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Group Behind LA Pride Appoints Black Trans Woman as President

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Thursday September 3, 2020

Christopher Street West (CSW), which produces the annual LA Pride celebration, has, for the first time, appointed its first Black transgender woman in the role of the organization's president, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Sharon-Franklin Brown officially assumed the role on Sept. 2, taking over from outgoing president Estevan Montemayor.

"Previously a member of the board, Sharon-Franklin will now steer the direction of CSW and forthcoming planned community activities and civic engagement alongside its recently formed executive committee," CSW said in a press release. "Together they will be meeting on a weekly basis to execute the organization's diversity initiatives and planned community engagement."

Brown spoke on the appointment, saying, "I'm so humbled to have been appointed by the board to this position as the first Black trans woman to lead CSW/Los Angeles Pride and our community efforts forward, beyond the pandemic and election, and into the future."

The Los Angeles Times noted that LA Pride has taken place annually in West Hollywood since 1979, but that CSW announced earlier this summer that it would be finding a new place for the event going forward. The group announced the change in a letter to West Hollywood's city council, citing construction in the city as well as "the changing demographics of Greater Los Angeles, our commitment to being responsive to the LGBTQIA-plus community's needs, and our allyship and collaboration with other movements for social change."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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