by Chuck Colbert/TRT Reporter
Who knew that the season of Boston Pride extended all the way from the second Saturday in June through October and all the way to early December?
That’s a fact, thanks to Margaret Cho, with her LogoTV.com- sponsored tour, serving as fundraising launch pad for the local Pride committee.
Sponsored by the W Hotel across the street from the Wilbur Theatre, a pre-show reception drew about 100 people who lined up one-by-one, in pairs, and small groups to have their photos taken with the gay-popular comedian and celebrity. The meet and greet took place right before her performance in the Margaret Cho Dependent Tour, held that night at the Wilbur.
Why Cho for Boston Pride? “She’s a LGBT icon,” said Keri A. Aulita, deputy director of the Boston Pride Committee, noting Cho’s most recent television appearance where Cho wore a rainbow-colored roaring Twenties-style dress and spoke about being true to yourself. “Cho is obviously someone everyone loves,” Aulita said. “She’s hilarious.”
Aulita is the Boston Pride’s first full time staff person.
“It just seems fitting,” added Pierce Durkin, Boston Pride board committee member. “Margaret Cho has had a long standing relationship with the LGBT community.”
And with Asian Americans. On hand for the reception, Tai Sunnanon recalled first seeing Cho in 1994, when, at the time, he lived in Los Angeles.
“I was 14 years old and a freshman in high school,” he said. “I watched her religiously.” Sunnanon also said he lined up at the CBS studio to be an audience member, explaining, “Being a farm boy from Houston, Texas, and seeing her in LA was very overwhelming.”
If Boston Pride still rocks and rolls in October, sure enough, Pride celebrations nationwide and around the world are growing.
Fresh off a big win for Boston, Linda DeMarco, long-time Pride committee board member and parade leader, could hardly contain her enthusiasm.
“We’re just back from a tip last week to Long Beach, Calif.,” she said “where Boston’s bid to bring an international Pride celebration won out over Pittsburgh, Penna.”
DeMarco was also quick to point out the winning effort had full support from the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism and the Greater Boston Business Council, with both agencies providing maps and promotional brochures highlighting the Hub’s historical and cultural heritage.
The honors mean that on Oct. 3, 2012, Boston will host an conference for InterPride. Founded in 1982, InterPride is an association of LGBT Pride organizers that produce Pride events around the world. Its membership is global.
More than 170 Pride committee members from all over the country and world assembled in Southern California. “The best part,” DeMarco said, “was 50 percent were first timers” at the gathering, referring to Butte, Mont.; Tacoma, Wash.; and Eureka, Calif.
Pride is not just about partying and having a good time, DeMarco said. “We’re out to educate people.”
Of course, raising money for Boston Pride remains a priority, along with adding corporate sponsors. “Our insurance for Pride is $20,000 alone,” Aulita said. And plans are already in the works for 2011.
Meanwhile, a final Pride-related event, “Hustle and Bustle Casino Night,” yet another fundraiser, is set for Saturday evening, Dec. 4, at Fanuiel Hall Marketplace in the second floor Rotunda.
Casino and Cho: That’s a wrap for Boston Pride 2010. “Boston Pride rocks,” DeMarco said, referring to the largest LGBT celebration in New England that has drawn up to an estimated one million people throughout the weeklong schedule of activities.