L.A. Black Pride

Eric Jason donates a toy at the Los Angeles Black gay pride 2010 toy drive held Saturday at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles.

Volunteers for Los Angeles Black Gay Pride, which hosts the annual Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) pride celebration in July, collected toys Saturday, December 11 at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles for a toy drive aimed at providing gifts for the children of Black LGBT parents in need this holiday season.  Toys and gifts continue to be collected through December 23. Toys can be dropped off at following locations: Lucy Florence Coffee House in Leimert Park (3351 West 43rd Street), Jewel’s Catch One located at 4067 Pico Blvd., the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center at 4718 West Washington Blvd., and the One Institute and Archive located near downtown Los Angeles at 909 West Adams Blvd.

According to a 2008 study by the Williams Institute at the University of California Los Angeles, there are approximately 55,000 LGBT Black adults living in California.  California home to the second-largest percentage of the nation’s Black same-gender loving couples and nearly 55 percent of Black women and 11 percent of Black men in these relationships are raising children.  In Los Angeles, Black gays are represented in the largest numbers in Los Angeles’ 8th, 8th, and 10th Districts, and in the cities of Long Beach, Inglewood, and Compton.

While some are arguing over Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, there are people suffering and in need right now, but we don’t really talk about that.  Like with Black people period, Black same-gender loving parents are struggling this holiday season.  With unemployment at an all time high, this toy drive provides Black gay parents a safe place to come together as a family in need this holiday season.  And for those of us who are little better or off or just want to make a child happy, it’s the perfect way to give back to the community.

The toys and gifts collected will be handed out on Christmas Eve from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Jewel’s Catch One located at 4067 Pico Blvd. in Los Angeles.