One of the longest-running Pride events in the US has been shut down with no further events planned as the organisation dissolves.
Boston Pride, which has been running for more than 50 years, will be shut down following an announcement made on Friday (July 9).
In a written statement published online by the Boston Pride Board of Directors, the organisation opened up about their mission to “an environment of diversity and unity”.
“For years, we have volunteered our time with Boston Pride because we care about and are passionate about the LGBTQIA+ community. We strived to foster an environment of diversity and unity within our organization and the community,” the statement read.
“Over the past 50 years, Boston Pride has facilitated programs and events that have changed our society and promoted equality, but we know there is still work to be done.”
The statement continues to address concerns over the lack of inclusivity at the organisation, including the Boston Globe reported stating issues were found regarding inclusivity, including the Pride organization excluded QPOC and trans people. The report led to members of the LGBTQ+ community boycotting the group.
“Over the past year, we have invested time and energy to address the concerns of the community, both with our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access work with Dorrington & Saunders and by forming the Transformation Advisory Committee comprised of members of the LGBTQIA+ community to help bring change to our organization. We are grateful for all who have been involved in this process,” the statement continues.
The organisation added: “It is clear to us that our community needs and wants change without the involvement of Boston Pride. We have heard the concerns of the QTBIPOC community and others. We care too much to stand in the way. Therefore, Boston Pride is dissolving. There will be no further events or programming planned, and the board is taking steps to close down the organization.
“We know many people care about Pride in Boston, and we encourage them to continue the work. By making the decision to close down, we hope new leaders will emerge from the community to lead the Pride movement in Boston.
This decision was made with a heavy heart, out of love and hope for a better future.”
Several activists, who called for greater diversity and inclusivity at the organisation, made their voices heard by interfering with a planned mayoral debate to draw attention to the ongoing issues at Boston Pride.
“Boston Pride is dissolving. There will be no further events or programming planned, and the board is taking steps to close down the organization.”#mapoli #bostonpride #lgbtqia https://t.co/zZmKMvPdxl
— Sue O'Connell (@SueNBCBoston) July 9, 2021
Boston’s NPR News Station also issues a statement amid news of Bostin Pride’s disbanding. The statement acknowledges the need for change amongst the LGBTQ+ and the lead up to the organisation’s ending.
“It is clear to us that our community needs and wants change without the involvement of Boston Pride. The announcement comes after years of growing tension with other Boston-based LGBTQ+ community leaders and organizations, ” the statement begins.
“The announcement comes after years of growing tension with other Boston-based LGBTQ+ community leaders and organizations. In 2015, Black Lives Matter protestors interrupted the Boston Pride parade to demand more inclusivity and representation in the Pride organization.
And last year, 80% of Boston Pride’s volunteer workforce resigned after a statement put out by Boston Pride’s board received backlash. The board came under fire for removing key parts of the statement, which was originally written by the volunteer workforce. Former volunteers alleged that the board removed “Black Lives Matter,” without consent from its Black Pride committee members. Workers also cited allegations of racism and transphobia as reasons they resigned.”
The released statement confirms the resignation of board president Linda DeMarco and that no further events have been planned for Boston Pride, and that the board will be taking steps to close down the organisation.
Trans Resistance has announced that they will work with a number of local organisations, according to LGBTQ+ Nation.
The cross over will include helping “reshape the future of Pride in Boston” and note that they “remain committed to community-driven action that centres and uplifts TQBIPOC leadership and our TQBIPOC community.”