By: Gricel Martínez Ocasio/TRT Publisher–
BOSTON, Mass. – Latin@ Pride 2012 is set to start on September 23-29 in Boston, Massachusetts, and it will have various events that will welcome the Latino LGBT and Queer community, as well as their families, friends and allies, according to Latin@ Pride officials. As such, the importance of the event for these communities and their allies cannot be underestimated.
“It’s important to celebrate Latin@ Pride because pride is something that comes natural to so many Latin@s,” said Patricia Arevalo, Latin@ Pride Chair. “Holding up our national/ancestral flags is a way for us to show this ‘orgullo.’ Holding up the rainbow flag alongside it only shows how far many of us have come from our traditional roots.”
This year, Queer-identified communities were included to strengthen community building, according to Arevalo.
“We wanted to incorporate Queer families as well, hence our Family Day at the Blackstone Community Center on September 29th,” said Arevalo. “We’ve also partnered up with more organizations than before. The Hispanic Black Gay Coalition, HBGC, has lent their support for a few years now; however the L.O.C.S Collective and Dyke Night have also come on board.”
And such a sense of unification and community building are messages that the Chair wanted to send to all attendees.
“This year we tried to move towards making our community stronger by bringing together groups that serve the Queer Community of Color,” explained Arevalo, whose parents are originally from El Salvador. “We also have a youth dance in the works after the dust settles from Latin@ Pride Week. Latin@’s are all about community. Latin@ Pride wants to move towards making the Queer demographic of our community stronger.”
The week-long events include fun and events that seem to promote cohesion such as: King and Queen of Latin@ Pride Pageant; Networking Cocktail Party; Expresión: A Showcase of our PRIDE by the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition, HBGC; Latino Night @ Rumor; Community Awards Reception; Dyke Night: Latin@ Pride Edition; Family Day, and more.
“As Chair, I would love to see people making connections, having fun, and feeling a sense of solidarity,” said Arevalo. “I would also love if more events geared towards the Queer Community Color started to pop up in the Boston area. As of now, there are very limited options for us. We want to hear/dance to our music, eat our food, speak our language, and be proud of all aspects of our identity.”
According to the Boston Pride website, “the Latin@ Pride Committee exists to provide educational and social events for the greater Boston Latin@ LGBT community and allies. Our goal is to create a welcoming, supportive, inclusive environment for Latin@ LGBT people to gather, thrive, network and forge community connections.”
The behind the scenes volunteers and committee members are a crucial component of the preparation for Latin@ Pride each year, according to Arevalo. The committee members assisting Arevalo this year are Zulma Acosta, Joel Marshall, Henry Paquin and Daniella Sousa.
“Latin@ Pride Week has really come together from the hard work of many people dedicated to serving the Latin@ Queer Community,” said Arevalo passionately. “Only by working together has this week been made possible. I am extremely proud of the work that we have done and truly hope that our Queer Latin@s and allies enjoy.”
To view the updated list of events happening during Latin@ Pride 2012, visit: www.bostonpride.org/latinopride/calendar/. To view photos of last year’s Latin@ Pride pageant, visit: http://tinyurl.com/bnlzve3.
Latin@ Pride meetings are held every other Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at the Non-Profit Center, 89 South Street, Boston. Everyone is welcome. For more info contact Latin@ Pride at: email@example.com.
Filed Under: Eastern NE News