L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s district director Stephanie Cohen, Roosterfish partner Mario Vollera, Venice Pride board member Lisa Lubchansky and Venice Pride founder Grant Turck on the new rainbow crosswalk
Photos by Ted Soqui

Venice community leaders and local public officials gathered last Friday on Abbot Kinney Boulevard to dedicate L.A.’s first rainbow crosswalk. The occasion also marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, which sparked the modern LGBTQ rights movement in the United States.

Ribbons of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple now lead pedestrians across the boulevard to the front door of Roosterfish, an LGBTQ hangout and safe haven since the late 1970s that’s become a treasured Venice landmark.

Sponsors of the crosswalk included MedMen, Roosterfish, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Venice Pride founder Grant Turck, David Reiss of the Reiss Co. (The Brig, Sunny Spot), and the Abbot Kinney Festival Association. Additional support came from L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin, L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, state Assemblywoman Autumn Burke and state Sen. Ben Allen.

The crosswalk sends “a positive message of inclusion, respect and compassion,” AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein said during Friday’s dedication.

Later that weekend, Venice Pride represented Los Angeles in the NYC 2019 World-
Pride March by carrying the world’s largest free-flying rainbow Pride flag, which had been displayed on the Venice Boardwalk during the 2018 Venice Pride celebration.

— Joe Piasecki