Black Lives Matter
Credit: Marilyn Humphries.
This year is historically noteworthy for many reasons. It is the 50th anniversary of Boston Pride. For the first time in our 50 years, we will not gather together in the streets of Boston to celebrate Pride, but rather virtually, on the Boston Pride website and social media sites. We are in the middle of a pandemic, that has not only taken countless lives, but is also placing the inequalities rampant throughout our nation in stark focus. And this Pride month, the racist injustice plaguing our society is finally coming to head, as we stand up for all members in our community, refuse to silently bear witness to the heartless acts of violence enacted on people of color by the police, and loudly declare that Black Lives Matter.
Today, we, as a community, can not afford to forget that Pride exists to commemorate, and celebrate, a riot. Were it not for our forebearers, who stood up at Coopers Donuts, at Compton Cafeteria, at the Stonewall Inn to violently fight back against police and government oppressors, our movement would not be where it is today. Our rights were acquired not because we politely asked for them, but because we fought for them, throwing parking meters, coffee, and punches to demand recognition of our humanity.
While we have achieved many, though certainly not all, of the LGBTQ+ rights we sought, the same cannot be said of our Black and Brown LGBTQ+ community members. The right to march down city streets, loudly declaring pride in your identity, cannot be appreciated by those who, with good reason, do not feel safe from the very people tasked with protecting them. The right to marry the person you love cannot be fully enjoyed if one cannot take their spouse to a park without having to worry about stumbling upon a conflict with someone who will try to weaponize a racist police force against them. The right to change the gender marker on a passport does not carry the same weight for one who cannot freely travel throughout the country without fear of racialized violence. The right to access public accommodations, without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, is meaningless without the right to simply exist in public.
We are proud to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, and with everyone who is out there protesting on the streets of Boston, and in communities throughout New England, working to dismantle institutionalized racism. This year’s Pride Guide cover is particularly apt for the 50th anniversary of Boston Pride, as it shows the community actively living the meaning of Pride, to secure justice for all the members of our community.