Pride Ad Prejudice
(This piece appeared in the June 7-13, 1985 issue of the L.A. Weekly.)
Christopher Street West’s show will go on, despite the refusal of Newsweek, Time and U.S. News and World Report to carry the accompanying ad for the Los Angeles Gay Pride Celebration. Last Thursday, Christopher Street West (CSW) announced a lawsuit against the three big weekly news magazines, which all said, “No, thank you,” when asked to be part of its $35,000 ad campaign for the event. The magazines, all of which carry ads, for example, from firms with investments in South Africa, shied away from this copy. A Newsweek spokesman would say only that the magazine “rejects ads with some regularity.”
The ad carried the headline: "Alive with Pride in '85/ GAY PRIDE/It Begins with Everyone." It featured a photograph of the actress Rita Moreno, a longtime supporter of human rights, and a quotation from her ending with her signature:
“I was born near a rain forest in Puerto Rico, and my mother and I moved to New York City when I was five. I was wide-eyed and stagestruck, and I had a film contract by the time I was 17.
“But I was typecast as a Latin spitfire in my early roles and had to work very hard to make people see me as a person and as a versatile actress. I suppose that’s why I feel so strongly that I should defend human rights and why I’ve always supported my gay friends.
“I was proud to perform last year in a special benefit, “A Gay Night at the Bowl,” held at the Hollywood Bowl: Gay pride . . . it begins with each of us.”