October 29, 2020 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

A Rainbow Marks the Spot

by Melanie Camp

Venice Beach Ocean Lifeguard Wadley grew up in Kansas watching Baywatch. “I did like David Hasselhoff,” he told Yo! Venice on Thursday morning June 1. Standing with a number of his Los Angeles Fire Department co-workers, Los Angeles Police Department officers, and Venice locals; Wadley watched Councilmember Mike Bonin, and Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl paint the last strokes of green on what is now a Pride Flag rainbow colored Lifeguard tower.

Openly gay Venice Beach Ocean Lifeguard Wadley grew up in Kansas watching Baywatch.

The Venice Pride Flag Lifeguard Tower stands on the beach at the end of Brooks Avenue. The unveiling was a special celebration to kick off Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month in Venice.

“You get a lot of tourists from all over the world, so it shows a sense of openness. It’s kind of an open arms to all of the people around here,” said LAPD Pacific Division Beach Patrol Officer Soliven of the tower.

Venice artist Patrick Marston and his husband Michael Brunt were responsible for bringing the rainbow to Venice Beach, pulling out their paintbrushes to transform the Lifeguard tower from its traditional blue to rainbow with the help of local volunteers.

The unveiling ceremony also included the dedication of the Bill Rosendahl Memorial Beach, naming the stretch of Venice Beach, which years before had been Venice’s unofficial gay beach, in honor of Rosendahl, the first openly gay man to be elected to the Los Angeles City Council.

Bonin explained to the crowd the first place Bill Rosendahl lived in Los Angeles was at the corner of Rose Ave., and the beach.

“Bill was the master of the inappropriate, oversharing story so he wouldn’t mind that I told you that he would come down here on a Friday night, late and he might pick up somebody and celebrate who he was and really enjoy and not be ashamed and celebrate everything that he was. Because he struggled for a long time with who he was,” said Bonin.

However, Rosendahl did more than meet up with friends along the particular stretch of the beach that now bears his name. “This location is also appropriate because this is a place where Bill Rosendahl also came out and did outreach to people who were homeless and he literally brought people home and gave them a roof over their head,” said Bonin.

Painting volunteers; Brandon, Joel, Marta, and Michael.

Addressing the crowd gathered on the sand, Kuehl explained while the Venice Pride Flag Lifeguard Tower can today stand proud as a symbol of diversity and equality, the fight to get to this point of acceptance should never be forgotten, especially in the current political climate.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl paint the last strokes of green.

“We’re standing on the shoulders of all the people who’ve done the work before us. People who went through all the trails before us. People who came out years ago and were punished for it and of course in this time when we finally thought that we were safe turns out, given some federal stuff, maybe we’re not. So it’s wonderful to have us all here together celebrating not only diversity but our diversity,” said Kuehl.

As he climbed the ramp of the rainbow lifeguard tower, Wadley told Yo! Venice he tried conversion therapy as a teen. He had gone willingly, raised thinking it was wrong to be gay and led to believe he could be “cured.” “You would never, ever see this in Kansas. To come out here and then come out and work at a lifeguard tower that is a rainbow is kind of amazing…you’ll make me cry,” he said.

The Venice Pride Flag Lifeguard Tower.

The Venice Pride Flag Lifeguard Tower will remain a rainbow is on the beach at the end of Brooks Ave until the end of summer.

Venice artist Patrick Marston and his husband Michael Brunt bring the rainbow to Venice Beach.
Related Posts

LA County Considering Allowing Restaurants to Implement COVID-19 Surcharge

October 28, 2020

October 28, 2020

Plan would allow restaurants, breweries and wineries to add COVID-19 surcharge By Kerry Slater Los Angeles County is considering allowing...

Edify TV: Halloween Amid COVID-19

October 27, 2020

October 27, 2020

With LA County health officials prohibiting many Halloween activities and discouraging trick or treating, costume stores like Ursula’s Costumes in...

Local Spa Owner Admits Price Gouging in Sale of Scarce N95 Masks

October 27, 2020

October 27, 2020

Niki Schwarz, owner of Tikkun Holistic Spa, pleads guilty to federal charges A local day spa owner was charged this...

Two Developments with 100+ Units Underway Near Venice High School

October 25, 2020

October 25, 2020

Duo of multifamily apartments on Venice Boulevard beginning to rise By Kerry Slater Over a year after breaking ground, a...

Edify TV: Development Replacing Local Car Wash

October 25, 2020

October 25, 2020

A Sawtelle lot that once held a car wash will soon be the site of a multi-family housing development. Learn...

‘Recall Newsom’ Head Hanging From Venice Ballerina Clown

October 21, 2020

October 21, 2020

Cardboard cutout of Gov. Newsom’s head hanging from iconic Venice art installation By Sam Catanzaro A cardboard cutout painting of...

L.A. County COVID-19 Cases Partly Driven Teenagers

October 20, 2020

October 20, 2020

68 percent of new cases among people between ages of 12 and 50 By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County health...

Free Flu Shots at Palms Middle School for Students and Family

October 20, 2020

October 20, 2020

Los Angeles Unified and Health Net offering free vaccinations for seasonal flu to students and families By Chad Winthrop Los...

Mark Twain Middle School Community Raising Money to Restore Mural

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Colorful mosaic mural in front of school in need of repair By Sam Catanzaro Mark Twain Middle School community members...

Intravenous Vitamin Therapy: A Natural, Effective Solution for the Flu

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

By Dr. Mahboubeh Hashemi, ND and Dr. Matthew Cavaiola, ND  As fall and winter are fast approaching, many people, and...

Three-Story Apartment Building Planned Near Venice Canals

October 18, 2020

October 18, 2020

1940s triplex could be replaced by co-living facility By Toi Creel Plans are in the works to demolish a 1940s...

Edify TV: Deal to House Homeless People Near Freeways

October 18, 2020

October 18, 2020

After months of negotiations, the City and County of LA reached a $300 million deal to house thousands of homeless...

LADOT Resumes Parking Enforcement

October 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) Parking Enforcement and Traffic Control (PETC) has resumed parking enforcement. Find out what...

Armed Suspect Attempting to Rob Several Local Victims

October 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

LAPD issue alert regarding series of Westside robberies Los Angeles Police Department detectives have recognized a pattern of robberies on...