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

Pride CelebrationsVermont Pride
Photo: Karen Pike/2016
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The most comprehensive round of pride celebrations

By: Mike Givens/TRT Assistant Editor—

In the first part of this series, published in a recent issue of The Rainbow Times, we interviewed several Pride organizations across New England including Northampton, Boston, Portland, the North Shore, and Worcester. This second part features pride organizations in Rhode Island, Hartford Connecticut, and Vermont.

Rhode Island Pride
June 17, 2017

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

A: Alex Gorriaran, Past President of Rhode Island Pride and Volunteer

Q: What’s this year’s theme?

A: When We R.I.S.E.—Rhode Islanders Standing for Equality

This year’s theme is very relevant considering our current political landscape in D.C. It is a call to action to our LGBTQ community, our friends, and allies to come together to resist the inequalities that exist in our society and our need to rise up to make sure all [of] our civil rights, marriage equality and everything we have fought for through the years does not get taken away. When we rise … our voices will be heard, our rights will be protected, and we will celebrate the diversity of our LGBTQ community in Rhode Island and Southern New England.

Q: Who will be your grand and honorary marshals?

A: Grand and honorary marshals to be determined.

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: There are [a] diverse mix of events that lead up to the big day on June 17 with our Rhode Island PrideFest and New England’s Only Illuminated Night Parade. There is our annual Countdown to Pride events where each bar and club hosts an event to build awareness on all the happenings, recruit volunteers and raise much needed [funds]. There will be a mix of events, performances, entertainment, and some events focused [on] health and wellness, [but] inclusive for all. Some highlights include the Providence City Hall Flag Raising on Sunday, June 11 and back by popular demand, we will be hosting Pride Yoga on Tuesday, June 13 at 6 p.m. at the site of the PrideFest on the greenway at South Water Street in Providence. A complete list of events can be found at www.PrideRI.com or follow us on facebook at @prideri.

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

A: The Rhode Island PrideFest and New England’s only Illuminated Night Parade is always the highlight of the season. Last year we saw record numbers attend with more than 75,000 participants. The Rhode Island PrideFest hosts more than 200 vendors, businesses, and organizations along with an area for our Kid’s Zone and Youth Center. There will be a main stage and an acoustic stage with entertainment all day along with our beer, wine, and spirits garden. PrideFest is from 12-7 p.m. The parade starts at 8 p.m. on Dorrance Street and continues down Washington Street, then Empire Street and ends on Weybosset Street. Spectators line all the streets and there will be a [viewing] area by the Providence Performing Arts Center. And of course every bar in the city will be having block parties all night long after the parade. The energy in the city is electric and we send an open invitation to everyone to participate in the weekend events that transform the City of Providence into a Gay Disney World. Please join us when we rise together on June 17.

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: Rhode Island Pride is very fortunate to have a diverse mix of volunteers and board members. We have a mix of gender, sexuality, range of ages from young to, should we say, “wise and experienced,” along with a cultural mix that includes African American, Asian, and [Latinx].

 

Hartford Pride

September 7—September 10

Q:  Please state your name and title within your Pride organization.
A: Charlie Ortiz, Chair. Our mother organization non-profit is Claro Inc. Our committee name is Hartford Capital City Pride.

Q:  What’s this year’s theme?
A: Pride and Patriotism—visit our magazine www.outinct.com and www.hartfordpride.com.

Q:  Who will be your grand and honorary marshals?

A: We are a small Pride [and] about [7,000] people attended last year. [We have] no marshals[;] we award [three] hard-working people from our LGTB+ community [and we are] still working on final names.

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 a volunteer organization. So far:

Wednesday, September 6, 2017: Raising the flag at City Hall

Thursday, September 7, 2017: PrideFest fundraiser

Friday, September 8, 2017: Bar Crawl

Saturday, September 9, 2017: PrideFest at Pratt Street Downtown, Hartford

Sunday, September 10, 2017: Brunch at Nixs Rest Bar

Please visit www.hartfordpride.com for updated information.

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

A: We are working together with others Prides to support each other and working on House Bill 6695—An Act Concerning the Protection of Youth from Conversion Therapy …

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: Yes, we very excited to have … on our board, [which is composed of all people of color …  a range of identities,] from white, black, latino/a, [people with disabilities], transgender [people], and others.

 

Vermont Pride

September 10, 2017

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

A: Josie Leavitt, Interim Executive Director, Pride Center of Vermont.

Q: What’s this year’s theme?

A: We will be holding a contest for the community to choose the theme. We’re hoping to have it decided by the end of May.

Q: Who will be your grand and honorary marshals?

A: We hope to them picked out by the end of May.

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 compiling events. I can say that will have three hours of local and national entertainment. The goal with all our events is to bring the community together to celebrate the diversity that makes the LGBTQ community so amazing.

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

A: I’m always excited for Pride. I love how it brings all the community together in joyous celebration.

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: Our Pride is very inclusive and largely run by volunteers who truly represent the community. There are currently six people on the Pride Center Board and there two people of color.


Other articles you may enjoy reading:

City of Boston to Host Annual Rainbow Flag Raising Ceremony for Boston Pride

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