• May 31, 2023

LGBTQ+ Pride

LGBTQ+ Pride

LGBTQ+ Pride 1024 683 LA County Library

LGBTQ+ Pride

people holding a rainbow flagWelcome to Our Pride Page!

Check out the resources and materials we’ve put together to inform and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community in Los Angeles County and beyond. This page will be updated regularly, and feel free to check back for more new and exciting videos, booklists, activities, learning pathways, and more. There’s also info on accessing relevant archives on LGBTQ+ history that researchers will find valuable.

Can you tell me about the history of Pride?

The month of June is when we celebrate Pride, which is the promotion of the self-affirmation, dignity, equality, and increased visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT+) people as a social group.

The term “Pride” (or “Gay Pride” earlier) was coined by Thom Higgins, an activist in Minnesota along with several other prominent gay-rights activists in the late 1960s. Common symbols of Pride include the rainbow flag, the lowercase Greek letter lambda (λ), the pink triangle, and the black triangle.

Raising the Progress Pride Flag at Los Angeles County Facilities

On March 7, 2023, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously that all LA County Libraries that currently display American and California flags also display the Progress Pride flag during the month of June, in recognition of LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Come visit one of our locations to see the Progress Pride flag on display.

The History of the Pride Flag

The first known Pride flag debuted at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade in June 1978. At the encouragement of gay activist Harvey Milk, Gilbert Baker sewed the flag to symbolize the value and dignity of the gay community.

The original Pride flag contained eight stripes, each a separate color of the rainbow plus hot pink. The colors represented sex, life, healing, sunlight, nature, magic and art, serenity, and spirit. While there have been several variations of the Pride flag, in 2019, a version was debuted that included the iconic six rainbow stripes: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet, as well as the colors from the Transgender Pride Flag, light blue, pink and white stripes, to embrace the transgender community.

More recently, the Progress Pride Flag was created by artist Daniel Quasar as a reimagining of the original Pride Flag. The Progress Pride Flag’s black and brown stripes represent marginalized LBGTQ+ communities of color, community members lost to HIV/AIDS, and those currently living with HIV/AIDS. The new flag colors are in a chevron shape to represent a need for forward movement.

What events are LA County Library holding to celebrate Pride Month?

We will be hosting events throughout June geared towards learning about and celebrating the LGBT+ community in Los Angeles. Please see below for more details and registration info.

LGBT Collection at the West Hollywood Library

Our West Hollywood Library holds our LGBT Collection, a comprehensive collection of LGBT fiction and non-fiction literature and history in a variety of formats: books, journals, periodicals, VHS, and DVD. The collection reflects the rich history, culture, and experiences of the LGBT community both locally and globally. It includes popular and academic materials, out-of-print and hard-to-find titles, LGBT classics, current bestsellers, and new Lambda Literary Award winners and nominees.

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