and that’s what we must strive for. In places like Bangladesh or Dubai, the gay community is not accepted. We must work to change that. Do your part to open minds and demand equality for all.