2019 Boston Pride Marshals
Dale Mitchell convened Boston’s very first LGBT Aging Summit in 2001 and the LGBT Aging Project, of which he was named Chair, was formed thereafter. Dale has been a leading champion and advocate for LGBT older adults and caregivers in Massachusetts. He is currently the CEO of Ethos, a Boston-based elder service organization, and his passion is to ensure that LGBT older adults age with the dignity and respect they deserve. Dale has elevated the visibility of LGBT older adults in Boston and across the Commonwealth. Thanks to Dale’s vision, today’s LGBT seniors—and those who follow in their footsteps—are able to thrive socially and with the necessary supports and providers that are culturally competent and LGBT-inclusive. Dale also is a veteran of the Stonewall Riots in 1969 in New York City’s Greenwich Village, as he witnessed the aftermath of the raid on the Stonewall Inn and the clashes between patrons and police officers.
Ava Glasscott represented the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the 2018 Miss Trans USA Pageant. She is the first post-op transgender contestant from New England to represent her community in a national pageant. The story of Ava’s journey as a trans model has been featured on NBC Boston and the WCVB-TV show Chronicle. Ava made a cameo in Amy Schumer’s 2018 movie I Feel Pretty, which was filmed in Boston. She also appeared in the documentary film All Stars: The Changing Face of Drag (2016), which she promoted at RuPaul’s DragCon in Los Angeles.
Chris Harris, New England’s premier promoter and nightlife event organizer, led the revitalization and reshaping of Boston’s LGBTQ scene in the last decade and a half. A native of Providence, where he produced club events and block parties, and co-owned the Ego nightclub, Chris relentlessly advocated for equality and safe environments in entertainment. Throughout his work, Chris supported many organizations in our New England community, in particular RI Pride and Boston Pride. He helped Pride organizations in the region secure entertainment for events, and thanked volunteers who donated their time to Pride events by providing free passes to his club nights. When Boston Pride hosted its first international Pride conference in 2012, Chris hosted all the delegates at his venues and treated each one as a VIP. To this day, InterPride members talk fondly about the warm welcome they received in Boston thanks to Chris.
Champion of Stonewall
Marsha P. Johnson
Marsha P. Johnson
Marsha P. Johnson, a gender non-conforming African-American activist and icon, was one of the most prominent participants in the Stonewall Inn Uprising, which started on June 28, 1969 in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. Johnson had organized a party for her transgender/transvestite friends on the night of June 27, 1969, but met with no-shows as friends headed to the Stonewall Inn instead. She went to join them, determined to party somewhere. She was identified as one of the main participants in the riots that broke out after the police raided the Mafia-owned bar. Legend has it that either she or her friend Sylvia Rivera threw the first brick at police. Johnson and Rivera both denied being the first to act, and most eyewitnesses credit a butch lesbian with igniting the resistance to the infamous police raid. Johnson said the riots had already started by the time she got to the Stonewall.
Johnson and Rivera co-founded Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), a group that provided social support and a place to stay for homeless LGBTQ youth. Johnson was known as a mentor for younger gay and transgender people.
Johnson, when asked for what the P in her name stood for, famously said “Pay it no mind.” Her death on July 6, 1992 remains controversial. Her body was found floating in the Hudson River. The police ruled the death a suicide and stopped investigating. But friends and acquaintances of Ms. Johnson said she was not suicidal and had been murdered. The case remains unsolved to this day. •