Greenfield hosts second annual Franklin County Pride March

  • Participants in the 2nd annual Franklin County Pride March and Rally make their way down Federal Street in Greenfield on Saturday, June 23, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Participants in the 2nd annual Franklin County Pride March and Rally make their way down Federal Street in Greenfield on Saturday, June 23, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Participants in the 2nd annual Franklin County Pride March and Rally make their way down Main Street in Greenfield on Saturday, June 23, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Participants in the 2nd annual Franklin County Pride March and Rally make their way down Main Street in Greenfield on Saturday, June 23, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Participants in the 2nd annual Franklin County Pride March and Rally gather at Energy Park after the parade in Greenfield on Saturday, June 23, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Carole King, left, and Ruth West rest on a bench together while people gather at Energy Park for the 2nd annual Franklin County Pride March and Rally in Greenfield on Saturday, June 23, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Participants in the 2nd annual Franklin County Pride March and Rally make their way down Federal Street in Greenfield on Saturday, June 23, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Participants in the 2nd annual Franklin County Pride March and Rally make their way down Federal Street in Greenfield on Saturday, June 23, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Participants in the 2nd annual Franklin County Pride March and Rally make their way down Main Street in Greenfield on Saturday, June 23, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Participants in the 2nd annual Franklin County Pride March and Rally gather at Energy Park after the parade in Greenfield on Saturday, June 23, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Participants in the 2nd annual Franklin County Pride March and Rally make their way down Main Street in Greenfield on Saturday, June 23, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Participants in the 2nd annual Franklin County Pride March and Rally make their way down Federal Street in Greenfield on Saturday, June 23, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Participants in the 2nd annual Franklin County Pride March and Rally make their way down Federal Street in Greenfield on Saturday, June 23, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

Recorder Staff
Published: 6/23/2018 7:36:52 PM

GREENFIELD — Loud and proud, people filled the streets of Greenfield Saturday to parade their self-confidence.

It was the second annual Franklin County Pride March, an LGBT pride event organized by Franklin County Pride and Jenny Coleman, who wanted to create an event for LGBT people to feel safe after she experienced harassment.

And by talking to those who attended the parade, both marchers and viewers, it seems the goal of providing a safe space via the parade has been met.

“I’ve been a dyke on a bike since I was 14, so 36 years,” said Eve Bogdanove, who waved to paraders as they crossed the “finish line” into the rally area at Energy Park.

Bogdanove brought her motorcycle, which had a sign that read, “I love my lesbian mom,” and wore a shirt reading, “End white supremacy.”

Bogdanove said she felt the parade was an important event for people in Franklin County who are LGBT or support LGBT causes.

“It’s awesome,” Bogdanove said. “I’m really proud to be a Franklin County resident, really proud to come out here and support my people.”

As she stood from the side, hundreds of people marched down the street as groups, as individuals and all as happy paraders.

Companies like Greenfield Savings Bank, Tapestry Health and the YMCA marched alongside the paraders, throwing candy and waving to the crowd. Songs like “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge blared from portable speakers as the march commenced.

It was a sea of rainbow flags and other LGBT symbols, like the blue, pink and white transgender flag.

The paraders — many having attended the Drag Brunch or Gay 5k events earlier in the day — filed down Federal Street, Main Street, Miles Street and finally into Energy Park, where different organizations and vendors had set up tents and gave out stickers and pamphlets.

“This is so important,” said Hillary Montague-Asp, who ran a tent for the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN). “We’re very, very excited to be here.”

Montague-Asp said GLSEN, founded 28 years ago, works with schools to create a more friendly environment for LGBT youth. She was pleased to see the youth of Franklin County to come out for the event.

“We have a Franklin County special pride parade,” Montague-Asp said. “That’s great.”

Organizations like Rainbow Elders, a group for LGBT adults, gave out information and churches like the United Church of Bernardston and the First Church of Deerfield marched. Politicians and candidates like Josh Zakim, running for the Massachusetts Secretary of State office, and Jo Comerford, running for state Senate, showed up to lend their support to the LGBT community.

Elizabeth Humphrey attended the parade not only as a supporter, but to also collect signatures to get three Green-Rainbow Party candidates, all local, on the ballot for fall’s elections — Jed Stamas and Jamie Guerin, both of Northampton, running for state auditor and state treasurer, respectively, and Juan Sanchez of Holyoke, running for secretary of the commonwealth.

“The values the party supports are the values here,” Humphrey said. “And everybody has been very receptive. This is a wonderful thing.”

Reach David McLellan at dmclellan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 268.


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