Boston Pride is shutting down amid calls for change, leaving the future of the movement uncertain in the city.
The organization's board dissolved, it announced Friday afternoon, and it won't be putting on any of its planned events. The move was made after Boston Pride worked to change amid criticism over inclusiveness.
"We know many people care about Pride in Boston, and we encourage them to continue the work. By making the decision to close down, we hope new leaders will emerge from the community to lead the Pride movement in Boston," the board of directors said in a statement. (Read the full statement below.)
The group grappled for months with complaints of structural racism, and it had hired consultants and formed an advisory committee to help facilitate that process.
But the board said Friday that it became clear "that our community needs and wants change without the involvement of Boston Pride."
Over 1,000 people attended a rally in June held by Trans Resistance, whose organizers called Boston Pride "trans-exclusionary" and said it "fails to represent trans people of color."
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A statement from Boston Pride at the time said in a statement that it would be getting new leadership: "we have been working since last year to take responsibility and change the systemic and structural racism affecting our organization. We have embarked on an inclusive and deliberative process that is relying on members of the community to help us change."
NBC10 Boston, Telemundo Boston, NBC Sports Boston and NECN have been the multimedia and community partner for Boston Pride and will continue to support the LGBTQ+ Community.
The full statement from the Boston Pride board of directors:
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.
Over the past year, we have invested time and energy to address the concerns of the community, both with our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access work with Dorrington & Saunders and by forming the Transformation Advisory Committee comprised of members of the LGBTQIA+ community to help bring change to our organization. We are grateful for all who have been involved in this process.
It is clear to us that our community needs and wants change without the involvement of Boston Pride. 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.
We know many people care about Pride in Boston, and we encourage them to continue the work. By making the decision to close down, we hope new leaders will emerge from the community to lead the Pride movement in Boston.
This decision was made with a heavy heart, out of love and hope for a better future.”