New England’s largest LGBT advocacy organization, Boston Pride, announced this week that it intends to “dissolve” after being hit with repeated allegations of racism and claims it “ignored” transgender individuals.
The group’s all-white board of directors issued a statement last Friday indicating that it believed there was “work to be done” and apologizing for its lack of intersectionality and making way for “new leaders to emerge” who are sufficiently attentive to progressive demands.
“For years, we have volunteered our time with Boston Pride because we care about and are passionate about the LGBTQIA+ community. We strived to foster an environment of diversity and unity within our organization and the community. Over the past 50 years, Boston Pride has facilitated programs and events that have changed our society and promoted equality, but we know there is still work to be done,” the group said.
“It is clear to us that our community needs and wants change without the involvement of Boston Pride,” the group said, referencing pushback from far-left “anti-racism” organizations. “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.”
NBC News reported this week that the issues with Boston Pride began back in 2015 when “a group of LGBTQ activists of color stopped the city’s Pride parade to issue a series of demands, including more diversity in leadership.” They only worsened in 2020, when the organization’s board of directors reportedly removed a reference to the group Black Lives Matter in a statement from Boston Pride expressing solidarity with anti-police brutality and anti-racism protests.
“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,” NBC News said.
“We wrote in that statement, ‘We stand with Black Lives Matter. We stand against police brutality,’” Casey Dooley, former Boston Black Pride chair, told a local news outlet at the time, per NBC. “The communications team then gave that letter to the board. The board then proceeded to take out Black Lives Matter and police brutality.”
The situation caused a mass exodus of support: “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.”
Now, Boston Pride is shuttering completely as a result of not being woke enough for local activists and will likely be replaced by a group that calls itself “Boston Pride 4 The People,” per WBUR, which aired its grievances with the Boston Pride organization earlier this month.
“The lack of diversity throughout the Pride organization indicates that the inability of Boston Pride to address issues of racism and white privilege continues to be systemic,” the group said in an open letter to the Boston Pride board, accusing the group of a “long history of poor relationships with Greater Boston’s communities of Queer & Trans Black, Indigenous, People of Color.”
It is not clear whether there will be a Boston Pride march. Initially, the event was rescheduled for October, but it now appears canceled.