By Ellyn Ruthstrom
It’s that time of year again to break out the rainbow regalia, sprinkle the glitter, and get your marching or dancing shoes on—whichever suits you best! Pride season has begun and it’s exciting to attend flag raisings, LGBTQ community forums, pride marches, history events, block parties, inter-faith services, and so much more! We come out to celebrate, we come out to raise awareness, and we come out to COME OUT!
This year, we are kicking off Pride month by celebrating SpeakOUT Day on Friday, June 3. All day long we’ll be sharing information on our social media channels about SpeakOUT: our mission, our speakers, our clients and our impact in the community. And yes, we will be encouraging our supporters to make a donation on SpeakOUT Day to keep our work expanding and touching as many lives as possible!
We hope you can jump in and share your experiences and insights about our work, too. If you don’t already follow us on Facebook and Twitter, do so and include #SpeakOUTDay in your posts. Some of us will be celebrating SpeakOUT Day at Fenway Park’s Pride Night that evening so look out for fun selfies from us.
Most years I’m usually helping to set up a table or marshaling a parade contingent into position on my Pride mornings. And this year will be no different as I head to Government Center for Boston Pride on June 11 to hang up the SpeakOUT banner, spread out the table displays, and get ready to schmooze all day with the fascinating array of people who stop by the table.
I am passionate about the work that SpeakOUT does in the community, so I get jazzed when I get a chance to talk to others about that work. By the end of the day I often realize that I have talked to folks from the ages of 13-80, from city dwellers to suburban and rural folks, first-timers as well as those chalking up their 40+ Pride year. I love meeting students who tell us how glad they are we came to their school, and meeting others who haven’t heard of us before but tell us how much they need us to come to theirs. I meet community members who get excited about our mission and decide to sign up for our next training so that they, too, can share their stories. It’s exhausting and exhilarating and not to be missed.
On Pride Day, there is much to celebrate about our rich history of resistance and pure fabulousness. (Snap!) And there is also much more to continue working on together as a community! Celebrating Pride is a way for me, personally, to recharge and recommit to doing the work we need to do all year long. After the glitter gets washed away, it’s back to work. Happy Pride, everyone!
Ellyn Ruthstrom is the Executive Director of SpeakOUT Boston. Last year, Ellyn was one of Boston Pride’s marshals, honoring her many years of work with the Bisexual Resource Center and the LGBTQ community. She was able to cross off her bucket list “riding in a convertible with a pink boa.”