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Pride goeth before the fall and then goeth down the drain

Boston Pride announced today that rather than board members resigning and letting people who are more sensitive to trans and Black issues step up, it's simply dissolving the entire organization, so maybe somebody else will organize the parade and other events from now on.

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.

Some background.

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Comments

A group of people who have dedicated their lives to fighting discrimination and doing good deeds are now categorized as the enemy. At some point the pendulum has to swing back to rational.

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Voting closed 85

"Boston Pride" stopped being about 'doing good' a long time ago, random anonymous troll.

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Voting closed 48

… dedicated their lives to fighting discrimination and doing good deeds are now categorized as the enemy.

taking criticism is part of being a human being.

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Voting closed 26

Is being critical part of being a human being?

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i don’t really understand the question in this context

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Voting closed 18

A group of people who have dedicated their lives to fighting discrimination and doing good deeds are now categorized as the enemy.

Pride is a parade. It's a visibility event. People march, there are a bunch of speakers, various organizations piggyback onto it, and some of those organizations have members who "have dedicated their lives to fighting discrimination and doing good deeds". But that phrase does not describe the work of Boston Pride, whose work is to put on an event. Different LGBTQ organizations do different things.

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Voting closed 18

First Night never really recovered from a similar decision in 2013. Why couldn't they hand the organization over to new leadership?

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Voting closed 37

I got the impression they were trying but nothing they did was good enough. The demands were pretty much becoming we want you to just leave and leading politicians were joining the bandwagon. Many claimed the way the organization was even structured was racist and they were taking up space that could have been filled by others.

The criticism sometimes came from other members of the LGBTQ community but quite frankly a lot of it came from those outside the community who insisted they wanted a say in how things were done.

Why should they subject themselves to flogging from outsiders after years of doing all the work of keeping the ship afloat just to hand it off to someone else and be denounced in the process?

People kept saying it's not that hard, it's not that hard. Well here you go , blank slate. It's not that hard afterall.

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Voting closed 69

It is very difficult to get a big influx of new people to take on a volunteer-run non-profit. Everyone feels that someone else will step up and the remaining volunteers get stretched further and further and can accomplish less and less. By completely closing down, the old org may be more successful getting enough people fired up that Pride 2.0 can rise from the ashes.

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Voting closed 6

As an older LGBTQ male who was present at the early Boston "marches" as they were known in the early 70s, I am not sorry to see this bloated, corporate mess go. It has essentially consumed itself. Those early marches, organized by pioneers of the "gay liberation" movement as it was then known, were lean, mean and radical affairs. No corporation would have touched them with a ten foot pole. No cliched (and essentially meaningless) terms like "Pride" (people say to me "happy Pride". What does that even mean?) and silly rainbow-themed trinkets. Perhaps someone with new vision will step up to organize something that incorporates that old spirit of, dare I say it, LIBERATION.

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Voting closed 66

Because the circumstances have changed. 50 years ago you could be lose your job or be jailed for being gay. I doubt many thought they'd be able to marry the person they loved during their lifetimes (and thanks to HIV/AIDS many didn't live to see marriage equality). Gay kids basically had no role models and many either ran away or committed suicide. Gay bashers would go unpunished because, ya know, that f-- had it coming. Heck, homosexuality was still considered a mental illness by the APA.

The "gay liberation" movement achieved most of its goals. Protection in employment, marriage, funding for HIV/AIDS research/treatment, public figures who could be their true selves and be role models, etc. It's not perfect by any means, but it's really hard to summon up the same urgency over homophobic bakers/florists vs. being imprisoned or losing your job for being outed -- or seeing too many of your friends die due to HIV/AIDS.

And frankly people like a party. Yeah, Pride in Boston and many other cities became less of a protest march and more of a celebration of what those protests ended up achieving. And Pride became way more corporate because all those corporations saw the spending power of two-earner, often childless, families. Being gay is pretty mainstream now -- that (along with hook-up apps) is part of why almost all the gay bars have disappeared. Gay men and lesbians don't need those safe spaces like they used to.

I get why the current organizers of Boston Pride threw in the towel. It's a volunteer thing and probably a ton of work leading up to all the events in June. There are always going to be people who are offended because they couldn't think of every last possible thing which might offend someone, somewhere in the community. I wouldn't want to deal with that crap, either. Let someone else be the target of the hate.

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Voting closed 96

50 years ago you could be lose your job or be jailed for being gay.

Also true up until a year ago, and now only not true by virtue of a Supreme Court decision that has yet to really be tested.

Gay kids basically had no role models and many either ran away or committed suicide.

Still true today.

Gay bashers would go unpunished because, ya know, that f-- had it coming.

Still true today. The "gay panic" defense has only been outlawed in a handful of states.

The "gay liberation" movement achieved most of its goals. Protection in employment,

Nope.

It's not perfect by any means, but it's really hard to summon up the same urgency over homophobic bakers/florists vs. being imprisoned or losing your job for being outed

Even if "homophobic bakers/florists" was the major issue facing the LGBTQ community today (it isn't), the fact that you find it "really hard to summon up the same urgency" is your personal feeling, and that's all it is. It's not "the movement".

Being gay is pretty mainstream now

For straight-looking, straight-acting, white gay men with those double incomes you mentioned (and with all the advantages conveyed by a lifetime of being a straight-looking straight-acting white gay man, those two incomes are likely to be pretty hefty), it probably feels "pretty mainstream". Of course, outside the bubble it's a little different.

Gay men and lesbians don't need those safe spaces like they used to.

This is no doubt true for you and the lesbian mouse in your pocket.

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Voting closed 25

Also an older queer person, I have to say that while you're right that we're still a marginalized group, that's in fact exactly why Boston Pride has stopped being relevant and was right to step down.

Boston Pride was a super white organization wrapped up in respectability politics and focused on celebrating how Bank of America and Home Depot put rainbows on their logos for a month every year. As a queer person who's been out for 30ish years, I did live through when these mainstream organizations would never have put rainbows on their shit, so yeah, in one sense it's pretty cool that we have a four-hour-long pride parade and it's considered odd when a business DOESN'T participate. Two things can be true at the same time with regards to how we've seen progress, but a lot of it still isn't really inclusive of the whole queer community.

My queer community these days looks a lot different from Boston Pride's. I have queer friends and family who can't marry because disabled folks lose benefits if they marry, and because one of them is a citizen of a country where their marriage would make them a felon. I have Black and brown trans friends and family who die at alarming rates from shitty health care and living conditions here in one of the richest states in the richest country in the world. I've had random strangers find my website and complain on my professional license that I groom children for pedophilia because I run groups for LGBTQ minors whose parents choose to sign them up. I field texts from my kids' friends about what to do about parents sending their kids to queer conversion programs that are still legal in most of the US. I regularly write letters to people's doctors and schools letting them know that laws about gender discrimination apply to them and letting them know their transphobia is directly correlated with youth suicidality. My queer community looks a lot different now from that of Boston Pride's that's still back in 2004 where it was super cool that white middle-class abled US citizens could marry. I welcome a new incarnation of pride that remembers that the first pride was a riot created by trans people of color.

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Voting closed 27

I'm surprised that your comment was posted in response to mine rather than the one above it.

As a queer person who's been out for 30ish years

I got a few on you, so...

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Also an older queer person, I have to say that while you're right that we're still a marginalized group, that's in fact exactly why Boston Pride has stopped being relevant and was right to step down.

You point out something important there, eeka. Pride was created by and for men and women who attracted to people of the same sex (i.e. gays and lesbians). "Queer" is not the same thing as gay and lesbian, although most gays and lesbians are accepted by "queer" culture today.

"Queer" includes a whole lot of people who are not gay or lesbian, and indeed might be antagonistic to gay and lesbian values and priorities. For example, insisting that a person with a penis must be accepted by lesbians as a sexual partner is antagonistic to traditional ideas of lesbianism, but is welcomed under the umbrella of "queer," where the "cotton ceiling" may be lamented. Lesbians who refuse to have sex with transwomen, most of whom have penises, may be ganged up on in social media, or even attacked and beaten in real life, as "TERFs." That's probably not something there's room for in an organization or movement (e.g. Boston Pride) based on legalizing and valuing same-sex attraction. Yes, their time has passed, many of their objectives are met, and it's on to a new generation with different priorities and values.

When you consider the new incarnation you welcome, please consider that one may be on the wrong side of history if one needs to rewrite it. Appropriating the identity of such gay and lesbian heroes as Marsha Johnson and Stormé Le Larverie as "transgender" because they crossdressed is wrong, and offensive to their identities.

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Voting closed 10

For example, insisting that a person with a penis must be accepted by lesbians as a sexual partner is antagonistic to traditional ideas of lesbianism, but is welcomed under the umbrella of "queer," where the "cotton ceiling" may be lamented.

Uh, no. The notion that anyone with any configuration of bits "must be accepted" by ANYONE "as a sexual partner" is "antagonistic to" very modern notions of consent.

Lesbians who refuse to have sex with transwomen, most of whom have penises, may be ganged up on in social media, or even attacked and beaten in real life, as "TERFs."

This absurd notion, that anyone claims that any person must have sex with another person, is a lie that is currently used to attack transwomen specifically and historically used to attack lesbians.

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Voting closed 12

Close... some extra bits not needed, except for DARVO purposes.

This absurd notion [...] that any person must have sex with another person, is a lie that is currently [...] and historically used to attack lesbians.

You don't believe me; take it from a notable transwoman.

https://medium.com/@mirandayardley/girl-dick-the-cotton-ceiling-and-the-...

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You are ready to lead the next chapter of the gay liberation movement, at least in Boston. I commend you for stepping up because I think it's a pretty thankless job. I also recommend you open up a new queer bar since you recognize the urgent need for such a space. No need to let in the "straight-looking straight-acting white gay m[e]n" because they are "pretty mainstream."

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Voting closed 12

You are ready to lead the next chapter of the gay liberation movement, at least in Boston.

Sounds like you are ready to coopt the activism of others, but I kind of suspect that's not a new thing.

No need to let in the "straight-looking straight-acting white gay m[e]n" because they are "pretty mainstream."

You're the one who claimed the "pretty mainstream" tag. I merely pointed out the subset of LGBTQ to whom it really applies.

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Voting closed 10

since you were the one who initially used the word “mainstream” and you wrote 5-6 paragraphs talking about how LGBTQIA+ spaces aren’t needed anymore.

did i misread this comment?

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Voting closed 10

That's a good sentence there. I'm going to use that next time someone suggests I'm not good at something.

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I do think Boston Pride needs to shift what they do. The parade has become far too corporate and the entire set of events seems generally oriented towards gay white males. It has also turned into too much of a party, as if everything LGBTQ+ folks need has been won, rather than much work still remaining, especially for Black, brown, and trans people.

I don't know all the details, but it seems quite a bit petty to shut the whole organization down rather than passing along the resources to a set of new leaders. This seems a lot like a "I'm taking my ball and going home" situation. Very disappointing.

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So it's too corporate for your taste, but also need to pass along those resources? You like the ball, but just not in the others hands.

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So it's too corporate for your taste, but also need to pass along those resources? You like the ball, but just not in the others hands.

Really? You seem to know a great deal about it. What's your history of involvement with Boston Pride?

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Voting closed 6