Los Angeles Confidential magazine celebrated its fourth “Portraits of Pride” edition with a swanky soiree held at the newly-opened Pendry West Hollywood hotel on Tuesday night. Presented by EFFEN Vodka and Hornitos Tequila, the event also honored cover star Andrew Rannells for his decade-long career in entertainment.
Ahead of the event, Rannells explained what Pride means to him. “I wasn’t fully aware that some folks struggle with the word ‘pride’ as if it means something sort of boastful about being a part of this particular group,” “The Prom” star told Variety. “I feel like it’s more a celebration of self-acceptance and standing in your own power and your own light. I think it’s also a chance to celebrate and thank the people who support you.”
He continued, “I posted something just last week on Instagram about my best friend Zuzanna Szadkowski, who is one of the first people that I ever came out to and then we have been friends through a lot of breakups and relationships and all sorts of things. She’s always been there by my side so I feel like that’s also something to celebrate.”
For many of the guests, the event marked the first Pride celebration that they had attended in two years after the COVID-19 pandemic quashed planned gatherings and parades in 2020.
“Last year sort of came and went without much fanfare,” Rannells said. “This is the first event that I have been to in quite some time and there was a lot of finger-crossing about would things still fit, do I know how to speak to people, so I feel a little rusty.”
“The Flight Attendant” actor Griffin Matthews also elaborated on the meaning of Pride and how the last year had impacted him personally.
“Pride for me, is, didn’t we find ourselves this year?” Matthews said. “If you didn’t find yourself this year, baby, you did not do the work! We found ourselves this year, the blackness and the queerness and prideness and the studentness. I say I was a student this year because I don’t like to ever be an expert. I don’t like to pretend that I know everything just because I’m a part of this community. I learned a lot. I learned a lot from my trans brothers and sisters this year. I learned so much about humanity.”
“Good Trouble” star Sherry Cola, who plays Alice Cole in the series, told Variety, “Pride means just being unapologetic. Living out loud. With me being so multi-layered as a female immigrant bisexual Chinese-American, I’ve never been more proud to be who I am. These are things that society didn’t root for in the past. But now it’s like, we realize that we deserve to be here and we have earned this space and we are going to take over.”
“Pride means to me just living your most authentic life and being very genuine about who you are and whether people accept that or not, just being proud of your authentic self,” “Cruel Summer” star Harley Quinn Smith said. “Authenticity is the most important quality to me as a person and that goes across the spectrum of everything. To me pride just means being honest, authentic, genuine and proud of who you are.”
Inside the event, the mostly maskless guests mingled closely on the crowded patio and sipped cocktails from the hosted bar nearby while nibbling on passed hors d’oeuvres. The party carried over indoors where a DJ spun tunes in front of a dance floor with neon-lit tables and a sidebar that offered several different types of sliders.
“It’s so strange to be in the world right now,” Matthews told Variety. ‘You’re here and I’m here and everyone’s here and I’m like, ‘Are we good?’ It’s insane but honestly, refreshing. I’ve been locked in my house, lady, with two kids and a husband. This is my first event literally.
“I’m happy that I feel like the world is opening up in June,” he continued. “We missed this shit last year. We were in our houses at the height. It felt like last year we couldn’t really celebrate. It wasn’t feeling appropriate at all. So, it feels like, of course, the world opens and it’s Pride.”
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