The 50th anniversary Boston Pride Parade and Festival has been postponed from the usual June date due to restrictions on large gatherings in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The City of Boston and Boston Pride are considering moving the festivities to the fall of 2021, provided that conditions are improved by then, according to a statement on the Boston Pride website on Friday. Large gatherings are not slated to be permitted until the Commonwealth moves into Phase 4 of its reopening plan.
Boston Mayor Marty J. Walsh, BC ’09, said in the statement on the Boston Pride website that the decision to push back Pride was difficult, but ultimately was the right choice in the protection of public health and safety. Walsh expressed his continued support for the LGBTQ+ community, despite having to postpone the event.
“In Boston, we are committing to living by the values of inclusion, diversity, and acceptance, and that will never change,” Walsh said. “Our city will continue to support Boston Pride, and when safe to do so, the Pride Parade and Festival will be back and stronger than ever.”
The Feb. 19 announcement marks the second postponement of Boston Pride after last year’s festivities were delayed in April due to COVID-19 and rescheduled for June 12 of this year.
Last year, Walsh said that as soon as it was safe to do so Boston would have the “biggest and best Pride parade in the country.”
The president of Boston Pride, Linda DeMarco, acknowledged the challenges the LGBTQ+ community has faced throughout the pandemic, and said that Boston Pride would work to put on virtual celebratory events for June with those individuals in mind.
“Our community is concerned about racial equity, the resurgence of white supremacy, the needs of BIPOC members of the LGBTQ+ community, and the dangers that transgender individuals …,” DeMarco said. “We are inviting the community to participate in Pride with those concerns in mind.”
Tommy Boyce, Chair of the GLBTQ Leadership Council and CSOM ‘21 did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
In addition to the virtual activities that will be held throughout June, a virtual Pride flag raising on City Hall Plaza will be held on June 4 and a Pride Lights ceremony will be held to commemorate those lost or affected by HIV/AIDS.
For those who have already registered for the 2020 parade and festival, people can continue to defer their registration until the upcoming events are finalized, according to the Boston Pride website.
Featured Image Courtesy of Newton Court / Wikimedia Commons