With so much turmoil in the world today, Nicholas Hutchinson, along with his best friends and roommates Nats and Gigi Getty, recently saw an opportunity to bring the community together during difficult times by hosting the inaugural Toluca Lake LGBTQ+ Pride Walk on June 13.
For Hutchinson, the goal of the march along Valley Spring Lane was to meet neighbors and celebrate pride during this pivotal time in history. “I’ve lived here for almost five years, and I’ve fallen so deeply in love with this town,” Hutchinson says. “I wanted to let our neighbors know that we’re here for them and to take a step toward building a sense of community that is loving, accepting and judgment-free.”
To spread the word in advance of the event, Hutchinson typed and printed out 700 detailed letters to deliver door to door along the route, passed out flyers, emailed Councilmember David Ryu to ensure proper protocol was followed and contacted the police department.
All that hard work made it even sweeter when he saw community members turning out in solidarity. “I didn’t expect more than 20 people,” he says. “When the day came, about a hundred people showed up, all in masks, all respectful and all excited for the walk. I was overwhelmed with joy. I couldn’t believe how many of our neighbors came out to show their support. It was truly a feeling I’ll never forget.”
Hutchinson and the Gettys led the procession while bearing a special rainbow Black Lives Matter banner. “Nats and I designed the banner together, and it was very important to incorporate the BLM movement with the Pride Walk because racism still exists, and innocent people are losing their lives because of it,” Hutchinson says. “It’s unjust, unfair, and we will not stand for it.”