Boston Pride Week Features Parade, Festival and More

by Joe Siegel

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Saturday June 2, 2012

Boston Pride Week 2012 is now in full swing, through June 10. This year's theme is "30 Years of Worldwide Pride Movement," and Boston Pride will celebrate by hosting special events, parties and Boston's biggest and most popular Parade and Festival.

"We are thrilled to have Alexis Jordan, Rye Rye, and Kerli headline our festival this year," said Linda DeMarco, president of Boston Pride. "These young women are all breaking through on the music scene as we speak, and we know that they will put on a great show here in Boston."

These up-and-coming singers will serve as the entertainment headliners at this year's 42nd Boston Pride Festival, to be held on Saturday, June 9 from noon to 6 p.m. at Boston's City Hall Plaza. Emcees for the festival stage include Gay Jim Clerkin, Fast Freddy Murphy, and Kris Knievel.

The Festival is the last stop on the Boston Pride Parade route and will host entertainment, the Family Zone, the Main Stage Lounge, Artisan Avenue and more than 100 vendors.

After Jordan's appearance on the first season of "America's Got Talent," the singer's YouTube videos started accumulating millions of hits. Since then, Jordan has released her first album, the self-titled "Alexis Jordan," and has recently announced that her second album will be released this year.

Baltimore newcomer and M.I.A. protégé Rye Rye released her debut album "Go! Pop! Bang!" on May 15 bringing together pop, rap, hip-hop, hardcore, and industrial.

Although she seizes the rat-a-tat rhyme style made popular by Nikki Minaj, this 21-year-old artist from the projects of Charm City is working hard to make her own sound, saying, "If I do a hip-hop song, it doesn't sound like a regular hip-hop track; it sounds fresher. I am doing my own thing."

At the age of 18, Estonian recording artist Kerli moved from Elva, Estonia to the U.S, and just one year later in 2006, she was signed to Island Def Jam Music Group by LA Reid. By 2008 she released her debut album "Love is Dead," which charted at 125 on the Billboard 200 that July. Kerli is currently working on her second album, set to release later this year. Kerli also was a DJ on the program "New Now Next," on the LogoTV network.

Other entertainers include Mod Gun, Grygiel, Mob Music, Sabrina Blaze, Lauren Bateman Band, Aerochix, Ariel Aparicio and Justin Utley.

Boston Parade Celebrates 30 Years of Worldwide Pride

The theme of the Boston Pride Parade this year is "Celebrating 30 Years of Worldwide Pride Movement" in honor of the annual InterPride conference, which will be held this year in Boston in October.

Mix 104.1's Fast Freddy and the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition have been named Grand Marshals of the 2012 Boston Pride Parade. Additionally, the late Brendan Burke has been chosen as an Honorary Marshal.

Fast Freddy is a weekday afternoon on-air personality, with Gregg Daniels and Sue Brady, at Mix 104.1, one of the most popular radio stations in the area.

The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) was chosen by the Boston Pride Board of Directors in recognition of their work supporting the Transgender Equal Rights Bill, which was signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick last January. The law made Massachusetts the 16th state to add non-discrimination laws for gender identity in employment, housing, K-12 public education, and credit. Additionally, Massachusetts' hate crimes laws were also updated to include gender identity.

The community also voted to name Brendan Burke as an Honorary Marshal, which is given posthumously. Burke, who was an athlete and student manager of the RedHawks ice hockey team at Miami University (Ohio), made international headlines in 2009 for coming out as a sophomore in college and for advocating tolerance in professional sports. Burke, whose hometown is Canton, Massachusetts and who graduated from Xaverian High School in Westwood, Massachusetts, was killed in a car crash in 2010. His brother Patrick Burke has established the nonprofit You Can Play, to ensure equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation.

DeMarco said Boston Pride was "excited" that Fast Freddy and the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition will be the Grand Marshals of the Pride Parade.

"Fast Freddy, a strong voice for our community on the radio airwaves and a volunteer supporter of many nonprofits in our community, is a great choice by our supporters and he'll bring a lot of energy to the parade," DeMarco noted. "As a committee, we wanted to honor the work of MTPC, who worked tirelessly and patiently to pass the Transgender Equal Rights Bill, which is an important milestone for the community."

DeMarco praised the legacy of Brendan Burke, noting Burke's "courageous decision to come out has set an example for young athletes around the country."

For more information about the Annual World Conference, which gathers Pride organizers from around the world for five days of education, networking and coordination, visit

Other Pride Week Events Include Block Parties

Starting with the annual Flag Raising Ceremony on June at City Hall Plaza, Boston Pride Week also includes Pride Day at Faneuil Hall, Pride Idol, the Royal Pageant, Human Rights Events, block parties and much more.

Among the many events leading up to the festival is a performance by stand-up comedian Pam Ann at the Wilbur Theatre on Thursday, June 7 at 8 p.m. Pam Ann, alter-ego of Australian comedian Caroline Reid, has toured the world with her portrayal of an outrageous airline hostess.

And due to construction, this year's Boston Pride Block Party -- Back Bay Edition will be relocated from Stuart Street to St. James Avenue. This block party event is customarily the last of Pride Week, and this year it will be held on Sunday, June 10 from 12-8 p.m.

But the Boston Pride Block Party -- Back Bay Edition will be only one of two block party celebrations that Boston Pride hosts during Pride Week. A second block party, with family-focused activities as well as entertainment, will also take place on Sunday, June 10, in Jamaica Plain. A signature event of Pride Week, the Back Bay Block Party will feature entertainment, food and beverages. Tracy Young will be returning as the event's DJ.

For more information on the 2012 Boston Pride Week, visit

Joe Siegel has written for a number of other GLBT publications, including In newsweekly and Options.