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Mayor Sarno, HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris and Springfield Pride Parade Announce Date for Springfield’s First LGBTQ+ Pride Parade

Springfield, MA – Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Health and Human Services (HHS) Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Attorney Talia Gee joined with Taurean Bethea, CEO of Springfield Pride Parade, and supporters and sponsors for a press conference to announce the first LGBTQ+ Pride Parade in the City of Springfield.  On June 4, 2022, the City of Springfield will hold an inaugural Pride parade that will begin at 9:00 am on the campus of Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) and end at Court Square.

The event will feature DJs, music, restaurants, giveaways, and speeches delivered by the parade organizers and city officials.

“My team and I are truly honored to produce Springfield’s LGBTQIA+ Pride Parade.  The important work of creating an atmosphere of inclusivity for our LGBTQ+ youth in the City of Springfield extends to public health, education, addressing the high rates of homelessness experienced by LGBTQ+ youth, and allowing our youth of this beautiful community to be seen and celebrated,” says Bethea.

Yesterday on April 4, 2022, Mayor Sarno and HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris kicked off Public Health Month at City Hall.  As part of the month long recognition of promoting and advocating for the public health of our community, the City of Springfield is proud to support the Springfield Pride Parade and our LGBTQ+ community.

Mayor Sarno stated, “Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Talia Gee and I are proud to join with and support Taurean Bethea and our LGBTQ+ community as we kick off the first LGBTQ+ Pride Parade in the City of Springfield – another first for our beloved city.  A good person is a good person, no matter what creed, color, background, sexual orientation, or gender identity. As a longtime member of Mayors Against LGBTQ Discrimination, I am proud to stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ community to remind all that each of us deserves the same level of equality and respect. This month in particular, we honor those who have fought for equality for our LGBTQ+ community and recognize that respecting the rights of all makes for a better city and community.”

The mission of the Springfield Pride Parade (SPP) is to support LGBTQ+ youth through resources, understanding and fundraising.  To help promote care for Springfield’s LGBTQ+ community and youth, SPP founded the Safe Space Initiative – a commitment from local businesses to disavow hate speech, hateful actions, or aggressions targeting the LGBTQ+ community in their establishments.  The movement is marked by a public facing decal affirming that their business is a safe space.  Businesses that have signed on as safe spaces include Dewey’s Lounge, TD Bank, Focus Springfield, White Lion and the Ethnic Study.

HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris stated, “The City of Springfield’s Department of Health and Human Services is proud to join with MassMutual, Baystate, Mass Live, and all of our community supporters as key sponsors for the Springfield Pride Parade.  The City of Springfield is proud to sponsor and support Springfield’s first Pride parade.  I am also heartened that MassMutual’s Pride business resource group is nearly 450-employees strong.  We plan to tap their enthusiasm and energy when we come together in June to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community in partnership with Springfield Pride.”

For more information on Springfield Pride Parade, please visit their Facebook page @SpringfieldPrideParadeOrganization