Pride parade shines again, fills Greenfield with rainbows

  • Participants in the annual Franklin County Pride parade make their way down Franklin Street on Saturday in Greenfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Participants in the annual Franklin County Pride parade make their way down Federal Street on Saturday in Greenfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Politicians, including state Rep. Paul Mark (left), state Sen. Jo Comerford (center), and Greenfield Mayor Roxann Wedegartner, march in the Franklin County Pride parade on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • Participants in the annual Franklin County Pride parade make their way through Main Street on Saturday in Greenfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Participants in the annual Franklin County Pride parade make their way down Main Street on Saturday in Greenfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Participants in the annual Franklin County Pride parade make their way down Franklin Street on Saturday in Greenfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Marchers make their way down Greenfield’s Federal Street during the Franklin County Pride parade on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • Participants make their way down Greenfield’s Federal Street during the Franklin County Pride parade on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • Participants in the annual Franklin County Pride parade make their way down Franklin Street on Saturday in Greenfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

  • Participants in the annual Franklin County Pride parade make their way through Main Street on Saturday in Greenfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 9/19/2021 5:19:57 PM

GREENFIELD — LGBTQ community members and allies of all ages filled the streets on Saturday for the first Franklin County Pride parade since 2019.

Cynthia Fritz, who has helped organize the parade for four years, said these kinds of demonstrations are largely meant to show solidarity with those who may feel “shy and awkward about the ‘coming out’ process.”

“It’s basically to create support within the community,” she said.

Politicians, including state Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, state Rep. Paul Mark, D-Peru, and Greenfield Mayor Roxann Wedegartner, joined the march to show their own support, with walkers starting and ending at Greenfield Middle School.

“We appreciate their support so much,” Fritz said. “We’re not fighting the politicians, we’re in cohesion with the politicians.”

While marching in the parade, the politicians reiterated the importance of demonstrations in helping others feel comfortable in their own skin.

“There should be places where everyone can thrive,” Comerford said.

“It shows the power in numbers,” Wedegartner said. “We have the right to demonstrate. We have the right to march in America.”

Participants said that while Franklin County may be relatively progressive in terms of social justice and equity, there will always be a reason to advocate for the cause.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re in a liberal community or a not-so-liberal community,” Wedegartner said.

Comerford said another function of demonstrations like Saturday’s Pride parade is to help politicians “double down” on policies. She added that on Thursday, the “Gender X” bill she introduced that “helps enshrine non-binary identifications in every state document” will come before the Senate floor for a vote.

“The State House runs on people power,” Comerford said.

Glenn Johnson-Mussad, a Greenfield School Committee member and self-described “proud gay man,” said that another benefit of Pride parades is the platform it gives for public servants like himself to inspire young people.

“It’s important that youth in Franklin County see LGBT people serving in public roles,” Johnson-Mussad said.

Dozens of supporters of all ages lined sidewalks throughout the parade route to cheer and flaunt Pride colors of their own. Walkers said the turnout suggested that Greenfield already has ample support for LGBTQ advocacy.

“I think Greenfield, for many years now, has been very welcoming of all people,” Wedegartner said.

Still, those clad in rainbow hues showed no signs of letting up.

“There’s always a reason to have hope,” Comerford said. “There’s always a reason to have positive statements like LGBTQ+ rights.”

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or jmendoza@recorder.com.


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