Posted on July 16, 2021

Boston Pride Dissolves Amid Diversity Complaints

Dan Avery, NBC News, July 13, 2021

Boston Pride, the organization that has organized the city’s Pride celebrations for 50 years, has announced it is shutting down.

The dissolution, announced Friday afternoon in a statement on the group’s website, comes after the reportedly all-white board of directors has faced ongoing accusations of ignoring racial minorities and transgender people.

“It is clear to us that our community needs and wants change without the involvement of Boston Pride,” the board said in its statement.

“We have heard the concerns of the QTBIPOC community and others,” the statement continued, referring to queer and trans people of color. “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.”

The board said the decision “was made with a heavy heart, out of love and hope for a better future.”

Tensions have been brewing for some time: In 2015, a group of LGBTQ activists of color stopped the city’s Pride parade to issue a series of demands, including more diversity in leadership, WBUR reported.

In 2020, a Boston Pride statement addressing police brutality after the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor reportedly removed any reference to Black Lives Matter, according to New England LGBTQ outlet The Rainbow Times, resulting in 80 percent of the group’s volunteers to quit in protest.

“We wrote in that statement, ‘We stand with Black Lives Matter. We stand against police brutality,’” Casey Dooley, former Boston Black Pride chair, told WBUR. “The communications team then gave that letter to the board. The board then proceeded to take out Black Lives Matter and police brutality.”

After the incident, groups like Trans Resistance MA, Mass NOW and Pride for the People called for a boycott of Boston Pride. As a result, dozens of organizations, including Planned Parenthood and the LGBTQ legal advocacy group GLAD, withdrew support for the city’s annual Pride march, and all major candidates abandoned Boston Pride’s June 14, 2020, mayoral candidate forum. {snip}