Watch: No Parade in Boston this Pride Season

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday May 3, 2022
Originally published on May 3, 2022

Watch: No Parade in Boston this Pride Season
  (Source:Getty Images)

Boston saw its Pride Parade canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The world is opening up again, but the event will not return to Boston this summer — and not because of COVID.

Rather, the event has no sponsor, and no organizing committee, following last year's dissolution of Boston Pride amidst charges that the group's board lacked diversity, local news source WGBH reported.

There were other controversies as well, such as questions of "transgender inclusion and complaints of excessive commercialization," the article noted.

The article also said that "though grassroots organizations sprang up to help guide the future of Boston Pride toward more inclusive political advocacy last year, none so far have established a new nonprofit to fill the gap left by Boston Pride's committee," and added that the situation "leaves some in Boston struggling to mark Pride without a centralized non-profit behind which to rally and organize."

But even without the longtime main event in place, Boston will not lack for Pride festivities, WGBH detailed, pointing out that the June calendar will still be packed with Pride-related offerings.

"A rally for Black and brown trans rights will return to Franklin Park after first assembling last year," the article noted. "The annual Boston Dyke March will be held for the first time since the onset of the pandemic. Massachusetts Youth Pride will take place at the end of May."

Boston Pride announced on July 9 of last year that the board was disbanding and the group was shuttering.

"It is clear to us that our community needs and wants change without the involvement of Boston Pride," the organization said in a statement. "We have heard the concerns of the QTBIPOC community and others. We care too much to stand in the way."

But, so far, no other group has announced it would be taking on the mammoth task of organizing the city's decades-long annual Pride Parade.

Linda DeMarco, who had been among the board members of Boston Pride when that organization disbanded last year, told WGBH, "We were hoping one of the new groups would step up."

Others agreed that those clamoring for change needed to be the ones to make it happen.

"Whoever wants to be included should have their voice be heard, but they should also own some of the work that has to be done," a South End resident identified only as Brian told Boston 25 News.

But the head of the Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Grace Moreno, turned the blame back onto the board of Boston Pride.

"They knew good and well that dissolving when they did was not going to give the community enough time," Moreno told the news channel. "I'll say personally that they didn't want the success of future pride."

Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition head Tre'Andre Valentine acknowledged that the city's annual Pride celebration marked "one of the few times that the LGBTQ community can come together and not feel alone," but added that "previous Pride events didn't really feel — for a lot of trans people, for a lot of people of color — like it was for us."

"The community is hungry for a space where they can be themselves, and it's painful that there are many people that haven't had a chance to attend their first Pride event," said Daniel Ortega of Pride for the People Boston.

"However, I'm well aware that a mindful transformation is not going to happen overnight and that there are efforts in the city to bring diversity and direct community feedback into the next iteration of Pride in Boston."

To watch the Boston25 News report, follow this link.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.