By: Linda DeMarco/President of Boston Pride–
Every year, Boston Pride Week shows our pride for the LGBT community through the Parade, Festival and other activities, but this year, it means even more. 2012 Pride Week marks the 42nd annual Pride Parade and Festival in Boston, an accomplishment of which we are extremely proud , especially considering the continuous growth of the community that we serve. Our theme is “Celebrating 30 Years of Worldwide Pride Movement,” as 2012 also marks the 30th anniversary of InterPride, the international association of Pride organizers founded in Boston in 1982. We are thrilled to announce that the 2012 InterPride conference will be hosted by Boston Pride in Boston October 3 -7. We are excited to pay tribute to the pioneers who founded InterPride through our Boston Pride Week and we are honoring the revolutionary role that Boston has played in the Pride movement.
InterPride is an organization created to promote Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride on an international level. It works to increase networking and communication among Pride organizations, to encourage diverse communities to hold and attend Pride events and to serve as an educational resource. Additionally, InterPride aims to be an international voice for the global LGBT community throughout the world, standing up for equality and justice in every region and collaborating with each other.
When InterPride was first established, the yearly conference featured representatives from half a dozen U.S. Pride organizations. As the push for equality in our community has grown stronger over the years, with the inclusion of civil rights and marriage equality, the needs and scope of the organization have deepened and expanded to reach an international level. Now, the organization is a global network which reaches out all over the planet. Each year, the InterPride Conference is held in a different city to bring together the different Pride organizations throughout the world. Attendees include InterPride members, Pride Organizers, members of Pride groups, LGBT activists, community leaders, members of student and corporate diversity committees and corporations and public agencies.
The InterPride conference provides a place for people of diverse backgrounds and locations to come together over our shared interest in the LGBT community. Participants have the opportunity to network, discuss best practices in planning Pride events and attend discussions on human rights. It is amazing each year when our community joins together for an inspiring and rich experience.
Thirty years of InterPride is a significant milestone as it shows longevity, evolution and strength. It is fitting that the 2012 conference is held in Boston, bringing InterPride back to its roots to celebrate everything it stands for, all it has accomplished and all it seeks to accomplish in the future. This is an honor for Boston and so we felt that simply hosting the conference would not be enough. We determined that the best tribute to this closely connected organization and its 30-year milestone would be to organize this year’s Boston Pride Parade and Festival around the achievement, and made it the theme of Pride Week. By doing so, we hope to draw in an even greater range of participants, allowing this event to further inspire all volunteers, vendors and attendees by letting them become a part of something even larger than the traditional Parade and Festival.
We invite all of you as members of this community to view your participation in this year’s Pride Parade and Festival as not only showing your support for Boston’s and Massachusetts’ Pride communities, but also for InterPride and every other Pride community in the world to which we are inherently connected.
For more information on how you can get involved in Boston Pride Week and InterPride go to www.Bostonpride.org and www.intrepride2012.org