Music blasted from speaker-installed trucks as thousands, decorated in a rainbow of colors, lined up from Copley Square to the City Hall Plaza.
With the police sirens came a roar from the crowd: It was time for the 48th Boston Pride Parade.
As the city of Boston celebrated its 48th Boston Pride Parade on Saturday, June 9, the event, the 350-plus registered contingents represented a variety of organizations including tech giants (Amazon, Google), universities (Boston University, Northeastern University) and professional sports teams (Bruins, Red Sox and New England Revolution). Unique to this year’s parade were the dozens of mayors that came from across the country.
With the U.S. Conference of Mayors lining up with the Pride Parade this year, Mayor Martin J. Walsh invited all mayors in attendance to join him at the march.
“It’s really important for minority groups to be represented, and for the mayors to be doing that is great because they’re the public figure people look up to, to figure out where their direction is,” said Dahn Bi Lee-Hong, who identifies as part of the LGBTQ community.
Tyler Henderson-Neal, who said it is his third time at the Boston Pride Parade, said he’s conflicted when he sees political figures at these types of events.
“Are they here to actually support us or are there here to push their agenda?” he asked.
“The fact that they’re here still means a lot, and I appreciate their presence here,” Henderson-Neal added. “I appreciate just knowing that they’re here enough to support us, and that’s all we can ask for.”
By the time the first wave of marchers—Riders Motorcycle Club Boston (RMCB)—reached the finish line, the crowd’s roar silenced any other questions to be had. The parade, both to those familiar and new, is an occasion for the city to gather and celebrate pride, Boston Pride president Sylvain Bruni told the Sun last week—the people’s reaction reflected it.
“It gives us an opportunity to be visible in the community, to say that we’re here even if we’re not always this visible,” Henderson-Neal said. “Now that we’re given the chance, this is what it looks like, and this is what it means to be queer and LGBTQ in the City of Boston.”
Added Paris, “They were young, old; black, white; gay, straight; and everything in between. The common thread was that everybody was smiling and joyful, and I’m sharing their love. It was beautiful.”