Pride Preview 2017: A Review of Pride Celebrations Across New England

Pride CelebrationsBoston Pride Parade 2016.
Photo: Marilyn Humphries
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By: Mike Givens/TRT Assistant Editor—

It’s 2017 and Pride season is upon us. The Rainbow Times recently reached out to Pride organizations across New England to learn about their Pride celebrations, grand marshals, and other highlights of their local festivities.

Northampton PrideMay 6, 2017

Q: Please state your name and title within your Pride organization.
A: J.M. Sorrell, Spokesdyke

Q: What’s this year’s theme?
A:
“Stronger Together”—collaboratively with Worcester and Boston Pride events.

Q: Who will be your grand and honorary marshals?
A: No marshals this year.

Q: Do you have a current list of events? Can you explain why are they relevant in terms of your theme? What are you hoping to achieve at these events?

A: We are in the process of finalizing our afternoon stage events. Here’s the plan: Parade/march begins promptly at 12 p.m. in downtown Northampton. There will be many contingent groups—high schools, churches, sponsors, for and non-profit organizations, Dykes on Bikes, WHMP Radio, local and regional politicians, peace groups, drag queens and kings, musicians—to name a few. Thousands of people march, and hundreds line up along Main Street to cheer on the marchers. The parade ends at the Three-County Fairgrounds where the stage events will begin. There are many vendors selling their wares and numerous non-profit groups with information tables at the fairgrounds. The Mayor will deliver his annual Proclamation, and [an] emcee will move things along, and there will be drag performers, singers, speakers, and comedy through 5 p.m.

Q: What are you excited about for 2017 Pride Season?
A: It is the 36th annual Noho Pride March! We are excited to continue to beat our own records of attendance and participation each year … It’s hard to believe we had just a few hundred marchers in the early 1980s.

A: The“Stronger Together” theme is especially compelling. While we have gained many rights, especially in Massachusetts, we cannot afford to be complacent, and we know that our ally work with each other empowers all of us. When we rise together, we demonstrate our effective collaboration as we celebrate our multitude of identities.”

Q: Do you consider your Pride to be inclusive and to have members of the LGBTQ community of color on your board? How so?

A: The Noho Pride Board solicits and welcomes diversity in all forms. We welcome all LGBTQIA people and allies as well. The composition of Board members and volunteer leaders and workers changes from year to year, and it greatly depends on availability and commitment each year.

 

Boston PrideJune 2-11, 2017

Q: Please state your name and title within your Pride organization

A: Sylvain Bruni, President of Boston Pride.

Q: What’s this year’s theme?

A: This year’s theme is “Stronger Together.” The theme focuses on the current climate of political uncertainty and marginalization of LGBTQ people. The theme will be used for all Boston Pride events throughout the year, culminating with Boston Pride Week which will be held from June 2 to June 11.

Q: Who will be your grand and honorary marshals?

A: [The} Grand Marshal will be Kristen Porter, Founder of Kristen Porter Presents Dyke Night, who is celebrating 20 years of serving the LGBTQ community. The Honorary Marshals include Norman Hill, former President of [the] Gay Officers Action League New England; Dr. Judy Bradford, co-chair of the Fenway Institute from its inception in 2001; and John Michael Gray, half of the famous“Hat Sisters.”

Q: Do you have a current list of events? Can you explain why they are relevant in terms of your theme? What are you hoping to achieve at these events?

A: Boston Pride events include: LatinX (April 20-23), Pride Guide Release Party (May 17), MA Youth Pride (May 20), Flag Raising at City Hall (June 2), Pride Day at Faneuil Hall Marketplace (June 3), Pride Night at Revolution (June 3), Pride Night at Fenway Park (June 9), Pride Parade (June 10), Back Bay and Jamaica Plain Block Parties (June 11). Full details on events can be found at https://goo.gl/jwg3Ce. These events are relative to the theme ‘Stronger Together’ as they emphasize Boston Pride’s commitment to raising awareness of intersexuality, the overlapping of social identities, and how discrimination against one ultimately represents discrimination against all. We hope these events will further stress the importance of the diverse groups that comprise the LGBTQ community to stand together and fight for civil rights for all.

Q: What are you excited about for 2017 Pride Season?

A: This season we look forward to having new groups join us for the Parade and Festival to make this year’s Boston Pride week one of the biggest outpourings of celebration and activism for the LGBTQ community, showing everyone that we truly are“Stronger Together.”

Q: Do you consider your Pride to be inclusive and to have members of the LGBTQ community of color on your board? How so?

A: Boston Pride is very inclusive and we ensure that our programming includes all members of the LGBTQ community, including through Youth Pride, Latinx Pride, and Black Pride.”

 

Pride PortlandJune 9-18, 2017

Q: Please state your name and title within your Pride organization.

A: Victoria Kuhn and Michael Sweeney, Parade Team Co-Chairs

Q: What’s this year’s theme?

A: “Love is Love (parade theme only, there is no uber Pride theme).”

Q: Who will be your grand and honorary marshals?

A: We are nearly ready to share this info!

Q: Do you have a current list of events? Can you explain why are they relevant in terms of your theme? What are you hoping to achieve at these events?

A: June 11: Pride Portland! Stands With National Pride; June 13: Pride Portland! & Portland Paddle!; June 17: 2017 Pride Portland! Parade and Festival; and June 18: Tea Dance at Peaks Island.

For more information, visit: https://goo.gl/NiM1Or

[T]here are so many frankly … we are here to celebrate the achievements of the LBGTQIA community while raising awareness of the work that remains to be done. We[‘re] about building strong connections among individuals and businesses to foster inclusivity, diversity and unity.

Q: What are you excited about for 2017 Pride Season?

A: We are excited to build on the successes of last year, to remember the past, and to have fun!

Q: Do you consider your Pride to be inclusive and to have members of the LGBTQ community of color on your board? How so?

NOTE: Although this was one of the standard questions sent to all major New England Pride organizations, Pride Portland never sent an answer for this specific question.

 

North Shore PrideJune 22-25, 2017

Q: Please state your name and title within your Pride organization.

A: Hope Watt-Bucci, President, North Shore Pride

Q: What’s this year’s theme?

A: All Prides who belong to InterPride, the International Organizations of Prides … As a symbol of solidarity all of the Pride organizations are unified in their theme and have chosen,“Stronger Together” for this year’s theme.

Q: Who will be your grand and honorary marshals?

A: We will have a survivor of the Pulse nightclub massacre as our grand marshal. We will also be honoring several community leaders on the North Shore.

Q: Do you have a current list of events? Can you explain why are they relevant in terms of your theme? What are you hoping to achieve at these events?

June 22, 2017: North Shore Pride InterFaith Celebration

June 23, 2017: TheRainbow Times 10-Year Anniversary Boat Cruise to Benefit North Shore Pride

June 24, 2017: North Shore Pride Parade

June 24, 2017: North Shore Pride Festival

June 24, 2017: North Shore Pride Youth After Party

June 24, 2017: North Shore Pride Adult After Party

June 25, 2017: North Shore Pride Senior Celebration Dance

All of the events held by North Shore Pride are designed with a goal of education and advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ community. As our tag line indicates, we“Build Unity in Our Community.”

Q: What are you excited about for 2017 Pride Season?

A: I am most excited about the growth of North Shore Pride in this our sixth year. We are excited that North Shore Pride is now viewed as a resource for our community. As an all-volunteer non profit our organization is comprised of board members and volunteers who see the need to advocate for the LGBTQ community and to enhance education for the greater community so that the North Shore embraces inclusion of the LGBTQ community.

Q: Do you consider your Pride to be inclusive and to have members of the LGBTQ community of color on your board? How so?

A: North Shore Pride has always maintained our focus on inclusion. We continue to invite board member applicants, as we have done over the last five years. North Shore Pride is proud to have a diverse board that is representative of persons who vary in gender identity, race, ethnicity, and background.

 

Worcester PrideSeptember 6-10, 2017

Q: Please state your name and title within your Pride organization.

A: Peter Bacchiocchi, President

Q: What’s this year’s theme?

A: “Stronger Together.”

Q: Who will be your grand and honorary marshals?

A: As our Parade is in September, we are still working on marshals[.]

Q: Do you have a current list of events? Can you explain why are they relevant in terms of your theme? What are you hoping to achieve at these events?

September 3, 2017: Worcester Pride Art Show, Opening reception 7 p.m. @ Electric Haze 26 Millbury St. (the show is on exhibit 9/3/17-10/1/17)

September 6, 2017: Pride Kick-Off Dinner & Cocktails 6-10 p.m. @ Metzcal Restaurant, Limited seating, $60/person includes Cocktail, light appetizers, dinner. Age 21+

September 7, 2017: Pride Flag Raising at City Hall, 3 p.m. @ Worcester City Hall Plaza, 455 Main Street

September 7, 2017: Pride Flag Raising at Union Station, 4 p.m. @ Union Station, 2 Washington Square

September 7, 2017: Pride Lights the Burns Bridge, 7-8 p.m., Regatta Point Park, Worcester

September 8, 2017: LGBTQI Pride Pageant 7-10 p.m. @ Fiddler’s Green, 19 Temple Street, 21+; annual competition for Miss Gay Worcester, Ms. Worcester Pride, Mr. Worcester Pride, $15 tickets

September 8, 2017: After Pageant Parties 10:30 p.m. – 1 a.m. @ Fiddler’s Green, 19 Temple Street, 21+, $5 Cover, DJ’s

September 9, 2017: Pride Parade 11 a.m. – 12p.m., Institute Park down Main Street to City Hall: All ages are welcome to participate in the Parade or watch and cheer from the sideline; Worcester Pride Festival, 12-5 p.m., The Common, behind City Hall, 455 Main St, all ages welcome, Woo Church Kid Area, Vendors, Food, Info, dozens of entertainers; Pride Block Party 7 p.m. – 2 a.m., Entertainment & Food, Raffles, $10 cover, 21+ Site TBD; Youth Pride Dance: 7-10p.m. @ YWCA, 1 Salem Square, Ages 16 – 20

September 10, 2017: Annual After Pride “Recovery Brunch” 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. @Lock 50, 50 Water Street, Worcester: $35 per person

September 14-17, 2017: qFlix Worcester, New England’s LGBTQ Film Festival @ Hanover Theater, 2 Southbridge Street, Worcester

Look for more Community fun at the multiple events on September 9, 2017:

The Canal Diggers Road Race, The Shrewsbury Street College Shuffle, 3rd Annual CityFest

Information at: https://goo.gl/Gx0bqr or e-mail [email protected]

Q: What are you excited about for 2017 Pride Season?

A: We are excited about the theme of Stronger Together being shared by the New England regional Prides. The continual expansion of our Pride Week events with the addition of the qFlix Worcester LGBTQ Film Festival is a great opportunity to showcase the excitement and growth of our Central Massachusetts community.”

Q: Do you consider your Pride to be inclusive and to have members of the LGBTQ community of color on your board? How so?

A: We work hard to be an inclusive board with participation by all members of the community.

For more information about Pride events, check The Rainbow Times’ Yearly Pride Projects: the New England Pride Guide 2017 out from June-September, 2017, which lists all information of the most popular Prides, entertainment, feature stories and headliners from some of the best Prides in New England and beyond; and the New England Pride Map 2017, a pocket-size glossy piece, out to all of New England on May 4, showcasing other business events during Pride, parade routes and more.

*Representatives from Hartford, Springfield, Rhode Island and Vermont Prides did not respond to requests for interviews.

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1 Comment on "Pride Preview 2017: A Review of Pride Celebrations Across New England"

  1. Stacy Sedgewood | April 8, 2017 at 9:30 pm | Reply

    This will be my first Pride; I am still early in transition, but can’t wait!

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