The Valley Pride festival, with its message of acceptance, is growing.
Themed “One Valley, One Love,” the festival held Saturday, June 22, celebrated love and support for the LGBTQIA+ community living in the San Fernando Valley.
This year’s event counted 1,000 people in attendance, making it the largest one since the festival began five years ago.
LA City Councilmember Nury Martinez is credited as the primary supporter who provided the resources to get the festival off the ground.
“Going from our first two years where we talked about the history of the LGBTQIA+ Movement, to our last three years where we are transforming the Civic Center into a Pride to rival our neighbors in West Hollywood,” Martinez said. “We use Valley Pride to highlight the LGBT talent, resources, and community that we have right here in the Valley, including our own San Fernando Valley LGBT Coalition who has helped bring this vision to life.”
With additional support from Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles Magazine, Blick Art Materials, the LA Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Arts Development Fee Program, the festival was
full of entertainment, music, art, and included a resource fair. Featured musicians included queer, Latinx, LA-based artist SAN CHA, Dominican singer Irka Mateo, Aaron Marco, DJ Les Ortiz, DJ Erika Kayne, DJ Lickerish, Xica Nica, Lost Angeles, Blasia Discoteca, and Jarina DeMarco.
“The SFV Pride event commemorates SFV LGBT history and builds our current solidarity,” said Matthew Clements, professor of the Queer Studies Program at CSUN. “SFV Pride is all-inclusive: Queers of color, non-binary folk, allies, families — everyone come and enjoy the great performers, fun activities, terrific food.”
City Controller Ron Galperin, Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Assemblywoman Luz Rivas, Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, and state Senator Robert Hertzberg also attended.
“As Angelenos, we have so much to be proud of,” said Galperin, LA’s first openly gay citywide elected official. “Our city is diverse, tolerant and inclusive. Valley Pride showcases the best side of Los Angeles by bringing communities together for a night that emphasizes unity and love in the heart of the wonderful San Fernando Valley.”
“It is this community that we celebrate tonight, because it is the same community who is facing a growing feeling of division and hate,” Martinez said. “We will only overcome the voices of bigotry and hate by continuing to show up and embracing one another in love. And showing that we will not be divided and manipulated into hating one another.”