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Dedicating our Pride Lifeguard Tower

Release Date: 2021-06-10

Tonight, we had the opportunity to celebrate Pride Month in Long Beach by dedicating our new Pride Lifeguard Tower. After the previous tower was destroyed in March, our city responded with support, solidarity and commitment to the dignity of every person.

Long Beach is a community where people of every sexual orientation and gender identity are welcome and included — something that has been demonstrated beyond a doubt by this overwhelming response. This is also why I was so sure that Long Beach would build back better and brighter than before.

I'm also grateful to Councilwoman Cindy Allen and our Long Beach Fire Department for all the work they have done over the past three months to ensure that the tower would be rebuilt in time for us to have this dedication during Pride.

Even though this tower is a recent addition to our city, it represents so much of the rich LGBTQ+ history that Long Beach has to offer. For years, so many from our community had to fight for representation in this city, and across the country. As we celebrate today and throughout Pride Month, we stand on their shoulders, and are indebted to that courage it took to build a more equal and inclusive world.

We should also acknowledge the ways that this work is yet to be completed. According to the Human Rights Campaign, the first 5 months of 2021 saw more anti-LGBTQ+ legislation passed into law than any full year in recent history. Even more concerning is that the overwhelming majority of these new laws target some of the most vulnerable members of the community — transgender children and people of color.

I am proud that, here in Long Beach, we continue to lead on LGBTQ+ rights and have been named one of the best cities in the nation for LGBTQ+ inclusion for nine consecutive years. We achieved a perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index, and have taken great strides to ensure equity is at the forefront of every decision we make.

As we continue to celebrate the history, contributions, and accomplishments of our Long Beach LGBTQ+ community, let’s keep in mind the history of Pride, and the work that we can each do in our own lives to continue building a brighter and more equal world for everyone.

Thank you,

Mayor Robert Garcia