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Sat12052020

Last updateMon, 24 Aug 2020 12pm

This weekend, downtown Palm Springs is being taken over by Pride.

It’s been an amazing couple of years for Greater Palm Springs Pride, and the LGBT community in general. The festival’s move from Palm Springs Stadium to downtown last year was a huge success. In fact, organizers say Palm Springs Pride is now the second-largest pride celebration in California, bested only by San Francisco Pride. After the U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality earlier this year, there is a lot to celebrate.

One of the most recognized symbols of the LGBT community is the rainbow flag. The flag was designed in 1978, with a lot of revisions since. Its colors represent the diversity of the LGBT Community, and it has been used for pride marches and equality-related protests.

For Palm Springs Pride this year, I thought I’d reach out to a handful of local LGBT community entertainers and leaders, and ask them one simple question: What comes to mind when you see a rainbow flag?

“The rainbow flag is a sense of pride, a sense of community, a sense of unity of where we are, where we have been and where we are going. Color Our World With Pride! Celebrate! Don’t be afraid to show some color.” —Bella da Ball

“When I see the rainbow flag, I am reminded of our community’s great diversity—diversity in our race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, religion and so on. We’re white, black, Latino, Asian and Native American. We’re men, women and transgender. We’re Christian, Jewish and Muslim. I’m reminded in bold, beautiful color that we are more than LGBT, but we represent everything between those letters.” —Darrell Tucci, Chief Development Officer, Desert AIDS Project

“Anal sex! No, I’m just kidding! My answer is simple: I always think of gay pride and community.” —Jersey Shore

“I remember marching with the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus down Broadway. It was my first time since coming out late. It started to rain, and we had a giant rainbow flag. You can imagine what it looked like when over 100 guys tried to take cover under the flag and still walk down Broadway looking fierce!” —Jeffrey Norman, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, McCallum Theatre (and an Independent contributor)

“To me, the Rainbow Flag is a celebration of the uniqueness and beauty of both the LGBT individual and the collective community. Each color is spectacular on its own, yet when woven together in community, it’s even more majestic.” —Mike Thompson, Chief Executive Officer, the LGBT Community Center of the Desert

“When I see a rainbow flag, I think of unity, love, strength, a sense of belonging, and, of course, pride.” —Tommy Locust, Mr. Palm Springs Leather 2014 and Chill’s house DJ (and an Independent contributor)

“People scramble to deem the flag irrelevant and (say) that this sort of demonstration of pride isn’t necessary, and many pretend that no one is struggling anymore. The history of the flag makes me feel grateful to be alive in a time where so much has changed for us and that an argument like that could even exist.” —Shann Carr

“Comfort, equality, progress. Lives were lost in order to have this flag erected. They are just colors to some, but for me, it’s so much more. I know if I see the pride flag displayed in businesses, I feel a comfort in knowing I can feel safe and will not be judged on my sexual preferences.” —Marina Mac

“To me, it means that the queer are here! On a serious note, the rainbow flag represents LGBT friendliness, and LGBT community is present and proud. Many places around the world, (LGBT people) can’t hang flags, and when one is present, it means that being gay is normal, OK. We are here, just like any other person.” —DJ Femme A

“I see pride, dignity, respect, hard work, love, compassion, diversity and equality. Over the years, the rainbow flag has been a symbol of pride in our community. It signifies the strength we have had to stay grounded! The colors are the diversity we enjoy, sharing equal respect for those who do not have the foresight into moving positively into the future.” —James Bork, Mr. Chill Leather 2016 and second runner-up, Mr. Palm Springs Leather 2016

Published in Features

DJ Femme A (aka Annie Flores) has made a name for herself during her first year in the local music scene. She’s DJ’d special events at Saks Fifth Avenue (on El Paseo in Palm Desert) and for the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce. She also performs regularly at Clinic Bar and Lounge in Palm Springs. She can mix up a variety of different genres, from hip hop and Top 40 all the way to EDM. Hear more and get more info at soundcloud.com/femme-a—and enjoy her answers to the Lucky 13!

What was the first concert you attended?

The first concerts I attended were concerts through the Los Angeles-based radio station KROQ, and they all had tons of different bands playing, but I remember enjoying Linkin Park, Incubus and Hot Hot Heat.

What was the first album you owned?  

Wow, I feel really old, because I don’t remember what my exact first album was, but I know that I owned a bunch of “singles” cassette tapes, and they were mostly R&B and hip hop: Soul for Real, The Notorious B.I.G., New Edition, Michael Jackson and Mary J. Blige, to name a few.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Bands? Lately, I’ve been listening to Santigold, Salt-n-Pepa and some psytrance, when I work out and drive.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

(English dance-music group) Above and Beyond. Is that even considered EDM?

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

I’d like to see a sweet DJ (maybe Day Din) in Germany at a festival; I’ve seen videos on YouTube and they look awesome. Santigold would be nice to see as well.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

When I really, really love a song, I can listen to it on repeat for days.

What’s your favorite music venue?

I’ve been to a handful of outdoors events and festivals, and they are, by far, my favorite. (I love the) feeling of being free, having friends with you, dancing during the day and at night, frolicking in the grass, and the fact that I don’t need to be dressed up or wearing heels as one would for a “nightclub.”

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“Ey, ey, ey, ey, you don’t lie,” from “Unstoppable” by Santigold.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

The Cure! I first heard them when I was 18. I went to this small club/dive bar every Sunday night that played new-wave and electro, and I remember whenever “Just Like Heaven” played on those club speakers, we’d drop our dirty cigarettes and run to the dance floor. Having that music during that moment in my life created memories for some of the best times of my late teens and early 20s—being young, free, underage and having fun. During that same period, I discovered so many new types of sounds that still influence me today, like Benny Benassi, and Felix Da Housecat and Miss Kittin (which led to me have an appreciation for EDM—electro house, progressive house and psytrance, to be exact).

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

The question is for Gwen Stefani: “Will you marry me?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Wolfsheim, “Once in a Lifetime.”

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

No Doubt, Tragic Kingdom.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

Chali 2na’s “Gadget Go Go.” (Scroll down to hear it!)

Published in The Lucky 13