Another year of Pride has come and gone. Many of us will be settling back into our prior routines, including myself, and next year we will all be ready to get out and march again.
This year was the 4th year I have celebrated Pride since returning to Boston. My first time was in 2010, and I recall it very clearly. Prior to attending my first Pride, I had grown in anticipation of what it would be like, so I really only could guess on conjecture based on what I have seen on TV. It was a very rainy day, actually, but I had no intention of letting that get in the way of experiencing everything. I enjoyed seeing every contingent pass by, seeing own diversity of a community play out in the streets, and smile with everyone else’s at the joy of our week.
I was lucky enough to have had a friend physically pull me into the parade as he passed by. I remember how nervous I felt about marching in the parade, but I walked with my friend for a little bit. No one else cared that I had been pulled in as much as I had, people kept cheering. One person I recall said to me “You are awesome!” as I was marching in the parade that year.
After that wonderful experience, I decided I wanted to be a part of making the event happen, so as soon as it became available to sign up and volunteer for Boston Pride – I signed right up for it. I was also nervous when I showed up for my first day to volunteer, having no idea Boston Pride is run, set up, and maintained. I got through it, would volunteer again, and now do it every single year.
Besides being a Boston Pride volunteer, I am also extremely politically active. I meet many candidates for public office, those who hold a public office, and work with an active and diverse political group. Much more of my time and energy generally goes to talking about these things. Currently, there are 12 states with gay marriage.. but you can be fired in 29 states for being gay, in 38 states if you are transgender, and if you are of color, the statistics are in even less in your favor. We do have our successes, like how currently more people are coming out in Sports, yet we still have to continue to battle HIV/AIDS in Massachusetts and the rest of the United States.
Every year we should be celebrating our successes, but not without thinking and acting upon making sure progress continues for all LGBTQ persons in Massachusetts, and across the United States, whether you are a person of color, transgender or an ally.