The State of LGBT OC

Essays by longtime activists on how gay life has changed in Orange County over the years

The State of LGBT OC
Photo: Riley Kern, | Photo Assist.: Genevieve Davis | Models: MoSh, Nickie Jean | Styling: MoSh | Wardrobe: | D

This weekend, downtown Santa Ana will host OC Pride, the county's premier celebration of LGBT everything. Its growth is a testament to the willpower of the community and its allies to carve a place for themselves in a county notorious for gay-bashing on almost every level imaginable. On that note, next year marks the 25th anniversary of one of the worst moments of that uneasy history: the holding of the first gay-pride event in Orange County (in Santa Ana's Centennial Park), a celebration marked by rancid abuse hurled at attendees by Christian fundamentalists, tolerated by the city's politicians and police department.

We'll do an oral history of that important OC moment for next year's Pride Issue. This time around, we wanted to hand the keyboard over to longtime activists and Weeklings who have seen OC evolve from a place with a vibrant—if deeply closeted—gay scene to a region where LGBT folks are more proudly out than ever before, no longer willing to take any abuse whatsoever. It's a beautiful set of remembrances by those who have fought at the front lines, along with a piece by the Center OC's Kevin O'Grady looking toward the future. And wondering what this important collection has to do with the salacious cover of two hot women kissing solely for titillating reasons? You'll have to go over to our Navel Gazing blog to read my essay on the matter. Enjoy, and see you at Pride!


Riley Kern

* Laura Kanter, Director of Youth Services, The Center OC

* Dave Barton, Contributor, OC Weekly

* Anahi Avila, Activist, Transgeneros en Accion

* Rosanne Faul, President, Orange County Lavender Bar Association

* Rich Kane, Journalist

* John J. Duran, Former Mayor, West Hollywood       

* Jeff LeTourneau, LGBT Caucus Co-Chairperson, Democratic Party of Orange County

* Joe Shaw, City Councilman, Huntington Beach

* Kevin O’Grady, Anti-Discrimination Activist, Executive Director, The Center OC

My Voice Nation Help

Hey OC weekly, what’s with all the articles on “LGBT”? There are 7 plus articles alone that I can see (not that it’s not news worthy, but really…..), yet nothing on Filner, Hannah Anderson, Santa Ana “Jury convicts two gang members”, Santa Ana police arrest 12 gang members, Kobe is selling his home in NB (rolling eyes), man hit with bat in CM, Man tries to stab two people on Newport Blvd, so on and so on?

sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

America is tame by comparison

Having traveled the world and of course reading you see that in the African countries ( as well as in the states with black people )  the hate is overwhelming 

funny how the lg community doesnt take that on???

euorpe talks alot of "compassion" but on the street level,, not even close to a love fest

so dont even pretend America is the worst

they are not

n2bigmuscle topcommenter

Wow, that's kinda hot seeing to Marylin look-a-likes.