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Governor, mayor kick off LGBTQ+ Pride Month with celebration on City Hall Plaza

Patty Bourree held the microphone for Kiara Rosario, 13, while performing at the LGBTQ+ Pride Month kickoff event at City Hall Plaza on Thursday. The City of Boston celebrated the start of National LGBTQ+ Pride Month by hosting a kickoff event on City Hall Plaza and raising an LGBTQ+ flag over the city.Erin Clark/Globe Staff

Maura Healey paid tribute Thursday to the LGBTQ+ pioneers who helped blaze a trail for her to become the first lesbian elected governor of a US state, as she gathered on City Hall Plaza with Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, other elected officials, and about 200 community members to celebrate the beginning of Pride Month.

“We are here today in these roles, with these responsibilities, because of people who were brave, unafraid to live their lives openly and authentically, particularly in times of tremendous hardship,” Healey said. “We may never know their stories; we may never know their faces or their names.”


Wu proclaimed June’s official status as Pride Month in Boston as she and Healey gathered alongside state lawmakers, members of the Boston City Council, LGBTQ+ community leaders, and several people decked out in head-to-toe rainbow gear to raise the Pride flag outside City Hall in the late afternoon heat.

The mayor said the month “is not just a celebration; it is an opportunity, a chance to reflect on and honor the rich revolutionary history of Pride in Massachusetts and in Boston, and our queer family and friends. And it’s a reminder that our work is not done. Until we have achieved equity for all, our work continues.”

This year marks the return of Boston’s annual Pride parade through the Back Bay and South End, after it was canceled in 2020 and 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, then scuttled in 2022 when organizers said they would disband amid complaints the group disregarded BIPOC and transgender community members.

Members of Boston Pride for the People, the newly created organization that stepped in to revive the parade, took turns alongside elected officials turning the crank to raise the rainbow flag above the plaza.

Gary Daffin, the parade’s co-chair, was there in person and in photographic form, in an 8-foot-tall image that is part of the “Portraits of Pride” installation on the plaza. The display also includes photos by Manchester-based photographer John Huet of local figures such as Healey, journalist Sue O’Connell, and theologian the Rev. Irene Monroe.


“I think it’s great that they select . . . people from around the community, because it could be anybody. Anybody could be a face of Pride,” Daffin said. “Every individual person experiences being queer in their own way, and part of what we do is create a space where people can feel safe and at home.”

Grace Sterling Stowell, executive director of the Boston Alliance of LGBTQ Youth, said the show of support from public officials was deeply meaningful to the community.

“It’s so wonderful to have our elected officials, Mayor Wu and so many others who are supporting our community and have been allies from even before they were elected in their current roles,” she said. “It’s exciting to have Pride be back and be able to participate in things in person again, and to have the support of leadership both locally in Boston and throughout the state.”

Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at Follow him @jeremycfox.