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How to queer your weekends during Pride Month in L.A.

A group of people hold balloons in the air that spell the word Pride
(LA Pride)
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Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Saturday, June 8. Here’s what you need to know to start your weekend:

How to queer your weekends during Pride month

Happy Pride Month! The worldwide celebration of the LGBTQ+ community kicked off last weekend. West Hollywood ushered in the month with a parade featuring go-go dancers in jockstraps and gay cowboys in breezy leather chaps.

L.A. Pride festivities begin today with Pride in the Park, a musical experience with singer Ricky Martin as the headliner.

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As the month goes on, there will be more events and celebrations to shine a light on Pride Month throughout Southern California.

But they don’t have to be a parade or concert.

If you’re looking for a different way to honor the LGBTQ+ community, Times contributor Claire O’Callahan compiled a list of 10 joyous L.A. spots to queer your weekend. Whether you’re in town for Pride, a recent transplant or simply looking for a new way to celebrate, this guide has something for you.

O’Callahan’s experience stems from being a newcomer to L.A. two years ago, and in search of community. She soon found it at queer-owned restaurants, bars and shops across L.A. County.

These spots not only give you an opportunity to support local, queer-owned businesses, but they also offer a space to connect and build community — whether it’s over food or a glass of wine.

A photograph from the interior of Everybody.
(Sam Rypinski)

Start your queer weekend with a visit to Everybody in Cypress Park. The trans- and woman-owned gym offers multiple types of exercises like yoga and boxing. The facility prioritizes an inclusive, accessible environment for people of all body types and gender expressions, which starts with reading a social contract on how to show up in the gym during your first visit.

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Your first visit is free and memberships are discounted during Pride month.

A person hands another person a loaf of bread
Black Forest Bakery owner Djo Maurer is a queer and trans baker originally from the Black Forest in southern Germany.
(Chris Behroozian / For The Times)

Head to Los Feliz for a stop at Black Forest Bakery. On Saturday mornings, a 1971 Ford Econoline uses baked goods to transport customers to the mountains of southwest Germany.

When you approach the window to order, trans and queer baker Djo Maurer will greet you through the van’s pop-out window selling sourdough loaves, pretzel buns and jam-filled Berliners (German jam donuts). You’ll also have the option to do a good deed through Maurer’s pay-it-forward program where customers can pay for a loaf and leave it behind for someone with fewer resources to pick up for free.

The exterior of a bar where two people are seated next to each other
Scenes from Ruby Fruit during the bar’s country night.
(Chris Behroozian / For The Times)

You can also queer your weekend with some wine at The Ruby Fruit in Silver Lake. O’Callahan recommends heading there around 3 p.m. when it begins its transition from campy diner to sexy wine bar. The sit-down lunch menu is replaced with a list of snack-while-you’re-drinking options such as warm marinated olives and french fries.

All the wines and beers are from women- and queer-owned businesses. Fan favorite cocktails include the Martha, an elderflower, citrus and white wine spritz and the Miller Low Life (a Miller High Life served in a glass upside down).

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Honey's at Star Love, a L.A. LGBTQ bar, doubles as an events space that showcases queer artists.
Honey’s at Star Love, a LGBTQ+ bar in L.A. that doubles as an events space that showcases queer artists.
(Ben Bassu)

Cap off your queer weekend with a lively night on the dance floor in East Hollywood at Honey’s at Star Love.

“A nightlife haven for queer, lesbian and trans folk,” O’Callahan wrote. “The colorful bar is known for throwing a spirited dance party on its checkerboard dance floor into the early hours of the morning.”

Never a stranger to a themed night, the bar has hosted evenings like an emo karaoke and dance party, and a lesbian dating party called Uhaul. You might even see a celebrity dancing alongside you!

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How can we make this newsletter more useful? Send comments to essentialcalifornia@latimes.com.

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For your weekend

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Responsible for bringing drag brunch to Southern California, Hamburger Mary’s hosts four drag brunches on Saturday and Sundays.
(Justine Jaime )

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Have a great weekend, from the Essential California team

Kevinisha Walker, multiplatform editor
Christian Orozco, assistant editor

Check our top stories, topics and the latest articles on latimes.com.

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