Last year, a 19-year-old by the name of Cain Schleuning was worried about his being accepted among the 4,000 people he called neighbors, friends, and family in Avalon on Catalina Island—that is, until he witnessed hundreds of revelers come out with rainbow flags and smiles for the island’s first Pride celebration.
“All of this really shows that people care and they’ll accept me for me. It’s just lovely to see that I’m not alone,” Schleuning said last year.
Catalina Island’s picturesque surroundings are the perfect setting for a Pride celebration. Photo by Brian Addison.
While anecdotal, this morsel of a story is an impactful one: It shows the importance of allyship, connectivity to others, and how even among the smallest of communities, inclusion and being seen are important qualities—whether that is through hundreds of thousands of revelers like last year’s L.A. Pride or a few hundred like Catalina’s inaugural celebration.
And it is precisely why the event is returning for its second year, where organizers told media they will “need wider lenses” for the 2023 celebration.
Yes, the Catalina Casino celebrates Pride as well, pictured in her rainbow lighting dress for Catalina Island Pride 2022. Courtesy of Catalina Island Pride.
This year’s celebration will kick off on Saturday, June 24, with its newest tradition: the start-at-noon, mile-long Pride Walk along the island’s shore from Wrigley Stage to the Catalina Casino and back. Upon return to the Wrigley Stage, live music and entertainment as well as partying into the sunset will commence until 10PM (and later inside bars, restaurants, and hotels).
SoCal-based, all-girls cover band Pulp Vixen will headline, taking the Wrigley stage again at 7:45PM while DJ Asha—returning for her second year as Catalina Pride’s Emcee—will host and spin throughout the day. Other live performances include KingQueen, Devan M. with Liza Light, and the return of the Long Beach Cheerleaders.
Catalina Island is also filled with rental homes, Air BnBs, and hotel rooms. Photo by Brian Addison.
Well, Catalina, whether several hundred or just ten of us show up, we have your back—and in case we don’t have the chance to say it while strolling along St. Catherine Way or Crescent Avenue, happy Pride.
Volunteers of Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange County chapters of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention will also support the evening.
For more information and a schedule of events, click here.