Santa Monica Pier, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc., and Santa Monica Place, in collaboration with the City of Santa Monica and Santa Monica Travel and Tourism, present SaMo Pride: a month focused on events and activities for all ages that celebrate our city’s inclusive and diverse spirit.
Each year, the City of Santa Monica joins other cities around the world in designating June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Pride Month is a month-long celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) community. It is a time to reflect on the progress that has been made in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights, and to recommit to the work that still needs to be done. SaMo Pride focuses on art, events for people of all ages, and community connection, and support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Pride Month is celebrated in June because of the Stonewall riots, which took place in New York City in June 1969. The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the LGBTQ+ community against a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village. The riots are widely considered to be the start of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement.
Pride Month is celebrated around the world with parades, festivals, and other events. These events are a way for LGBTQ+ people to come together and celebrate their identity, and to show the world that they are proud to be who they are. Pride Month is also a time to educate the public about LGBTQ+ issues, and to raise awareness of the discrimination that LGBTQ+ people still face.
Pride Month is a time for celebration, but it is also a time for activism. LGBTQ+ people continue to face discrimination in many areas of life, including housing, employment, and healthcare. Pride Month is a time to recommit to the work of fighting for equality for all LGBTQ+ people.
SaMo Pride Events
Tuesday, May 23, 2023
5:30 – 6:00 PM
Santa Monica Council will officially recognize June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month in Santa Monica with a proclamation at City Hall. The City’s PRIDE Proclamation, written and presented in person by celebrated author, two-time Lambda Award finalist and professor at Santa Monica College, Ryka Aoki. The proclamation serves as a powerful declaration of the city’s support for the LGBTQ+ community, its commitment to promoting equality and inclusion, and its dedication to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all individuals. All are welcome.
Opening Thursday, June 1, 2023 – Continues through December 17, 2023
Told through oral histories, images, art, and personal ephemera, visitors to the Santa Monica History Museum will experience a history of the LGBTQ+ community through the lens of people who shaped it. Presented in collaboration with The Outwords Archive, the exhibition features Jewel Thais-Williams, Chuck Williams, Judy Abdo, L. Frank, Terri de la Peña, Don Bachardy, Mia Yamamoto, and Marianne Diaz.
Weekends in June, opening Friday, June 2, 2023
10 AM – 6 PM, Friday – Sunday
A unique retail pop-up hosted every Friday through Sunday in June at Santa Monica Place on Level One. Hosted in partnership with Streetlet, the Marketplace showcases over a dozen LGBTQ+ business owners, highlighting their stories and featuring local goods and services made, conceived, and curated in Southern California.
Saturday, June 03, 2023
11 AM – 4 PM
Kick off SaMo Pride month at the SaMo Pride Festival! The festival will turn Downtown Santa Monica, from the Third Street Promenade through Santa Monica Place, and onto the Santa Monica Pier, into a Pride celebration for all ages that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community. Visitors will enjoy live musical performances with stages at Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Pier, Pride-themed treats and swag, plus sponsored games and free activities. Throughout the experience, visitors will find specially themed “Coilors of Pride” photo booths and have the opportunity to contribute to a unique, community art project: to create a photographic mosaic, bringing the three districts together in a rainbow of colors that make up the LGBTQ+ Progress PRIDE flag.
Saturday, June 10, 2023
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
This 7-day cycling relay will end at the beach in Santa Monica for the first time in the race’s 19-year history. The new race course will travel south on Pacific Coast Highway, past the renowned Santa Monica Pier, and finally to Lot 4 South by the beach in Santa Monica. Visit the finish line festival to celebrate cyclists and roadies, food trucks, entertainment, celebration, and community.
Friday, June 23, 2023
Enjoy the warm summer weather with a dip in the pool by the historic Marian Davies Guest House at the Pride Sunset Swim for the LGBTQ+ community. Guest 18+ can come to this queer safe, accessible, judgment-free space for every, and all bodies; with fabulous pool floats and s’mores at the historic Annenberg Community Beach House pool.
Thursday, June 29, 2023
5 PM – 7 PM
Celebrate Pride and contribute to a cause at Out in Santa Monica’s annual fundraiser hosted at the historic Victorian on Main Street. Guests will enjoy specialty cocktails, live DJ sets, and the comedy of Delia Danae Rawdon. Proceeds directly benefit the Trans Equity Scholarship.
About SaMo Pride
To further embrace the city’s core values of equity and inclusion, SaMo PRIDE was established in 2019 as a city-wide partnership between the City of Santa Monica, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc., Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica Place and Santa Monica Travel and Tourism dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQ+ community and providing a platform to champion individuality and acceptance. Since its inaugural year, SaMo PRIDE has evolved into a rich community tradition with, events and activities for all ages that encapsulate the city’s inclusive and diverse spirit. SaMo PRIDE continues to strive to increase visibility and understanding of the broad spectrum of gender identities and experiences within the LGBTQ+ community. The City of Santa Monica has received a perfect score on the Human Rights’ Campaign’s 2021 Municipal Equality Index (https://hrc-prod-requests.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/MEI-2021-Santa-Monica-California.pdf) in recognition of the community’s broad commitment to LGBTQ+ equity inclusion, creation of safe spaces, inclusive policies, and advocacy for LGBTQ+ protections.
About Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.
Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. is a private non-profit 501(c)(3) that works with the City of Santa Monica to manage services and operations in Downtown Santa Monica that promote economic stability, growth and community life within Downtown Santa Monica. DTSM, Inc. manages the Property-based Business Assessment District (PBAD) that encompasses the area bounded by Ocean Avenue (W), Wilshire Boulevard (N), Lincoln Boulevard (E) and the Santa Monica Freeway (S). For more information, visit downtownsm.com
About Santa Monica Place
Located steps away from the Pacific Ocean and iconic Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica Place is a unique, outdoor shopping destination, home to Nordstrom, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Nike, and a collection of specialty shops, digitally native brands and inspired dining concepts. For more information, visit SantaMonicaPlace.com
About the Santa Monica Pier Corporation
The Santa Monica Pier Corporation (SMPC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, public benefit corporation dedicated to preserving and enhancing the Santa Monica experience for all visitors. SMPC provides impactful location -specific programming year-round, upholding the Pier as a relevant world-class destination that is free and open to all. Learn more about the Pier Corp.
Feature image courtesy of @wanderlustisalifestyle