May 6, 2021 #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

Details on Venice Boulevard Mixed-Use Proposal

May 4, 2021

May 4, 2021

More apartments could soon be coming to this lot on Venice Boulevard in Palms. Learn more in this video made...

Venice’s Fox Theater Revamp

May 4, 2021

May 4, 2021

A developer wants to revamp the historic Fox Theater building in Venice. Learn more in this video made possible by...

Edify TV: Site Work Begins on Nearly Billion Dollar LAX Station

May 4, 2021

May 4, 2021

Site work has begun for a nearly billion dollar light rail transit station coming to LAX. Learn more in this...

Edify TV: Concert Capacity Rules Issue for Small Venues

May 4, 2021

May 4, 2021

Live music is back in LA County but the owner of a Westside jazz club says reopening will have to...

Woman Gives Birth on Venice Beach Boardwalk

May 3, 2021

May 3, 2021

LAFD transport mother and newborn to hospital following Sunday birth  By Sam Catanzaro A reported homeless woman gave birth on...

Edify TV: Could Penmar Golf Course Become Affordable Housing?

April 29, 2021

April 29, 2021

Under a state bill facilities like Penmar golf course could be converted into space for affordable housing. Learn more in...

Italian-Style Raw Seafood Bar Comes to Main Street

April 29, 2021

April 29, 2021

Crudo e Nudo, a new Italian-style raw seafood bar on the Westside offers sustainably sourced fresh fish, shellfish and crustaceans....

Suspect at Large in Venice Beach Boardwalk Shooting

April 28, 2021

April 28, 2021

One person transported to hospital in stable condition Wednesday morning By Sam Catanzaro A suspect remains at large following a...

Venice WAVE Awards Returns Celebrating teachers

April 27, 2021

April 27, 2021

Event returns next week in virtual format By Chad Winthrop The Venice WAVE Awards returns next week, celebrating local teachers...

NAMI Westside Wellness Weekend Kicks off With Series of Free Events

April 27, 2021

April 27, 2021

Free events throughout May for Mental Health Awareness Month By Staff Writer  Throughout May, the National Alliance on Mental Illness...

Civil Rights Attorney Carol Sobel to Speak at Venice Neighborhood Council Homeless Meeting

April 26, 2021

April 26, 2021

Attorney Carol Sobel will present this Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom for VNC Homeless Committee  By Sam Catanzaro  Prominent...

Edify TV: Tesla Supercharger Coming to Santa Monica

April 25, 2021

April 25, 2021

A 24-hour Tesla supercharger station is planned for Santa Monica. Learn more in this video made possible by Santa Monica...

Six-Story Development Full Steam Ahead in Palms

April 23, 2021

April 23, 2021

62-units underway in Palms By Toi Creel Construction is underway on a six-story, 62 unit housing project with affordable units...

Edify TV: Venice Vigil for Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo

April 22, 2021

April 22, 2021

This week a group gathered in Venice to pay homage to two Black people killed by police: Daunte Wright and...

Westside Shopping Center Getting Revamp

April 22, 2021

April 22, 2021

A popular Westside shopping center may be getting a revamp. Learn more in this video made possible by Hyperthermia Cancer Institute.