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Open Access Publications from the University of California

(Re)Locating Pride: Borders, Space, and Policing at Los Angeles Pride


The most notorious queer uprising against police, referred to as the Stonewall Riots, has cemented its position at the forefront of queer collective memory in the form of an annual commemoration known as Gay Pride. Though it’s widely accepted that the first Pride was a riot, the radical nature of Gay Pride has seemed to dissipate with the encroachment of heavy corporate involvement, high ticketed admission costs, physical borders, and welcomed police presences. In this paper, I utilize a spatial analysis to explore the multitudes of ways queer identity is policed in and through Gay Pride spaces, with specific reference to Los Angeles Pride’s exclusive location in West Hollywood, the implications of its relocation, and the impacts of the conceptual relocation of Pride to an “All Black Lives Matter” march in June 2020. I also reference the relocation of Dyke Day LA in exemplification of a successful relocation model for a queer event, one that highlights the nuances of claiming queer public space with consideration to the needs of both queer and local communities.

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