Kaylee Atkinson got here to her first Los Angeles Delight parade Sunday with the 2 most necessary individuals in her life: her mother and pop.
Atkinson, 19, even picked out their outfits.
Mother wore a T-shirt that learn: “In case your mother and father aren’t accepting of your id, I’m your mother now.”
Dad rocked a shirt that stated: “Proud Dad of a Smartass Lesbian Daughter.”
“It seems like I belong right here,” stated Atkinson, who got here out as a lesbian proper earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic started. “The assist — it’s overwhelming.”
Such was the vibe in Hollywood this weekend as LA Delight held its first in-person parade in two years.
The parade, which drew 1000’s of individuals to Hollywood Boulevard, was the primary exterior town of West Hollywood — the area’s iconic queer enclave — in additional than 40 years. After a less-than-amicable pandemic divorce, LA Delight and West Hollywood went their very own methods, with town holding its personal parade final weekend, simply two miles away.
Regardless of some confusion over the double Delight weekends, paradegoers Sunday stated they had been simply glad to be again, in particular person, at such a festivity of LGBTQ individuals at a time when lawmakers throughout the nation are debating whether or not transgender youngsters can play in youth sports activities leagues, whether or not academics can talk about same-sex relationships within the classroom, and whether or not mother and father who assist their youngsters search gender-affirming care or take them to pull exhibits must be investigated for abuse.
On Saturday, police in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, arrested 31 members of the white supremacist group Patriot Entrance close to a Delight occasion that authorities stated they had been planning to disrupt. “They got here to riot downtown,” Police Chief Lee White stated at a information convention.
Amid the glitter and glam, LA Delight felt, to many, like a household affair.
Atkinson, a Cal State Northridge pupil, was beaming as she stood by her mother and father, who stated they had been horrified by current anti-LGBTQ laws. Her mom, Monica Bundy, stated she was initially somewhat nervous hopping on a Metro practice within the San Fernando Valley whereas decked out in rainbow gear, however that she shortly noticed different individuals clearly going to the Delight parade and felt nothing however love.
“We’re simply honored she invited us,” Atkinson’s dad, Garrett Bundy, stated. “We’re so happy with her.”
Jaida Harris of Santa Clarita introduced her three youngsters, ages 15, 13 and eight. She wore a shirt that stated: “Mama Bear No Matter What.”
“It’s not controversial for us,” Harris, 41, stated of bringing her youngsters.
Harris’ 15-year-old son has particular wants, and he or she stated she wished to show her children that every one individuals deserve love.
“That is an important factor we will do as mother and father — it’s not jobs or faculty. It’s elevating children who settle for and love, it doesn’t matter what,” she stated. “Some individuals will say, ‘You’re going to have to elucidate quite a bit to the children —’”
“— then clarify it to them,” her 13-year-old daughter, Brighton, reduce in.
Earlier than the parade started, 8-year-old Insurgent McKenna — sporting overalls shorts, a pair of gold-glitter Mary Janes and a rainbow flag as a cape — twirled round on an empty Hollywood Boulevard.
“Is the Delight beginning?” she requested her older siblings with a smile.
Her sister, Ashlie Smith, 23, of Redondo Seashore, stated she knew Insurgent would benefit from the rainbows — and that she wished her to know that “it’s utterly regular, it’s OK to be something you need to be.”
Her brother, Chris McKenna, 21, who’s bisexual, stated that seeing the information lately makes him really feel “like we’re going backward.” He grew up with marriage equality and a broadly more-accepting society, he stated, and it’s formidable to now reside in a world the place his rights are as soon as once more up for debate.
As a gaggle of girls on bikes revved their engines to kick off the parade, a younger man with a pink and blue transgender Delight flag draped round his shoulders stood on humorist Will Rogers’ star on the Hollywood Stroll of Fame and screamed, “Let’s gooooo!”
Close by, Navia Mann held a rainbow-colored signal that learn: “God is obsessive about you.”
Mann, 43, was strolling within the parade along with her nondenominational, LGBTQ-friendly congregation, InVision Church L.A., the place she and her spouse are members. When individuals have seen them within the parade in years previous, she stated, they’ve cried and ran as much as them for hugs.
“I’ve all the time been a Christian,” Mann stated. “I’ve all the time been a lesbian. I’ve all the time been safe with God’s love for me.”
As the primary floats rolled previous, a younger girl sporting a pair of feathery, rainbow-colored angel wings wept with pleasure. The gang cheered as a gaggle of workers of Disney — which is enmeshed in heated debates over Florida’s “Don’t Say Homosexual” laws — marched by in shirts that learn, “We’re the magic,” and handed out rainbow-colored Mickey Mouse stickers.
Throughout one lull between floats, a homeless man in sandals and a thick coat walked alone down the center of Hollywood Boulevard, revelers on either side of him. Some clapped. When a girl yelled, “We love you!” he checked out her, perplexed, and saved strolling.
As a gaggle of Scorching Matter workers — proud goths sporting matching black T-shirts, with a number of in fishnet stockings and black lipstick — marched by, a person within the crowd screamed, delightedly: “Oh my God, Scorching Matter!”
Aboard the Grindrand Astroglide float, a drag queen waved from atop an enormous purple eggplant. And members of the West Hollywood Metropolis Council danced atop a float selling their very own, separate WeHo Delight.
Lydia Mahoney watched along with her ex-husband, Jared, to whom she was married for 4 years earlier than popping out as a lesbian. They stated they’re nonetheless finest buddies and picked out loud outfits for his or her first Delight parade: rainbow-colored shorts and suspenders for her, and a pink feather boa, tutu and tiara for him.
“I’m so glad to have the ability to assist her,” stated Jared, 28.
“That is so enjoyable,” added Lydia, 25. “It’s such a celebration. Simply seeing the enjoyment — it’s contagious.”
The Related Press contributed to this text.