June 17, 2008
This year's Boston Pride theme, "Sustaining our Community, Conserving Our World," lead the festivities of the LGBTQQIAA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally) community's annual celebration.
Running from June 6 to June 15, Pride featured green initiatives such as increased usage of recycled materials, encouragement of greener transportation like public transit, biking, and car-pooling, and plans to offset the 2009 event's carbon footprint. The theme also promoted health awareness and community unity.
Gay pride celebrations and modern environmentalism have similar origins in the 60's. However, Pride is known for giant festivals and extravagant parades involving large floats, roaring motorcycles, and loads of freebies that end up on the street – not very environmentally conscious. This year's parade featured some floats with eco-friendly messages and marchers also displayed the occasional sign and green-inspired outfit. In a recent interview, the chair of Boston Pride's green subcommittee said that he hopes to continue greening the event, depending on the effectiveness of the initiative this year.
An opinion piece in the New England Blade by QueerToday.com blogger Mark Snyder raised the question of whether the Pride theme just a reflection of the emerging trendy environmentalism. In the article, Snyder asks if environmental justice is being represented, criticizes the bias towards wealthy readers in a gay magazine and gives a shout-out to ACE.
Compared to past Pride themes, this seems less of a LGBT-centered issue than the right to marriage or service in the military, but it is an acknowledgement that sustaining the environment concerns us all. Though there is a lot of progress to be made, this is a step towards a greener future.