Skip to Content

When did Boston Pride start?

Boston is often considered one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in the United States. The city is home to a vibrant community of LGBTQ advocates, allies, and organizations that work tirelessly to promote equality and inclusion. This community is celebrated every year during Boston Pride, a week-long series of events that culminates with the Boston Pride Parade. But when did Boston Pride start? In this blog post, we will explore the history of Boston Pride and how it has evolved over the years.

The Stonewall Riots

To understand the origins of Boston Pride, we must first look at the Stonewall riots. On June 28, 1969, a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City, sparked a series of protests and demonstrations that became known as the Stonewall riots. This event is often considered the catalyst for the modern LGBTQ rights movement in the United States.

The First Boston Pride

One year after the Stonewall riots, a small group of about 50 gay and lesbian activists in Boston decided to hold a commemorative march from Cambridge Common to Boston Common. This march was meant to honor the one-year anniversary of Stonewall and to bring attention to LGBTQ rights in Boston. The march ended with a rally at Boston Common, where speakers called for an end to discrimination against LGBTQ individuals.

This first march, which took place in June 1970, was the beginning of what would later become Boston Pride. At the time, Boston had a small and underground LGBTQ community, and the march was a risky and bold move for those involved. However, it marked the beginning of a movement that would continue to grow and evolve over the years.

Boston Pride in the 1970s and 1980s

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Boston Pride continued to evolve and grow. The marches and rallies became more organized, and the LGBTQ community became more visible in Boston. In 1981, the first official Boston Pride Week was held, with a series of events leading up to the parade and rally on Boston Common.

During this time, the LGBTQ community faced many challenges, including discrimination, violence, and the AIDS epidemic. Boston Pride provided a platform for members of the community to come together and demand change. The parade and rally on Boston Common became a symbol of LGBTQ pride and resilience in the face of adversity.

Boston Pride Today

Today, Boston Pride is a week-long celebration of LGBTQ culture, history, and community. The events leading up to the parade and rally on Boston Common include film screenings, dance parties, art shows, and panel discussions. The parade, which takes place on the second Saturday in June, features floats, marching bands, and representatives from LGBTQ organizations across New England.

Boston Pride has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1970. The LGBTQ community in Boston is now more visible and accepted than ever before, and Boston Pride continues to play an important role in promoting equality and inclusion.


Boston Pride started as a small commemorative march in 1970, but it has since grown into a week-long celebration of LGBTQ culture, history, and community. The parade and rally on Boston Common have become symbolic of LGBTQ pride and resilience in the face of adversity, and Boston Pride continues to play an important role in promoting equality and inclusion in Boston and beyond.


What year did Pride Day start?

Pride Day or the celebration of LGBT+ Pride has a rich history that dates back to June 28, 1969, when the Stonewall Uprising occurred in New York. On this fateful day, a group of LGBT+ activists took a stand against a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in Greenwich Village. The protests sparked a long-overdue movement for justice and equality for the LGBT+ community in the United States.

The Stonewall Uprising led to the formation of many LGBT+ organizations, including the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) and the Gay Liberation Front (GLF). These groups aimed to raise public awareness and advocate for the rights of LGBT+ individuals. One year after the Stonewall Uprising, on June 28, 1970, the first Pride marches were held in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

The Pride marches commemorated the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and aimed to celebrate LGBT+ culture and identity. The first march in New York attracted thousands of participants, who walked from Greenwich Village to Central Park. The marchers carried signs and banners, calling for an end to discrimination and for LGBT+ rights to be recognized.

Since then, Pride Day has become an annual event celebrated around the world. In many cities, Pride Day is commemorated with parades, festivals, and other events that celebrate the LGBT+ community’s diversity and achievements. Despite progress in securing legal rights and protections for LGBT+ individuals, discrimination and marginalization persist, making Pride Day a critical moment to raise awareness, promote understanding, and demand equality and justice for all.

Why was Pride in Boston Cancelled?

Boston Pride, the organization that has organized the city’s Pride celebrations for 50 years, has announced that it is shutting down. The reason behind the closure is the controversies and debates over diversity and inclusiveness that have been plaguing the organization for the last two years. The organization’s board released a statement announcing its closure, stating that it needed to “reset its approach.”

The statement said, “This decision was made with a heavy heart, out of love and hope for a better future.” It went on to explain that the board members and the Boston Pride community realized the need for a more diverse, inclusive and collaborative approach. The organization also faced criticism from members and supporters from marginalized communities for a lack of representation and support.

The controversies began in 2019 when the organization faced criticism for including corporate sponsors with anti-LGBTQ+ records. The controversy continued when the organization changed its decision to incorporate the words “Black Lives Matter” and “Trans Lives Matter” in its annual Pride parade. The matter was further compounded by allegations of racism and transphobia within the organization.

The organization’s board apologized for the controversy and worked towards creating a more inclusive and diverse Pride celebration in 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the parade was canceled. The organization planned to organize a virtual Pride parade and festival in 2021, but the event was also canceled due to concerns about COVID-19.

The decision to cancel Pride in Boston for 2020 and 2021 is the result of deep-seated issues of inclusivity, diversity, and representation within the organization. The board’s decision to shut down the organization is an acknowledgement of the need to address these issues and ensure Boston Pride takes a more collaborative and diverse approach in the future.