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10 ways to celebrate Pride month in Boston this year

Even without the city's iconic parade, Boston boasts a number of local and smaller-scale celebrations, from bar crawls to marches.

A person waves a Pride flag during a Transgender Day of Visibility Event named, “We Are A State of Love: A Gathering of Visible Solidarity With LGBTQ Youth” outside of the State House in March. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

This Pride month won’t bring with it Boston’s usual iconic Pride parade, but still promises a plethora of events celebrating and uplifting the LGBTQ community.

Boston Pride, the organization that used to run the huge Pride parade, dissolved last year amid issues of race and transgender inclusion and complaints of commercialization, leaving the city without one large Pride event. This, combined with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, has left Pride month looking different than before. 

Jo Trigilio, who used to work on the communications team at Boston Pride and now is a grassroots organizer with Pride 4 the People, said the tensions surrounding the race have been present for at least the last 20 years. 

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The board of Boston Pride dissolved in July 2021, leaving the landscape open. Unfortunately, Trigilio said, no other organization has yet been able to step up to fill Boston Pride’s shoes because building something from scratch during the pandemic is a big challenge. There is a group working in the background, they said, to rebuild a bigger Pride, but not in time for this year’s Pride month. 

Instead, the Greater Boston area has many local Pride events and smaller scale celebrations this summer. 

“There are a lot of little Pride’s now, … which I don’t necessarily think is a bad thing. I think that more local Prides focus on community, draw in more of your community members,” Trigilio said. “Pride really should be about commemorating the Stonewall Riots, political awareness and education, and celebration of our culture and community.”

Many of these local events focus on making sure specific people within the LGBTQ community are included, something Trigilio said they think is important to the spirit of Pride. 

“I just don’t think that it’s okay to leave people behind. … I think that if you’re just focusing to the middle, then you’re missing the whole point of Pride,” Trigilio said. “We’re not trying to help the people that are in the middle, we’re trying to help the people that are the most disadvantaged, that’s what Pride really needs to be about.”

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If you are looking for Pride celebrations to replace the large parade of years past, there are many options and opportunities as the month goes on. Here are some Pride events happening in Boston this month: 

‘A Very Proud City’

On every remaining Wednesday in June, the city is hosting a series of free and open-to-the-public events in downtown to celebrate Pride. The series, called “A Very Proud City” kicks off Wednesday June 8 with BOP-ley Square, a dance block party in front of the Trinity Church in Copley Square Park. (Various locations, Wednesday’s in June)

LGBTQ history walking tour

This Pride walking tour will let you follow the footsteps of LGBTQ people from Boston’s history and learn about gay and lesbian culture in the city. The one to two mile walk starts at the Massachusetts State House steps and is offered five times this month. (Massachusetts State House steps, June 9-23)

Boston Dyke March

Centered at the Parkman Bandstand, this year’s event is the 25th Boston Dyke March. The celebration will feature musicians, poets, and other speakers. The march is ASL interpreted and wheelchair, stroller, and scooter accessible, and will be livestreamed for those at high risk of contracting COVID. (Parkman Bandstand, June 10)

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Road of Rainbows 5K

Run your way around the Boston Common for the Boston Theater Company’s second annual Pride 5k. After the race, there will be a festival with local drag queens, musicians and more. (Boston Common, June 11)

Pride Bar Crawl

Take in drag shows, themed drinks, and more during this seven-hour bar crawl that spans 10 venues and features more than 20 performers. Time Out Market is the designated venue for those under 21 who still want to attend. (Various locations, June 11)

Pop-Up Pride

In the absence of a large Pride parade in Boston, organizers have laid plans for a Pop-Up Pride on the Boston Common, a day of “celebrating all LGBTQ+ identities, honoring the work of our ancestors, and giving back to our Boston community.” The event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., will have a rally followed by a festival. (Boston Common, June 12)

Pride trivia

Test your LGBTQ knowledge at Lamplighter Brewing Co.’s special edition trivia night June 16. Questions can cover anything from queer history and gay icons to music and pop culture — and there are prizes to win. (Lamplighter Brewing Co.’s CX Upstairs Taproom, June 16)

Trans Resistance March and Festival

March to the Franklin Park Playstead and enjoy a festival featuring queer performers and artists at this years Trans Resistanace March and Festival. The march starts at Cedar Square Park at 11 a.m. on June 25. (Franklin Park Playstead, June 25)

“PRIDE in Concert”

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The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus returns to the stage after a 30-month long hiatus due to COVID, with this collaboration with Disney Concerts. The two shows are the chorus’s biggest shows to date, with 250 singers, 42 songs, and a 25-piece orchestra — and also happen to be the group’s 40th anniversary concert. (Symphony Hall, June 25-26)

Boston Urban Pride

Wrap up Pride month with this weekend-long celebration of “Black, brown, Latino indigenous LGBTQIA+ pride.” Hosted by BLUE, or the Boston Lesbigay Urban Foundation, the weekend features everything from a youth skating event, to a Pride-themed boat ride, to a music and arts festival. (Various locations, June 30-July 3)

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