The City Hall Council Chamber was home to the 22nd annual Pride Brunch this Saturday, on the morning of the Boston Pride Parade.
Vice-Mayor Denise Simmons, who just a few years ago became the nation's first openly lesbian Black mayor, tells us about the event:
Recognition awards were given to the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition and to State Representative Alice Wolf.
The Rose Lipkin Award was given to high school student Rajani Fleming by Arthur Lipkin, who is also the Chair of the statewide GLBT Commission.
The 2nd annual Bayard Rustin Service Award was also presented. According to the GLBT Commission, "this is an honor bestowed to a person of color with an outstanding history of service to the GLBT community. Bayard Rustin was an American civil rights activist in the 1960s. He counseled Martin Luther King, Jr. and was the chief organizer of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. Working tirelessly to advocate for GLBT causes in the latter part of his career, he courageously stood in defiance of the viciously negative attitudes towards GLBT community members."
Priscilla Lee*, a long-time Cambridge activist and resident, was this year's recipient of the Bayard Rustin Service Award. Here she is accepting the award:
A BRIEF TIME LINE OF SOME KEY DATES IN CAMBRIDGE GLBT HISTORY (taken mainly from the Cambridge GLBT Commission):
1983: Old Cambridge Baptist Church declares itself welcoming and affirming of GLBT people, the first faith congregation in Cambridge to do so.
1984: Cambridge becomes the first city in the Commonwealth to enact non-discriminatory law on the basis of sexual orientation.
1988: Project 10 East, the first public school gay/straight alliance in a public school east of the Mississippi - and at that time, the second in the country - was founded at CRLS.
1990: The first Cambridge Mayor's Pride Brunch takes place.
1992: Cambridge becomes the first city in the Commonwealth to enact domestic partner legislation.
1997: Cambridge becomes the first city in the Commonwealth to amend its non-discrimination law to include transgender people.
2004: Cambridge becomes the first city in the Commonwealth and the nation to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
2005: The Cambridge GLBT Commission is established.
2011: The City Council votes to offset federal taxes on health benefits for gay-married couples (which opposite-sex married couples do not pay)
2012: The Advocate magazine ranks Cambridge the third gayest city in America, after Orlando, Florida and Salt Lake City, Utah. (http://news.advocate.com/post/15571734525/gayest-cities-in-america-2012)
THE CITY'S COMMISSION:
As per www.cambridgema.gov, "The mission of the Cambridge GLBT Commission is to advocate for a culture of respect and to monitor progress toward equality of all persons with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity. We are committed to promoting and monitoring policies and practices that have a positive effect on the health, welfare, and safety of all persons who live, visit, or work in the City of Cambridge with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity."
For more information on the Cambridge GLBT Commission: http://www.cambridgema.gov/glbt.aspx
THE STATE'S COMMISSION:
As per www.mass.gov, "The Massachusetts Commission on GLBT Youth is established by law as an independent agency of the Commonwealth to recommend and advocate to all branches of state government effective policies, programs, and resources for GLBT youth to thrive.
The Commission was founded in 1992 by Executive Order of Governor William F. Weld. In 2006, the Governor's Commission, as it was known, became the Massachusetts Commission by legislative enactment. The Commission has been advocating for GLBT youth wellbeing in and out of school for almost twenty years. It was the first body of its kind in the nation."
For more information on the Massachusetts Commission on GLBT Youth: http://www.mass.gov/cgly/
*Brief note - I know Priscilla Lee and have worked with her at the Community Learning Center.
(photo by Susana Segat)