In the early 1980s, West Hollywood was gay but not quite so open about it. In fact, it wasn’t even officially a city with its own government until 1984.
The city of West Hollywood celebrates its 32nd birthday on November 29, 2016. Two years before it was born, I was contributing a monthly feature about streets in L.A. to “Two on the Town,” a local series broadcast by KCBS-TV hosted by Steve Edwards and Connie Chung and directed byJoel Tator. One of the streets that I profiled was Santa Monica Boulevard in the area of what was then an unincorporated area of L.A. County.
Back then Lew Irwin, who has been a journalist for more than 50 years, was contributing a monthly feature to “Two on the Town,” a program hosted by Steve Edwards and Connie Chung on KCBS. In the video posted above Irwin walks the glittering and dark blocks of Santa Monica Boulevard to take a look at the city’s gay culture and interview owners of businesses such as the Blue Parrot bar, which gay men considered their home.