Pride & Prejudice: Boston Gay Pride

 

Lively Crowd At Gay Pride Parade in Boston 2009

By Allan-Michael Brown

Pride is defined as “a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.” That’s one hell of a definition, so there’s no wonder that there would be one hell of a celebration for Boston Gay Pride.

The Gay Pride Parade is the biggest parade in the city of Boston, even bigger than St Patrick’s Day Parade. Yesterday, people from all over New England paraded themselves to Boston to show their pride. I was in the midst of it all. Downtown Boston was virtually shut down. The parade took over the streets. People were outrageous; people were sexy; people were compassionate. People were being people. I watched church groups march down with rainbows and banners that read, “We build churches with no barriers.” I saw mothers and fathers march with their children cheering for equality for all. I saw adolescents, both straight and gay, walking side-by-side holding hands, smiling and cheering. As I saw senior citizens wave their rainbow flags, I imagined what it was like being my age in the ‘60s when the words “gay” and “pride” were practically never used in the same sentence.

As the parade ended, everyone headed to City Hall/Government Center, which hosted live performances, condiments, and a variety of awareness and interest groups for the GLBT community. I walked through Government Center with my camera, taking pictures of everything and everyone. Considering how dead and dreary Boston City Hall normally looks, I was amazed by how colorful and lively the place was. As I snapped away, I got a thousand smiles. No one was shy. No one cared about the drag queens strutting in their heals. No one gasped at male couples holding hands and spontaneously engaging in a kiss. No one stared and wondered why a group of women look like boys. No one cared about anything except their own pride and the pride of others. Everyone was loud and proud!

A live performer sang John Lennon’s “Imagine” as I headed back to meet a friend. Hearing that song always fills me with a sense of ambition and questioning, starting with John Lennon’s haunting yet hopeful, “What if.” What if we could bring down all the barriers that break us as a people? What if we could live for today? Yesterday, there was no need to imagine this because my eyes were open, witnessing it! Boston was definitely living for the day. All over the streets, there were gay couples walking down the same sidewalks with heterosexual couples, going to the same restaurants and bars. Both gay and straight parents were taking their children to the same parks and playgrounds. No one was inhibited by who they are.

Prejudice is defined as a “preconceived notion that is not based on reason or actual experience.” Our nation unfortunately is entangled in deep pride and prejudice. There are those who hate gays and are proud of it. There are those who don’t hate gays but get disgusted by the idea of same-sex marriage and rally for legislation like Proposition Eight. The bottom line is that we, as an American society, built on the ideals of liberty need to let go of our prejudices. Just think, if a nation entangled in ‘pride and prejudice’ could let go of prejudice, all that would remain would be pride. If we let go of our differences and preconceived notions, then maybe we would have that “feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction from one’s own achievements” and the “achievements of those with whom [we are] closely associated,” our fellow Americans. If we can do this everyday, not just during Pride Month, we will have pride with us constantly and maybe then we will all be gay (happy).

*All Photos By Allan-Michael Brown*

54 Years Together, 5 Years Married!
54 Years Together, 5 Years Married!
Bostonians Marching on Down!

Bostonians Marching on Down!

SEPARATE IS NOT EQUAL!

SEPARATE IS NOT EQUAL!

Come As You Are! (comeasyouareonline.org)

Come As You Are! (comeasyouareonline.org)

Mass General LGBT Employee Resource Group supporting diversity!

Mass General LGBT Employee Resource Group supporting diversity!

Join the Impact MA! (www.jointheimpactma.com)

Join the Impact MA! (www.jointheimpactma.com)

Gay Block Party Saturday!

Gay Block Party Saturday!

Proud at the Boston Commons

Proud at the Boston Commons

Lovely Women are all smiles at Government Center

Lovely Women are all smiles at Government Center

The Boston youth are out and about showing their pride!

The Boston youth are out and about showing their pride!

All walks of life coming together at Government Center

All walks of life coming together at Government Center

Speak Out

Speak Out

Show Your Pride and Fight!

Show Your Pride and Fight!

Everyone is having a great time!

Everyone is having a great time!

Two men at a tender moment

Two men at a tender moment

Men Dancing Atop a Float

Men and Women Dancing Atop a Float

Bostonians and Tourists Priding themselves through Government Center

Bostonians and Tourists Priding themselves through Government Center

All Smiles for Pride

All Smiles for Pride

Boston crowd cheering at Government Center

Boston crowd cheering at Government Center

Two Women Enjoying Pride

Two Women Enjoying Pride

Crowd Priding themselves down Tremont Street!

Crowd Priding themselves down Tremont Street!

Friends showing off some pride

Friends showing off some pride

Here sits the Prudential tower to the right and the old church to the left. All is still at peace as the day ends, with the pride flag hanging gently on the church as the sun sets.

Here sits the Prudential tower to the left and the old church to the right. All is still at peace as the day ends, with the pride flag hanging gently on the church as the sun sets. No prejudice here, only pride. I am proud to be a Bostonian.

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  1. Lots of fun… good pictures!

  2. Tasha Brown says:

    I too, celebrate pride and diversity. Prejudice has no place in our society.

  3. Megan Paredes says:

    Hello,
    I do not agree with you, on one item particularly: the fact that people who believe that the GLBT community should not have the same right to marry, etc., as the heterosexual community are all prejudice, and that somehow our founding fathers believed as you do. There are people, such as myself, that know why homosexuality, transgenderism, etc., are all perversions and base our belief on these facts. You seem to prefer the text book definition of each of these words you’re using to describe the GLBT community and those you refer to as the “prejudice” with “preconceived notions:, who either “hate gays and are proud of it”, or, “who don’t hate gays but get disgusted by the idea of same-sex marriage and rally for legislation like Proposition Eight” (which, by the way, is taking your paint brush and using some pretty broad strokes to describe the MAJORITY of Americans, these people who live in a “society built on the ideals of liberty”, just as you do, so shouldn’t they get their say? To believe what they feel and know to be right?). So, here is the definition of perversion and it’s root word pervert: 1 A: to cause to turn aside or away from what is good or true or morally right; corrupt B: to cause to turn aside or away from what is generally done or accepted; misdirect 2A: to divert to a wrong end or purpose; misuse B: to twist the meaning or sense of; misinterpret 1: the action of perverting; the condition of being perverted 2: a perverted form; especially an aberrant sexual practice or interest especially when habitual. Whether a persons reasons for their belief that the behavior of the GLBT community is a perversion is rooted in their faith and what the Lord has said in regards to sexual perversion, or just purely scientific and based on common sense deductions (for example, if we were created and to have relationships with people of the same sex, etc., wouldn’t it stand to reason that those people would’ve also been given a way to procreate? Aside from our modern technology, procreation for these people is not possible. How can this be explained?), there are many valid reasons for accepting the truth that the sexual practices of the GLBT are all perversions. And the fact that you are telling your readers that people who believe that “GLBT community” should not have the same rights to marriage as heterosexuals are all prejudice, having “preconceived notion that is not based on reason or actual experience”, is ridiculous. Not all people who believe as I do base their belief on hate. I wish for all people to be whole. However, that will never happen for these people if they continue in this lifestyle choice (it is a choice). No matter if they do win the right to marry, to teach children in the schools that homosexuality is a legitimate choice they have to be happy and fulfilled in life, no matter what “rights” they receive, they, unfortunately, will never experience life in a loving, committed relationship, the kind we are created for. In addition, to say that I am prejudice by these remarks, and say that someone who has never been in a healthy heterosexual relationship is not prejudice when they say that I am, is more than a double standard. I think you need to broaden your view. You seem to be the narrow minded one with preconceived ideas about people.

  4. Yari says:

    I had fun that day i went in the year 2009 i wish i went this year (2010) but or school didnt have money for the bus ride. I know next year i will be planning to go

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