Like San Francisco to the north, Los Angeles has a vibrant and politically powerful gay and lesbian community. Every year in June, this active community comes out (pun intended) in full force for one of the city's most popular events: the Gay Pride parade, which all but takes over West Hollywood in the spirit of activism and audacity. If you're in town, this is one party you don't want to miss.

Although West Hollywood (WeHo), often referred to as Boys Town, is the best-known gay neighborhood in Los Angeles, there are several other noteworthy enclaves. Silver Lake has a long-standing gay community that's worked hard to preserve the area's beautiful homes once occupied by the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Cecil B. DeMille. To the west of WeHo, Venice also has a strong gay and lesbian presence.

If you're looking for specific info on gay culture in L.A., check out Frontiers (tel. 323/930-3220), one of the most prominent free biweekly gay mags, available in coffeehouses and at newsstands citywide. L.A. Weekly and New Times Los Angeles also have lesbian and gay articles and listings.

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