CITY HALL – The Mayor and the Los Angeles City Council kicked off the fifth annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Heritage Month celebration and shined the spotlight on three pioneers in the gay rights movement.

Mayor Eric Garcetti joined Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell and Mike Bonin for the special ceremony which took place on Tuesday in the John Ferraro Council Chamber.

“This year we are recognizing three pioneers who paved the way for us to live more freely in our great city,” said Councilmember O’Farrell. “Together, we will follow in their footsteps and continue to carry the torch for pride, equality, and freedom of expression in the City of Angels during this special month and beyond.”

The following LGBT activists, advocates, and pioneers were recognized for their work:

  • Alan Bell, president of BLK Publishing Company, Inc., a company he founded in 1988 to publish magazines targeted to the black lesbian and gay community. A special focus of the company is developing materials for community-based organizations that serve the health, educational and social needs of those residing in inner-city communities.

  • Matt Redman, founder of AIDS Project Los Angeles and known for his uncompromising dedication to the health of the LGBT community. Matt and his friends are credited with raising funds that were used as seed money to start AIDS Project Los Angeles, educate the community, and prevent the spread of the disease.

  • Carolyn Weathers, an activist with the Los Angeles Gay Liberation Front (GLF), she’s known for storming the stage at the  American Psychiatric Association annual conference at the Biltmore and stopping a film on electric shock aversion therapy from being shown.  Carolyn co-founded Clothespin Fever Press and helped lesbian authors publish their books.

The event also featured the unveiling of the City’s Department of Cultural Affairs official Heritage Month Calendar and Cultural Guide, as well as a special exhibit curated by ONE Archives, the largest repository of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) materials in the world. The event was sponsored by the Los Angeles Times.  

Special thanks thanks to City Controller Ron Galperin, who is also openly gay, and the many council offices for supporting the event.

Later that evening, the City Hall tower was illuminated in rainbow colors similar to a gay pride flag, compliments of the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti.

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