Boston Pride’s Grand Marshal
Mayor Tom Menino
Mayor Thomas Menino is the Grand Marshal of the 2013 Boston Pride Parade.
The Boston Pride Parade is a march to celebrate and promote equal rights for the region’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities and is the premier event of Pride Week. As one of the most popular Pride Parades in the country, organizations and individuals from around New England and beyond will walk together to advocate for inclusivity, equality and respect. The theme of the Boston Pride Parade this year is “Moving Forward...Proud, Strong, United “and represents the hardships that the LGBT community has persevered through and the drive to move forward together.
Mayor Menino was selected through an online vote. A national leader on neighborhood issues and as a strong ally to the LGBT community, Mayor Menino believes that government is about helping people.
Elected five times as Mayor of Boston and five times as a City Councilor from Hyde Park, he has spent a lifetime building a better Boston for residents and businesses. Mayor Menino has always served as a strong advocate and supporter for Boston’s LGBT community.
“We are excited to name Mayor Menino as Boston Pride’s Grand Marshal this year,” said Boston Pride President Linda DeMarco. “As this is Mayor Menino’s last year serving as our city’s mayor, we are thrilled that he will be leading the Boston Pride Parade as it is a way for everyone to thank him for being a passionate supporter of Boston Pride and our LGBT community throughout his tenure.”
Boston Pride’s Honorary Marshal
The Boston Pride Committee asked the community to vote for marshals who best illustrates the 2013 Pride Theme “Moving Forward…Proud, Strong, United.” The community voted to name Jeanne Manford as an Honorary Marshal, which is given posthumously.
PFLAG’s executive director, Jody M. Huckaby, remembers Jeanne Manford:
“Jeanne was one of the fiercest fighters in the battle for acceptance and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. It is truly humbling to imagine in 1972 - just 40 years ago - a simple schoolteacher started this movement of family and ally support, without benefit of any of the technology that today makes a grassroots movement so easy to organize. No Internet. No cellphones. Just a deep love for her son and a sign reading “Parents of Gays: Unite in Support for Our Children.”
This simple and powerful message of love and acceptance from one person resonated so strongly it was heard by millions of people worldwide and led to the founding of PFLAG, an organization with more than 350 chapters across the U.S. and 200,000 members and supporters, and the creation of similar organizations across the globe.
Jeanne’s work was called “the story of America…of ordinary citizens organizing, agitating, educating for change, of hope stronger than hate, of love more powerful than any insult or injury,” in a speech by President Barack Obama in 2009.
All of us - people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and straight allies alike - owe Jeanne our gratitude. We are all beneficiaries of her courage. Jeanne Manford proved the power of a single person to transform the world. She paved the way for us to speak out for what is right, uniting the unique parent, family, and ally voice with the voice of LGBT people everywhere.”
Her son, the late Morty Manford, was gay. He was the victim of a beating during a demonstration by the Gay Activists Alliance in 1972. According to news reports, the police did not intervene. In a letter Jeanne Manford wrote to the New York Post, published April 29, 1972, she said, “I have a homosexual son, and I love him.”
Jeanne Manford joined her son at gay pride parades, and the support she received, led her to form PFLAG.
PFLAG now has 350 official chapters across the U.S. and 200,000 members.”