Hopkinton's First Pride Parade 2021
Historical First Pride Parade in Hopkinton Massachusetts
Celebrated during Pride month on June 26th, 2021
On June 26th, 2021, Hopkinton celebrated its very first Pride Parade around the Hopkinton High School track. The event was organized by Hopkinton Freedom Team in collaboration with the Hopkinton Youth Commission.
The event was a triumphant one in many ways. Planning for the event occurred in slightly unusual circumstances with the continued consequences of Covid, as well as the lead organizer for the event, Freya Proudman, being stationed thousands of miles away studying at university in England. Despite that, the parade was a unanimous success thanks to the dedication of Freya and fellow Hopkinton Freedom Team member Madison Loos, who is also President of the Gender Sexuality Alliance and incoming senior at Hopkinton High School. Many members of the community volunteered their time and effort in making this event a big success.
To many, the parade stood as a way to show support for LGBTQ+ loved ones. One member of the Hopkinton Freedom Team, Ruta Upaleker, stated: “I have a niece and nephew who came out ten years ago in India and it was tough for them. Seeing this happen in my own town with my kids has been a truly special experience.”
Neil Proudman, talented emcee to the event and proud father of Freya Proudman, expressed his excitement at the event:
“I thought today was a great opportunity for the community to come together and send a message to our LGBTQIA+ folks in our community that this really is their town.”
The parade stood as proof of how far Hopkinton has come in showing its support for the LGBTQ+ community as well as creating an environment where LGBTQ+ people feel seen, safe, and celebrated.
VIEW: Town turns out for inaugural Pride Parade - Hopkinton Independent
WATCH: Hopkinton LGBTQ+ Pride Parade: June 26, 2021- HCAM TV
Beth and Julianna, both of Hopkinton and the LGBTQ+ community stated, “We’re happy Hopkinton is doing things like this because it wasn’t like this when we were in school. Both of us didn’t come out until after high school, so it’s nice to come back and have this community and to see that things are changing.”
The atmosphere at the parade was one of positivity and excitement. Sai Bryan, a member of OUT Metrowest and co-president of the Gender Sexuality Alliance at Hopkinton High School, said “Everybody seemed really eager to have a pride march and celebrate.” The parade brought together a diverse group of people with the same goal. Lynn Canty, member of the Hopkinton Freedom Team and an outgoing board member of the Hopkinton Youth Commission, stated:
“There’s such an intersectionality between equal rights and being a black American. Pride encompasses that completely.”
Many attendees saw the event as the start of a bigger movement in Hopkinton and Massachusetts to embrace Pride in every sense of the word. Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka stated:
“Pride means people having the freedom, comfort, and security to be who they are. We need to strive to let everybody in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the country feel that.”
Neil Proudman expressed his hope for the future of Pride in Hopkinton: “Thousands of runners come here each year and we celebrate the fact that they run. We don’t necessarily celebrate who they are and all the things they bring to the town. I’d like this town not just to be known as the start of the marathon, but as a town that is fully inclusive and welcomes people from all over.”
Hopkinton’s first Pride Parade stands as an important moment in the history of Hopkinton and is a strong indicator of bigger things to come in Hopkinton’s journey of embracing its LGBTQ+ community. Norman Khumalo, Hopkinton’s Town Manager, even expressed hope that Hopkinton’s next Pride Parade will be held on the streets of Hopkinton.