(Boston, MA) June 8, 2020 – Boston Pride stands with #BlackLivesMatter and other groups representing Black and Brown people as we move through Pride season and address the systemic racism, injustice and police brutality that has been inflicted on Black and Brown communities for decades.

The first Pride Marches in the US were bold protests against systematic oppression and unjust police violence experienced by LGBTQ+ people, especially those who experienced multiple forms of oppression.  In support and solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement, Boston Pride is shifting its focus from the virtual events that were planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to events that uplift and support Black and Brown communities.

The virtual Pride Lights ceremony will take place on June 9th as scheduled.  This event commemorates the lives that were lost during the HIV/AIDS epidemic which is still affecting the LGBTQ+ community today. The virtual Pride Festival will take place on June 13th, but have no entertainment.  Instead, community organizations and others who traditionally would have had booths at the Pride Festival will be set up in an interactive portal where members of the public can interact with them.

We will also continue with the social media initiative, ”SHOW YOUR PRIDE,” where everyone can participate showing their Pride by decorating their windows, doors, porches, yards, cars, neighborhoods, and (especially) their pets for traditional Pride weekend, June 12-14.  Share photos of yourself, friends, family, and/or household wearing your Pride outfits and displaying your Pride decorations. This is an opportunity for the community to share your #BlackLivesMatter messaging of support as well. Tag us @bostonpride in your Instagram stories and use the hashtag #wickedproud on Facebook and Twitter.

All other virtual events planned for this week will be postponed.

Events over the past week have led the Boston Pride Board to examine itself and acknowledge that it needs to do more as a social justice organization to take substantive action to better address racism and white privilege within Boston Pride, the LGBTQ+ community and society at large.  Boston Pride is working to collaborate and support organizations that serve communities of color and address racism, to ensure that our organization, programs and future events prioritize anti-racist efforts.

We have asked the community to send suggestions on how to improve our organization and better support LGBTQ+ communities of color as we create a plan for short-and long-term actions.  These suggestions are now available for everyone to see on Boston Pride social media platforms.