This church has two giant red ribbons to let “the community know they were loved and accepted”

Congregants with the Hollywood United Methodist Church at the LA Pride Parade in 2023
Congregants with the Hollywood United Methodist Church at the LA Pride Parade in 2023 Photo: Devon Jones

If you’ve ever driven into Hollywood south on the 101 freeway, following signs for the Hollywood Bowl and Highland Avenue, then you were met with the sight on your right of the iconic Gothic bell tower at the Hollywood United Methodist Church.

Dedicated in 1930, as Hollywood boomed and Los Angeles stretched west to the Pacific, the church has been “a sanctuary of hope” since the first congregants started to organize in 1909.

That tradition famously took the form of two enormous red ribbons hung on the bell tower in the 1990s.

“Our church has been proud supporters of our LGBTQIA+ family for decades,” Associate Pastor Devon Jones tells LGBTQ Nation. “Especially back in the early 1990s during the AIDS crisis, when people were being turned away from family and friends.”

In response, “We put two huge red AIDS ribbons on our bell tower, letting the community know they were loved and accepted.”

For years, the Hollywood United Methodist Church has pulled out all the stops for the annual LA Pride Parade, which stepped off a stone’s throw from the church on a route through the heart of Hollywood in 2023.

They requisitioned a double-decker Hollywood tour bus for the occasion, spreading a message of joy and celebrating 30 years since they raised those iconic red ribbons that are a clarion call for love and acceptance in the Southland.

“We want everyone to know there are communities of faith like ours that celebrate and are affirming of our LGBTQIA+ family,” Jones says.

“We are the LGBTQIA+ community, and we also have many allies who love and support us. We believe in a loving God who made us all just how we were meant to be.”

Pride in Pictures is LGBTQ Nation’s annual series celebrating Pride across the country. We asked our readers to send in their pictures and stories of Pride and we got so many rainbows. Keep an eye out for more heartwarming stories to get you ready for Pride Month 2024.

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