A threatened boycott of next month’s LA Pride won’t be happening after all.
Members of #NotOurPride voted last night to end the boycott. Peter Cruz, who organized the proposed boycott, said in an email to WEHOville that he believes that Christopher Street West (CSW), Pride’s producer, has addressed the issues that inspired it. The group was composed of variety of people representing the trans, lesbian and gay communities.
CSW’s decision to rebrand the annual festival as a “music festival” aimed at millennials and to increase the admission charge by 40% to $35 and its reduction of transgender and lesbian events sparked outrage among many in the LGBT community. However last week CSW announced that it would make changes to address the concerns.
“Since its inception, our movement was focused on three specific concerns with this year’s festival: 1) the significant reduction of the Friday night trans and lesbian celebrations, 2) the increase in festival ticket prices, 3) the rebranding of the event as a music festival. I personally feel that we have addressed these three objectives, which is why I voted to have the boycott lifted. I feel that we should all be proud of everything we have accomplished in the last two weeks,” Cruz said in the message, which also is posted on the group’s Facebook page.
Cruz noted that CSW agreed to “reverse their decision to reduce the hours of the Friday night trans and lesbian celebrations.” CSW also agreed to make admission free to the Friday Pride event on June 10. CSW’s decision to increase ticket costs by 40% to $35 was a major reason this year’s Pride came under attack. The Friday night Pride festival will include trans and lesbian. Cruz also noted that CSW work with the Transgender Service Provider Network to distribute tickets to “communities in need.” And finally, he noted, CSW has removed the words “Music Festival” from its marketing materials.
While Cruz praised CSW for the changes, he said more is needed going forward. “I agree with members of the community who are calling for more community input when planning future events, more financial transparency, a donation-based model for festival admission, the reinstatement of community awards, and for more community representation in the CSW board of directors.”