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Boston Pride dissolves: Group was accused of excluding POC and Trans people

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Photo courtesy of Boston Pride
Photo courtesy of Boston Pride

Boston Pride, the organization that organized the city's annual Pride Parade, announced on July 9 that it will dissolve.

The decision comes only a month after the former board president, Linda DeMarco, submitted her resignation.

The group had been accused by many in Boston's LGBTQ community of excluding people of color and Transgender people.

In a statement posted on the Boston Pride website, the group denied it had deliberately excluded sections of the LGBTQ community.

"We strived to foster an environment of diversity and unity within our organization and the community," they wrote. "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 group added that they had hired consultants Dorrington & Saunders and formed a "Transformation Advisory Committee comprised of members of the LGBTQIA+ community" in an attempt to respond to charges of exclusion.

Nevertheless, the group said, they now realize that they have failed to address community concerns.

"It is clear to us that our community needs and wants change without the involvement of Boston Pride," they said. "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."

Boston Pride's problems began in 2020, when 80% of their volunteers quit after the board removed the hashtag #blacklivesmatter from their social media accounts, and heavily edited a statement by the group's communications team condemning police violence.

The edited version was posted on the Boston Pride website without consulting the city's Black Pride or the group's own communications team.

The city's Black and Trans communities responded by organizing their own event — the Trans Resistance March and Vigil — timed to preempt the 50th anniversary celebration of Boston Pride.