Go Topless Day—the annual event put on by a religious movement that believes in extraterrestrials and equal nipple rights—returns to Venice this upcoming weekend.
Go Topless Day is a strange and glorious day that occurs once a year throughout the world. On this day, those who believe that women should be allowed to go topless in public legally, just as men can, unite. Locally, Go Topless Day occurs in Venice. This year, the event takes place on Sunday, August 28. Demonstrators are meeting up at 198 Ocean Front Walk at 1 p.m.
Though the Venice Neighborhood Council voted last year to allow topless sunbathing for all genders, the City of Los Angeles still requires women to cover their nipples in public. And though Venice has considered leaving Los Angeles, it has not. So, women who attend should consider wearing pasties or tape over their nipples to avoid any issues with the law.
Melissa Diner, who wrote the motion approved by the Venice Neighborhood Council, tells LAist:
Topless sunbathing is currently still illegal at Venice Beach. However, I am continuing to garner support to have the two words “women’s areolas” removed from the L.A. Municipal Code, at minimum when it comes to the sand. I encourage not just the city, but county and state to make similar minor edits to their laws to support equal rights.
LAist attended last year’s event, where we saw a celebratory boob parade march from Navy and Boardwalk down to Windward Stage. There, demonstrators held an energetic rally full of speeches, burlesque and dancing. As usual, several men unrelated to the demonstration turned up to photograph the women, perhaps woefully unaware that one could acquire similar photos of breasts with much less effort using Google Image Search. Additionally, a small group of religious protesters arrived for their time to shine, shouting about Hell and damnation until the Go Topless crowd drowned them by blasting Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” on a boombox.
Go Topless Day was founded by Rael, the leader of the Raelians, in response to the arrest of Phoenix Feeley, a topless activist who was arrested for being topless in public in New York in 2005. The city of New York ended up settling with Feeley for $29,000 because toplessness is actually legal there.
The Raelians are a movement that believe humans were created by extraterrestrials who will return and teach us their advanced technologies once we have learned how to make peace with one another—so, a really long time from now. They have very liberal views on sex, love GMOs, believe cloning is the key to immortal life, and they’re also big advocates for a woman’s right to go topless. (You can read more about their way of life here).
The Raelians are not the only people who believe women should be able to be topless. The Free the Nipple movement advocates for this as well, with celebrity supporters including singer Miley Cyrus and model Chrissy Teigen. There are also other topless activists like Anni Ma, who was arrested for being topless outside a Bernie Sanders rally at the Wiltern in March. Ma is now suingthe LAPD. Ma also recently went in pasties to Comic Con in San Diego, where she posed next to male cosplayers who were totally bare-chested in an effort to illustrate the absurdity of it all.