Jun 3, 2024 - News

Portraits of Pride in Boston celebrates activism and the arts

Some of the large, 8-foot-tall portraits from Portraits of Pride on display at the Seaport Sea Green park.

The Portraits of Pride subjects (left to right): Maureen Brodoff and Ellen Wade, two of the plaintiffs from the marriage equality case of 2004, probation attorney Kellie Amazi and designer Jha D Amazi; plaintiffs Mike Horgan and Ed Balmelli. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios

Boston’s LGBTQ+ leaders are everywhere, from the federal courthouse to the Boston Children’s Chorus to the state’s probation office.

  • This year’s Portraits of Pride exhibit brings them together for the world to see at the Seaport Sea Green.

Why it matters: The annual exhibit tells stories that Boston otherwise might not see in public, in the absence of an LGBTQ+ museum, says Jean Dolin, the exhibit’s organizer.

  • Dolin is also behind efforts to open such a museum.

Zoom in: The series featured 16 LGBTQ+ people, including six plaintiffs in the landmark marriage equality case of 2004.

  • This year’s group represents leaders in the arts and in activism, particularly in the legal field.
  • The exhibit will be up for the rest of the month.

What they’re saying: “There’s still so much work that remains to be done. LGBTQ+ rights are still under attack to this day," Dolin tells Axios.

  • "So this is a reminder of the work this generation has done and it should give us the energy to also continue to fight."
Some of the Portraits of Pride 8-feet-tall portraits on display on the Seaport Sea Green.
Portraits of Pride subjects (left to right): Andrés Holder, executive director, of the Boston Children's Chorus; Harold Steward, executive director of the New England Foundation for the Arts; Stacy Lord, cofounder of Creative Hub Worcester; and Iván Espinoza-Madrigal, executive director of Lawyers for Civil Rights .Photo: Steph Solis/Axios

"The variety, the diversity of people is really remarkable," Maureen Brodoff, one of the plaintiffs featured in Portraits of Pride, tells Axios.

  • She and her wife, Ellen Wade, stopped by the unveiling Saturday to see how the portraits came out.
  • "The other thing, particularly with the plaintiff couples, is our age. We have some road behind us ... I think it speaks to the longevity and strength of the marriage equality victory that we win 20 years ago."

Yes, but: Many who weren't in Boston two decades ago might not recognize Brodoff, Wade or the other plaintiffs.

  • For them, Wade said, "I want them to see the humanity, but I also want them to see that these regular people — that I think many people walking by probably can identify with — are out there, fighting."
Ben Flythe and Marcia Williams, two photographers of the Portraits of Pride project, pose for a photo in front of their portraits in the Seaport Sea Green.
Benjamin Flythe and Marcia Williams, two photographers of the Portraits of Pride project, pose for a photo in front of the portraits. Behind them are portraits of Mary Bonauto, the attorney who argued for marriage equality before the Supreme Judicial Court; plaintiffs Julie and Hillary Goodridge; and Laura Marotta, cofounder of Creative Hub Worcester. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios
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