Boston Pride announces grand and honorary marshals for 47th parade

(From left:) 2017 Boston Pride Parade Grand Marshal Kristen Porter with Boston Pride President and Vice President Sylvain Bruni and Linda DeMarco. Photo courtesy of Boston Pride.

In recognition of her more than 20 years of community service, the LGBT community has voted Kristen Porter the Grand Marshal of the 47th annual Boston Pride Parade. What’s more, the results of Boston Pride’s online voting have named as Honorary Marshals the late Norman Hill, Dr. Judy Bradford and John Michael Gray, all three awarded posthumously.

“We are excited to announce the 2017 Pride Marshals, chosen by the community, who have done an amazing job over many decades to represent, to support and to benefit a wide spectrum of the LGBTQ community,” said Boston Pride President Sylvain Bruni. “We look forward to having Kristen Porter lead the parade while also honoring the legacies of Norman Hill, Dr. Judy Bradford and John Michael Gray.”

Founder of “Kristen Porter Presents Dyke Night,” Porter “has donated her time and money to Dyke Night’s philanthropic mission to make the world better for the LGBTQ community by creating high quality inclusive events that support the community artistically, socially and philanthropically,” according to a March 24 Boston Pride press release, which goes on to say:

Norman Hill, former President of Gay Officers Action League New England, was Deputy Superintendent of the Boston Police Department and worked with then Police Commissioner William Bratton to initiate LGBTQ recruitment.

Dr. Judy Bradford, Co-Chair of The Fenway Institute from its inception in 2001, played a key role in building a framework for LGBTQ-focused research and teaching. Her work has improved the lives of those whose minority status often makes their needs unseen or disregarded.

John Michael Gray, half of the famous ‘Hat Sisters’, was a prominent Massachusetts LGBTQ community activist who helped raise money for causes ranging from AIDS healthcare to cancer research.

The Boston Pride Parade is a march to celebrate and promote equal rights for the region’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer communities. The Parade, that kicks off at noon from Copley Square on Saturday, June 10, is the premier event of Pride Week, which will be held June 2 to 11. As one of the biggest and most popular Pride Parades in the country, individuals and organizations from around New England will walk together to advocate for equality, respect and inclusivity.

Parade Chair Martha Plaza says that the 2017 Pride Theme will truly bring the community together during the parade.  “On June 10, we will march as a community that is ‘Stronger Together’ as our diverse community is represented in the parade, demonstrating that we will stand up for each other and continue to fight for civil rights for all.”