SaMo Pride Month 2023

May 24, 2023 2:52 PM
by Gleam Davis

Hello, Santa Monica!

I am honored to invite you as we celebrate Pride Month 2023. This month, we come together to honor and recognize the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community, and to reaffirm our commitment as a city to equality, diversity, and inclusion.

Santa Monica has a long history of supporting the LGBTQ+ community, and I am proud to say that we continue to be a city that embraces and celebrates our differences. This is recognized in Santa Monica again receiving a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign on the 2022 Municipal Equality Index. Our city is and must continue to strive for hope, acceptance, and love for people of all backgrounds, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

This commitment is more important now than ever as these past years have been intensely difficult for many in the LGBTQ+ community, with hundreds of despicable bills being pushed in states and communities across our country that have targeted our trans and gender non-conforming family and LGBTQ+ youth. In Santa Monica we unequivocally affirm that we will continue to do the work necessary to protect and support those members of our community.

Our city has taken important steps in making this commitment. The City Manager’s Office, Police Department, and Library all have LGBTQ+ community liaisons and the Out in Santa Monica employee group works to foster community, educate on LGBTQ+ issues, and inform the City’s policy work. Our City has been a founding partner on Santa Monica Pride since its first year in 2020. We established the Trans Equity Scholarships in 2021 to support people transitioning by covering the government fees associated with making their name and gender identity official. And, earlier this year, we became one of the first cities in the nation to require all new multi-stall bathrooms to be gender neutral. We stand by those who exist in the margins of our communities and commit to addressing inequities in all their forms, and we will continue to support programs, bills, and initiatives that empower the LGBTQ+ community and create a more equitable and just society for all.

SaMo PRIDE has evolved into a rich community tradition with events and activities for all ages that encapsulate our inclusive and diverse spirit. I invite you to join us for the Santa Monica Festival on June 3; to welcome riders on the AIDS/LifeCycle Ride as they end their 545-mile ride for the first time in Santa Monica on June 10; to attend Drag Queen Storytime at the Marion Davies Guest House on June 16; or to join us for our Party with a Purpose to support our Trans Equity Scholarships on June 29. There are events all month long across the City. You can find more information about all of the events and specials happening this June at

So let us celebrate this Pride Month with joy, love, solidarity, and a renewed commitment to the work ahead. Let us honor the legacy of those ancestors and transcestors who have fought and continue to fight for all of our rights. And let us recommit ourselves to building a more just and inclusive world for all, wherever we find ourselves, and especially here in this beautiful city that we love, Santa Monica.

Thank you, Santa Monica, and happy Pride Month!

SaMo Pride Festival – June 3, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

SaMo PRIDE Festival will span the Promenade, Santa Monica Place, and Santa Monica Pier, featuring artists, live music, community groups, and activities for people of all ages.  The Santa Monica Public Library will share queer books for kids, featuring a special Drag Queen storytime, suited for all ages and abilities. The Santa Monica Police Department kiosk will serve as Pride safe space and information headquarters and the Big Blue Bus Pride wrapped bus will also be featured. Local service providers and community groups will offer support and resources for the LGBTQ+ community throughout the event along the Promenade. Finally, we are working to cover the Triangle Square lawn into a large Pride Progress flag for the day or weekend. 

A key interactive component of the Festival includes the “Colors of PRIDE” photobooth installations, designed by LGBTQ+ artists, which will be placed throughout the SaMo PRIDE Festival. Photos from the installations will be assembled to create a photographic mosaic, bringing the three districts together in a rainbow of colors that make up the LGBTQ+ Progress PRIDE flag. 

City Sponsored and Co-Sponsored Events

The City of Santa Monica is dedicated to increasing visibility and understanding of the broad spectrum of gender identities and experiences within the LGBTQ+ community. The City celebrates PRIDE with the month-long lighting of City Hall in rainbow colors and a series of educational, uplifting events during the month of June.

May 23 – Pride Proclamation featuring Ryka Aoki at Santa Monica City Hall followed by Pride lighting of City Hall through June

June 4 – Live music, theatre, and dance performances by SORORITY: WAVES at the Annenberg Community Beach House

June 6 - Rainbow Family Storytime at the Santa Monica Public Library

June 10 – AIDS/LifeCycle Ride finish line celebration at Beach Parking Lot 4 South

June 12 – Queer Prom at the Santa Monica Bay Women’s Club, a partnership between the City, Church in Ocean Park, SMTT, and the SaMoHi GSA

June 16 - Drag Queen Storytime in front of the Marion Davies Guest House at the Annenberg Community Beach House

June 23 - PRIDE sunset swim at the Annenberg Community Beach House

June 24 - LGBTQ+ Santa Monica: Community Conversation at Pico Branch Library, 12:00 – 2:30 p.m. featuring intergenerational local LGBTQ+ voices to share and discuss our current lives, history, and hopes for the future.

June 24 - Sapphic Icons: Poetry Masterclass and Workshop with Joshua Jennifer Espinoza and Eileen Elizabeth Espinoza at the Annenberg Community Beach House

June 29 - Party with a Purpose mixer and fundraiser at the Victorian supporting the Trans Equity Scholarships, a partnership with the Church in Ocean Park

Other Community Events

The Santa Monica History Museum, in partnership with the OUTWORDS Archive, will feature the exhibit "Coming Out West," a video-based collection of oral histories of Santa Monica Bay area LGBTQ+ elders, opening June 1.  

Made with PRIDE Marketplace will feature over a dozen LGBTQ+ business owners on the first floor of Santa Monica Place every Friday through Sunday in June. 

Visit for all programs, events and specials.

Authored By

Gleam Davis
Council Member


Arts, Culture & Fun