“PLUMMER PARK IN THE summertime is an urban idyll. The happy shrieks of children frolicking in its playground. The pop of tennis balls being swatted around its immaculately maintained courts. The murmurs of old men huddled around chess tables. You would never guess that this oh-so-peaceful four-acre patch of green wedged between Santa Monica Boulevard and Fountain Avenue is on the front lines of an increasingly bitter battle for the heart and soul of West Hollywood.
The details of the argument over the park, which have to do with the installation of gender-neutral bathrooms, aren’t really important. Suffice to say that the dispute is the latest skirmish in a larger civil war over everything from policing to public transport to economic policy. On one side is the city’s old guard leadership—the now-sixty something gay men who founded WeHo in the 1980s, steered it through the AIDS crisis in the 1990s, and built the tiny city into one of the most famous and prosperous gay communities in the world. On the other is an energized new guard of activists and local politicians who have a starkly different vision for the city. Younger, woker, and sexually and ethnically more diverse, they’re determined to remake the city in their own image…”