69°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

This Year’s Boston Pride Parade with the Queer Student Center

Cheyenne+Fox+Tree-McGrath+%28left%29+and+Stephanie+Bonvissuto+%28right%29+hold+up+the+Qs+marching+banner%0A

Cheyenne Fox Tree-McGrath (left) and Stephanie Bonvissuto (right) hold up the Q’s marching banner

 

 

 

On June 8, I had the honor of marching with the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Queer Student Center (the Q) in this year’s Pride Parade. The festival was the largest Boston has ever seen, with participants from a myriad of associations.

Stephanie Bonvissuto, the outgoing student coordinator of the Q, wrote in an email, “We represent not only our diverse and vibrant campus community but the university itself, reminding the city, the Bay State and indeed New England that UMass Boston is a safe and encouraging queer-friendly academic environment. The strides that this university and the Queer Student Center have made over the last few years are beautifully symbolized by every step we take down Boylston St. to Government Center.”

As psychology major Cali Anderson said, “Pride gives queer people the space to be all ridiculous. I can make out with women and not have people catcall me or stare.” While said with a glint in her eye, Andersons’ words made an important point.

Even in our city of bleeding-heart liberals, discrimination is still a daily occurrence for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning, and intersex (LGBTQI) people. Pride is the go-to safe space for people to express themselves without fear or apprehension. It’s unfortunate that such a space exists for only one weekend a year, but that just means the celebrations have to be even more fabulous!

Every political candidate in both the upcoming Senate race as well as November’s mayoral election marched, regardless of political affiliation. Radical groups like the International Socialist Organization attended, as did Black and Pink, an organization that works towards “the abolition of the prison industrial complex” specific to LGBTQI people.

Luckily for those who couldn’t make the parade, the celebrations weren’t limited to Saturday. There were Pride-related festivities throughout the Greater Boston area, like Dyke March on June 7, as well as weekend-long block parties in Jamaica Plain.

Bonvissuto wrote, “My hope as outgoing student coordinator of The Q is that our presence at Boston Pride continues long into the future and that our numbers grow with faculty, administrators and staff! There is no experience quite like Pride and there is no Pride like Boston!”

Even if just for a day, it was an honor to attend the festivities with the Q. The experience is difficult to put into words: it was electrifying, empowering, inspiring, and plain-old fun.

 

 

Email Samantha Slabyk.