A local activist has the flags, and now he has the funds for a project aimed at raising awareness for support of the Equality Act later this month in a Palm Springs park.
Richard Noble, who a decade ago marched a gay pride flag across the United States while calling for an LGBTQ civil rights bill, plans to display 350 trans pride flags and 100 United States flags at Frances Stevens Park the weekend of May 21-23. The “Equality For All” event is planned to coincide with the birthday of Harvey Milk on May 22, and will feature not only the flag display, but also a guest speaker, Veronica Zerrer, a retired U.S. Army Major with over 22 years of service in active duty and the reserves.
“This issue is really important to so many,” Noble wrote on a fundraising page for the event where he successfully raised the money needed for the project. “We must address and align transgender lives in the American dream and extend full rights and protections to every single transgender person in America and around the world.”
Noble noted that 2021 is slated to become the worst year yet for attacks on LGBTQ rights. Numerous states are currently trying to enact anti-LGBTQ measures into law. The Equality Act, if passed by Congress, would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, federally funded programs, credit, and jury service. The House of Representatives passed the measure in February, but it remains at an impasse in the Senate without the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.
The Palm Springs event is designed to raise awareness for the act, Noble said, but also to bring attention to the mistreatment of many trans people throughout the country.
“Transgender people are being targeted in violent crimes and by state governments in the USA,” he wrote. “We must push back. Please support our effort to educate people and normalize the transgender community so they can have the same rights and dignity to pursue freedom and happiness like we all do.
“I am really sickened by the lack of humanity targeted to this community.”
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JOINT MEETING POSTPONED: A joint meeting of the Palm Springs City Council and the city’s Human Rights Commission, originally slated for May 20, has been postponed, according to an advisory issued Tuesday evening. The meeting was designed to discuss both an official city apology for the events that happened in Section 14 (covered here), and the removal of a statue of former Palm Springs Mayor Frank Bogert (covered here). No new date for the joint meeting has been set.
PRIDE PARADE RETURNS: The annual Palm Springs Pride Parade, along with related festivities, will return in person this year, it was announced Tuesday. The parade, scheduled for Sunday Nov. 7, caps off a weekend of events in the city, which organizers said will most likely be the only large-scale pride festival in Southern California in 2021. “As the COVID-19 crisis subsides, this moment is significant for our community to come together after the pandemic’s stress, uncertainty, and isolation,” organizers wrote. “In our lifetime, it has never been more desirable to stay connected. This year Pride is truly a coming out celebration of all that Palm Springs represents — life, love, community, the desert environment, diversity, and our friendly mid-century vibe.” More information is available at the group’s website.
MODERNISM RESULTS: Organizers of the recently-concluded in-person portion of Modernism Week, an annual event celebrating midcentury modern design, architecture, art, and culture in the city, said Tuesday an estimated 14,000 people attended more than 30 events April 8 through 18, resulting in a $5.2 million economic impact for area hotels, shops, restaurants, and other businesses. In addition to the in-person home tours, walking tours, talks, and fashion events, this year a 45-day online experience was offered. That experience proved so popular, organizers said, that a new web-exclusive video program and encore presentations are being offered through this Saturday. Later this year, Modernism Week will offer its annual Fall Preview from October 14-17 (tickets go on sale Aug. 1). In 2022, Modernism Week is slated to run from February 17-27, with tickets on sale starting Nov. 1.
- SIMULATED EMERGENCY: A simulated aircraft accident with a live response from emergency response teams and agencies in the area is planned from 10 AM until Noon at Palm Springs International Airport. The full-scale emergency exercise is required at the airport by the Federal Aviation Administration every three years.
- PLANNING COMMISSION: The Palm Springs Planning Commission meets at 5:30 PM. You can watch the meeting live on YouTube, on the city’s website, or Channel 17 through Spectrum. The agenda is here.
- OUTDOOR ART: Desert X art installations are on display throughout the Coachella Valley, including several within the Palm Springs city limits. The free event runs through May 16. A map of the installations can be found here. Some require reservations to view.
- VACCINES: Anyone 16 and older now qualifies for a COVID-19 vaccine in Riverside County. If you qualify, you can get one at the Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 North Avenida Caballeros, from 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and from 8:30 AM until 7 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Appointments are not required. You can also find a list of community providers such as pharmacies here.
Want to know about city and other municipal events? Road construction in your neighborhood? Building activity? Have something to report? The following links should help: