As we celebrate Boston Pride during June, we join the rest of the world in recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City, which was one of the pivotal events at the beginning of the LGBTQ+ movement in the United States. With our strong history of contributions to the movement, Boston Pride established a Stonewall 50 subcommittee with the sole purpose of recognizing the importance of this anniversary and of highlighting the contributions Bostonians have made in our quest for equality. Partnering with The History Project, the Committee has put together an array of events throughout the month that we hope all can enjoy. Banners have also been placed at specific historical locations throughout Boston to commemorate the significance each location had in the LGBTQ+ movement.
Looking Back, Loving Forward, Boston Pride’s 2019 theme, chosen by the community, acknowledges our history, specifically of individuals and groups that forged ahead to enhance our community’s voice through strength, courage, and sacrifice. Looking Back refers to the inclusiveness of the origins of Gay Liberation and how it was part of a countercultural movement that changed the world. Loving Forward refers to the importance of including all people, to listen to their voices, understand their experiences, and extend support. The fight for our rights and the fight for our ability to love ourselves and each other freely without fear, hate or persecution must continue.
The Stonewall 50 events include musical concerts, author talks, and a public Community Forum during Pride Week on Monday, June 3 at 7PM at historic Faneuil Hall. The Stonewall 50 Community Forum will include keynote speeches by Raffi Freedman-Gurspan and Amy Hoffman, followed by a panel discussion, moderated by necn’s Sue O’Connell, with Dale Mitchell, Elijah Oyenuga and Garry Daffin (see page 38).
We hit a milestone with our Community Fund this year! A record $80,000 is ready to be distributed to community groups as we go to print. Our community has stepped up to support the efforts in fundraising, and one of our sponsors, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, is contributing $10,000 for the next round later this year. With these continuing contributions, the Community Fund remains in a good position for the immediate future.
We are excited to be celebrating the 5th year anniversary of our Boston Pride Guide. Since 2015, the Guides have been a platform to highlight individuals of our community with their stories. The stories connect the reader to shared moments and the realization that we are not alone. Creating community through stories has been a craft that continues through this year’s Guide. As in prior years, we celebrate this year’s Pride with a selection of articles which resonate with our diverse audience.
While 2019 looks like another record-breaking year for our signature events, we are also gearing up for the 50th anniversary of Boston Pride in 2020. We have big plans to celebrate and we welcome all to come join us to plan for next year’s Pride. In the meantime, enjoy this year’s Pride events.
Finally, we would like to thank our Boston Pride community members for their endless support. Your participation through volunteering, joining, giving, caring, and supporting in any form is greatly appreciated. We have traveled a long way together and will continue to travel even further towards success. We must remain ever vigilant in protecting what we have won. As we always say, “It is always someone’s first Pride.”