I hope the East Coast branch of the blog (hmm- all of us now) survived ol' Elsa yesterday. We had a lot of rain here, but hardly any wind. No big deal.
So let's think about this summer. As things slowly return towards a more normal state, we've been pondering some events happening this year that haven't in a while. Baseball is back - I even watched a few innings of the Sox game last night. I worked last weekend on the holiday; we even had fireworks and live music. Looking ahead - there's rumblings that the Melrose Symphony might have a season this fall, and the Boston Marathon is scheduled for October 11.
One thing that is a longstanding tradition is the Boston Pride parade. Normally the first weekend in June, we haven't had one in two years. In the early 90s, I used to do what was then called the "AIDS Walk" fundraiser with my gay friend.
So it is with some dismay that I report today that the organization behind all the Pride events in this city - Boston Pride - is folding
. And not because of Covid.
Boston Pride, which for a half-century advocated for the rights of the LGBTQ community, is dissolving amid a controversy over inclusion, the groupâ€™s board of directors announced Friday, threatening the future of New Englandâ€™s largest Pride parade.
The announcement, posted to the organizationâ€™s website, came one month after Pride board president Linda DeMarco said she would resign this summer in response to complaints that the organization excluded people of color and trans people, which led some to boycott the group.
â€œIt is clear to us that our community needs and wants change without the involvement of Boston Pride. ... We care too much to stand in the way,â€ the board said in a statement. â€œTherefore, Boston Pride is dissolving. There will be no further events or programming planned, and the board is taking steps to close down the organization.â€
The board said it had â€œstrived to foster an environment of diversity and unity within our organization and the communityâ€ but acknowledged â€œthere is still work to be done.â€ The board said it hopes that â€œnew leaders will emerge from the community to lead the Pride movement in Boston.â€
A spokeswoman for the organization said its board had no further comment beyond the statement. DeMarco did not immediately respond to an interview request.
Athena Vaughn, who cofounded the advocacy group Trans Resistance MA last year, when many felt forsaken by Boston Pride, called the boardâ€™s decision â€œa copout.â€
â€œItâ€™s disheartening because it sounds like instead of giving the community â€¦ what it wants, they would rather dissolve,â€ Vaughn said.
Even though we all know the acronym, it is worth enumerating it.
There's a few more letters that get added here and there, but that is the core of the movement.
What Boston Pride is doing - allegedly excluding persons based on race, or transgender, defies the spirit of the movement and marks them as the worst kind of hypocrite.
This organization has existed for 50 years. Even though their hurtful and exclusionary policies are just coming to light now, one wonders what untold damages have been done over the last half-century?
If it is true, and they are folding for racism and trans-phobia, then good riddance; despite any good work they may have been doing, this leaves a bitter taste as they fade into the sunset.
The only good I see is setting the stage for a better, more inclusive organization to lift the rainbow banner again and keep working for justice for all.