As governments across the country roll out anti-LGBTQ legislation, and Pride month approaches, Boston will continue to “stand firm” in its commitment to LGBTQ rights, Mayor Michelle Wu said Thursday.
Accompanied by other city officials and LGBTQ leaders, Wu announced a series of events sponsored by the city of Boston throughout the month of June to celebrate LGBTQ pride, as well as policy efforts and resources geared toward strengthening the community.
“So many of queer youths are being pushed to the edges and, across the country, to spaces where it seems like we had moved beyond,” Wu said at a press conference held at BAGLY, Boston’s oldest and largest youth organization in Massachusetts that works to support LGBTQ youth.
Boston’s annual pride parade, hosted by the newly formed Pride for the People, will return for the first time since 2019 on June 10. The return follows a three-year hiatus after the previous organizer, Boston Pride, shut down in 2021 amid a racial and transgender inclusion controversy.
“We are going to have an amazing time,” Pride for the People president Adrianna Boulin said at the press conference. “Get your outfits ready.”
Pride Month will kick off with a flag-raising event at City Hall Plaza at 4 p.m. on June 1, Wu announced, along with the unveiling of the newly renovated plaza’s inaugural art installation, “Portraits of Pride,” from creative director Jean Dolin.
The exhibit will display multiple 8-foot-by-5-foot portraits of LGBTQ leaders across City Hall Plaza for the month of June, a project that Dolin called his “love letter to Boston” in an effort to show young people “anything is possible.”
On June 2, the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Advancement will host “The Big Queer Prom,” a citywide celebration and awards gala celebrating LGBTQ heroes, from 7 to 11 p.m.
The pride parade on June 10 will begin in Copley Square at 11 a.m. and move to Boston Common, where an all-ages festival will be “back and bigger than ever,” according to Boulin. City Hall Plaza will also host a 21-plus festival, complete with a stage and beer garden, attended by both Wu and Governor Maura Healey.
In collaboration with the Boston Lesbigay Urban Foundation and Beats by Girlz, Wu announced Boston’s office of Arts and Culture will continue to celebrate Pride in July with plans to host events early in the month.
“We’re looking forward to an amazing, fun, queer community connection and celebration, and deepening our partnerships with the incredible coalition of organizations here in Boston,” Wu said.
Officials also announced policy efforts and resources focused on providing for LGBTQ people and organizations in Boston, including the city’s new Beyond Pride Mini Grants, ranging from $500 to $10,000, to more than 25 grassroots organizations working to address long-term community needs.
Recipients of the grants “simply needed a little more capital to continue on their innovative ideas to connect with our most historically excluded residents here,” said Mariangely Solis Cervera, Boston’s chief of equity and inclusion.
To encourage LGBTQ groups across the city to organize their own community Block Parties for Pride, Wu announced her administration’s efforts to tackle the complicated permit process “to make organizing your own events easier than ever.”
“There are many ideas out there ... but then when you encounter the actual permitting process, it is quite frustrating,” Wu said. “This year, we also have dedicated staff members to help guide folks through that shortened and streamlined process.”
Samantha Montaño, a state representative for 15th Suffolk District, reminded the public to celebrate pride month while staying mindful of the barrage of discriminatory policies LGBTQ youth continue to face across the country.
“As joyous as the celebration should be, we need to continue to show up for each other across the year and in every other capacity as possible,” Montaño said. “Because we are our greatest community, we are chosen family, we are here together for each other.”
Because of a reporting error, a previous version of this story misidentified Representative Montaño. The Globe regrets the error.
Sonel Cutler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @cutler_sonel.