SUPERVISOR HORVATH UNVEILS PROGRESS PRIDE LIFEGUARD TOWERS TO MARK GINGER ROGERS BEACH HISTORY
Los Angeles, CA – This morning, Los Angeles County Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath was joined by the ONE Archives Foundation, Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur, and Los Angeles County departments to celebrate Ginger Rogers Beach, an important place in Los Angeles history as a beachside sanctuary and gathering place for our LGBTQ+ community. Two Progress Pride-painted lifeguard towers were unveiled with interpretive signage detailing how Gingers Rogers Beach has served as a destination for LGBTQ+ activism and respite dating back to the 1940s.
“Ginger Rogers Beach has been in the shadows of Los Angeles history for too long. Today, we celebrated the important legacy of this beachside sanctuary, and welcomed two striking visual symbols of inclusion and love with the Progress Pride lifeguard towers,” said Supervisor Horvath. “With these towers, we share that Ginger Rogers is where love wins. It’s where community wins. And it will always be a place where everyone will belong.”
The ONE Archives Foundation, the nation’s largest and oldest LGBTQ+ history organization, extensively researched the vibrant history of Ginger Rogers Beach for this project, which launched through a unanimously supported Board motion Supervisor Horvath introduced in May. After adoption, Supervisor Horvath shared:
“Pride month is about celebrating and uplifting the LGBTQ+ community honoring those who came before us, empowering all in the struggle today, and educating the generations that will lead after us. Amidst a despicable rise in anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and policy-making throughout the country, we have an important opportunity to honor the history of ‘Ginger Rogers’ Beach, which has long been a safe space for LGBTQ+ people. As an advocate and ally, I look forward to celebrating the legacy of ‘Ginger Rogers’ Beach, and the generations of LGBTQ+ Angelenos who have lived out and proud—this June and all year long.”
“LGBTQ+ folks have been flocking to Ginger Rogers Beach since at least the 1940’s. This golden strip of sand where legendary activist Harry Hay, in 1950, gathered 500 signatures opposing McCarthyism; where Berlin Stories writer Christopher Isherwood, in 1952, met painter Don Bachardy; and where the groundbreaking drag queen, Jose Sarria, on a visit from San Francisco in 1957, gave an impromptu performance on the sands. Ginger Rogers Beach is steeped in queer history,” said Tony Valenzuela, Executive Director of the ONE Archives Foundation. “When visitors see the lifeguard towers painted rainbow, I hope they think about the generations of LGBTQ+ people who have found safety and camaraderie here.”
“Painting these lifeguard towers isn’t just a beautiful artistic expression, it is a deeply impactful message of love and support to the LGBTQ+ community. They will remind every resident and visitor that they are welcomed and valued here,” said Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur, who is proudly gay. “Today is a sign of how far we’ve come since the early days of our movement, when this beach was a discreet safe haven from an unaccepting world. Our fight for justice and equality continue, but we take a moment today to celebrate a symbol of progress.”