Boston Pride 2013 Starts on 5/31: “Moving Forward … Proud, Strong, United”

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Committee expects record breaking crowds for week-long events

By: Lauren Walleser/TRT Reporter—

Boston Pride Week 2013 will be held from May 31- June 9 in various locations throughout the city, bringing together more organizations and record-breaking crowds than ever before. The 2013 theme, “Moving Forward…Proud, Strong, United,” was created by the Boston Pride Committee to acknowledge the accomplishments the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community has achieved while acknowledging that there is more work to be done.

“In my view, Boston’s LGBT community has witnessed much adversity throughout the fight for equality over the past few decades,” said Boston Pride President Linda DeMarco. “In working together, the community has become a leader in the fight for LGBT rights. Pride Week this year will celebrate the importance of continuing to lead this nation in the fight for equality as a united front.” [pullquote]“This year, we recognize that our name, Boston Pride, symbolizes the spirit, courage and conviction of everyone connected to the City of Boston, especially in the aftermath of the tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon,” said De Marco.[/pullquote]

The annual Flag Raising will kick off Boston Pride Week on May 31 in City Hall Plaza and is hosted by Mayor Thomas Menino. Elected officials and others who support the LGBT community will attend. Menino was also chosen as the 2013 Parade Grand Marshall through an online vote open to the entire community.

“Mayor Menino is a true friend of the Boston Pride Committee, and all of the residents and visitors of our great city,” said Rob Zuromski, board member for Boston Pride. “I feel it is a great tribute to our longtime mayor, long time pride participant, and long-time advocate of the LGBTQ [community] to have him as our Grand Marshall.”

Other events featured early in the week include Pride Day at Faneuil Hall, the LGBT Senior Pride Tea Dance, and the Royal Pageant. Boston Pride’s Human Rights and Education Committee will present “Out In Sports: Moving Forward – A Panel Discussion on LGBT People in Sports” Wednesday, June 5 at the Boston Public Library. The panel will be moderated by Patrick Burke of the You Can Play Foundation. Panelists include Steve Buckley, Boston Herald sports columnist; Caitlin Cahow, 2x medalist, Olympic U.S. Women’s Hockey Team, Boston Blades; Nevin Caple, Division 1 basketball player at Fairleigh Dickinson University and Founder of Loveathlete; Keelin Godsey, track and field coach at Williams College; Pat Griffin, professor emerita at University of Massachusetts Amherst, founder of Changing the Game and author of Strong Women, Deep Closets; Steve Harrington, Gay Games athlete; and James Nutter of GO! Athletes. Jason Collins, the former Boston Celtic who recently came out as gay, will also march in the parade. [pullquote]“Mayor Menino is a true friend of the Boston Pride Committee, and all of the residents and visitors of our great city,” said Rob Zuromski, board member for Boston Pride.[/pullquote]

According to Zuromski, in 2012, Boston Pride was the first Pride in the nation to have its own app that helped connect the community with the festivities. New to Boston Pride this year is the first “Pride Night at Fenway Park” to be held June 6. According to Sylvain Bruni, board member for Boston Pride, Boston Pride has partnered with the Red Sox to bring the LGBT community to Fenway Park to cheer for Pride and for the Red Sox in their game against the Texas Rangers.

“This is the first time ever that an MLB team put together an official LGBT event, and we are so very proud it is happening in Boston,” said Bruni. “The Red Sox have demonstrated a strong commitment to diversity. This will be big!”

The Boston Pride Festival will be held Saturday, June 8 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at City Hall Plaza as the last stop for the Boston Pride Parade, which will kick off at noon in Copley Square. The Festival is the last stop on the parade route and will include entertainment, such as The Family Zones, the Main Stage Lounge, Artisan Avenue, and over 100 vendors. This year’s headliner for the entertainment portion of the festival will be award-winning musical duo Karmin, chosen by the Boston Pride Entertainment Committee. [pullquote]“This is the first time ever that an MLB team put together an official LGBT event, and we are so very proud it is happening in Boston,” said Bruni. “The Red Sox have demonstrated a strong commitment to diversity. This will be big!”[/pullquote]

They are a local band who became a YouTube sensation and exploded on the national scene over the last year,” said Bruni. “They are a very LGBT-friendly band with a large gay following.”

Other night events include the Boston Pride Block Party: JP Edition, Boston Pride Block Party: Back Bay Edition, and the Boston Pride Youth Dance.

Bruni and Zuromski acknowledged that the theme for Boston Pride this year was chosen prior to the tragedy that occurred at the 2013 Boston Marathon. However, they also noted the theme has taken on a deeper meaning since the event.

“This year, we recognize that our name, Boston Pride, symbolizes the spirit, courage and conviction of everyone connected to the City of Boston, especially in the aftermath of the tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon,” said De Marco. “The outpouring of support and interest in participation in the Parade and other Pride events has been tremendous as we look forward to a fantastic week to celebrate the LGBT community.”

For more information and a full schedule of Boston Pride events, visit www.bostonpride.org/prideweek/.