Los Angeles is known for being the heart of the U.S. film industry, but it’s also known for its history with the LGBTQ community. LA may not have played quite as large a role as San Francisco or New York City in the community’s growth and acceptance, but it has been the site of a number of important steps for gay and lesbian rights. The Counterculture Movement of the 1960s was one of the first major LGBTQ movements, highlighting the culture and bringing equality into the political discussion of the time. Riots, protests, and other events took place during the 1960s, leading to a number of gay bars being the targets of police raids.
West Hollywood and Silver Lake
Today, Los Angeles is still a hub of LGBTQ culture. In fact, West Hollywood is made up of about 40 percent of people who identify as a member of the community. A wide number of LGBTQ-owned businesses are also located in this part of LA. At one point, West Hollywood was almost exclusively LGBTQ, but today, as more and more people have become accepting, the city has become more of a melting pot of different sexualities, cultures, and races.
Silver Lake is another major LGBTQ community in LA. This residential area sits in the center of Los Angeles near the city reservoir. Silver Lake is home to Walt Disney’s first studio, although that studio was demolished years ago. The neighborhood has also been one of the central locations for the leather subculture.
LGBTQ Community Resources
If you live in Los Angeles or are talking to a gay or lesbian real estate agent about moving there, you may be curious about what community resources are available. The Los Angeles LGBT Center is one of the top community centers in the state. In fact, it’s considered one of the largest LGBTQ community centers in the world. It offers a wide number of services and programs, including health, housing, education, and advocacy services. The center has been active since 1969.
The University of Southern California is home to the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives. This archive includes years of different materials related to the LGBTQ community and operates a public museum. The Gay Women’s Service Center is also located in Los Angeles.
Naturally, LA also has its own pride parade. The Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade and Festival is annually held in June every year in West Hollywood. More than 400,000 people attend this huge celebration.