Orange County’s history of Pride dates back to 1835 when Dana Point was named after Richard Henry Dana, a seaman and author whose name was found on a list of non-fiction authors who’ve referenced or contacted supposed “homosexuals,” according to Barbara Muirhead, creator of the Orange County Historical LGBT Timeline.
Later, during the early 1900s, Laguna Beach’s film industry brought in queer people who were part of movie crews and established itself as a popular queer community. Now, the county has its own LGBTQ Center of OC and OC Pride nonprofit festival and parade.
People of all ages can celebrate, learn and recognize the history of this diverse community. For kids, there was Pretend City Children’s Museum’s “Rainbow Families” event on June 1 that shared a collection of stories of children with LGBTQ+ families. For teenagers and adults, there are an array of exciting Pride events to attend to feel connected, enjoy your time or show support.
Here are eight diverse Pride events happening in Orange County:
Segerstrom Silent Disco: Pride in Costa Mesa
When: 7 p.m. Friday, June 10
Where: 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa
Information: scfta.org, (714) 556-2787
Segerstrom Center of the Arts is hosting a silent disco in celebration of Pride Month. Participants can listen to classic party hits and electric dance music through light-up headphones controlled by the DJs. There will be special performances by Electra Young, Cucu Chanel and Saphyre Gemm. Tickets are $15, and the disco starts at 7 p.m. The silent disco will be taking place at the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza, which is located between Segerstrom Hall and the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.
Buenas Coffee’s Pride Gallery & Pop-up in Costa Mesa
When: 5-9 p.m., Saturday, June 11
Where: Buenas Coffee, 150 Paularino Ave., Costa Mesa
Tickets: Free admission
Buenas Coffee shop is hosting a Pride Gallery and Pop-up featuring artists, creatives and vendors from the local LGBTQ+ community. The event will feature food, drinks, artwork, shopping and raffles. One of the raffles will include two tickets to the “This Ain’t No Picnic” festival at the Rose Bowl in August. The event will be from 5-9 p.m. and admission is free.
Buenas Coffee’s shop manager SJ Garrett said as a queer person, it was difficult for her to find LGBTQ+-friendly establishments in O.C. where she would feel welcomed. So, this event exhibits not only queer creatives and businesses but also highlights the store as an LGBTQ+-safe place.
“It shows this general safe haven in the direct area they are in, so if they’re queer in this area that they know they can come in and there’s going to be queer people behind the bar and there’s going to be that lack of judgment,” Garrett said.
Proceeds from the raffle and sales will be donated to the LGBT Center of OC. Garrett wanted to give back to the LGBT Center of OC since it was a safe space that helped her during her coming out story and is local.
Orange County Pride Kickoff Party: ‘Butch Please’ in Santa Ana
When: 9 p.m., Friday, June 24
Where: Yost Theater, 307 North Spurgeon St., Santa Ana
Tickets: $15-$25 general admission, VIP prices start at $40
Wruff Events is hosting “Butch Please” as the official kick-off party for OC Pride. DJ Gaspar Fuego will be featured at the multinational party. This Pride celebration is touted as a safe space for all genders and identities to have fun. The event is 21+ and general admission is $15-$25. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to OC Pride.
Love Out Loud! Festival & Parade in Santa Ana
When: 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday, June 25
Where: Downtown Santa Ana
Tickets: Free for all ages
After a two-year hiatus, the Love Out Loud! Festival & Parade hosted by OC Pride is returning to historic downtown Santa Ana. This celebration of Pride Month is open to all ages and has free admission to the two-part event. The main festival, which consists of music, performances, attractions and vendors, will be opened by a parade. There will be two stages, lounging areas, a family zone, a dance tent and a teen space.
Drag Brunch in Laguna Beach
When: 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Sunday, June 26
Where: Comedor at La Casa Del Camino Hotel, 1289 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach
The Drag Brunch, hosted by celebrity fashion designer Matt Sarafa, takes place in Laguna Beach at the Mediterranean bistro Comedor. The brunch’s highlight is the performances and company of the drag queens. The queens’ high energy coupled with live music, bottomless mimosas and food are a celebration of pride, love, unity and togetherness.
Monique Lore’ Stinson, the event organizer for the drag brunch, said this Laguna Beach event leans into Laguna’s history of gay pride, especially in old Hollywood.
“It is so important to spread Pride and spread the message of equality and inclusivity and just living your unapologetically authentic self, so I’m so excited we are going to be doing our second drag brunch during Pride Month,” Sarafa said.
Pride Night at Angels Stadium in Anaheim
When: 6:38 p.m., Tuesday, June 28
Where: 2000 E. Gene Autry Way, Anaheim
Tickets: $24-$40 for the Pride Night ticket package
Join the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for Pride Night as they face the Chicago White Sox. From opening to the end of the third inning, the Gate 5 Courtyard will be hosting pre-game Pride festivities. The Pride Night ticket package includes discounted pricing and a Pride-themed Angels hat. Tickets for the Pride Night package range from $24-$40 and need to be purchased from angels.com/pride. Proceeds from each ticket will benefit OC Pride.
Laguna Beach Pride 365 Festival
When: 4-10 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 6
Where: Neighborhood Community Center, 340 St Ann’s Drive, Laguna Beach
The Laguna Beach Pride 365 Festival was an annual celebration that took place on the first weekend of June. The festival is returning this year in August from its two-year pause. The event will be filled with entertainment, food, drinks and LGBTQ Pride organizations. Tickets are $17-$20 and the event will start at 4 p.m.
Gay Days in Anaheim
When: Sept. 16-18
Where: Disneyland Park, 1313 Disneyland Drive, Anaheim
Tickets: Discounted park tickets from $68 to $119 a day
Gay Day Anaheim is a gathering of gay and straight people spending time together at Disneyland. The big sister event, Gay Day Orlando, attracts over 100,000 queer people annually. Gay Day is not an official Disney event since the company does not endorse any group that comes during regular park operating hours. However, Gay Day Anaheim does work with Disney’s LGBT diversity group called PRIDE. Discounted Disneyland Park tickets and hotel rooms for the event can be bought here.
Jessica Choi is an intern for Arts & Culture at Voice of OC. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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