“The Grand Dance” – Boston Pride Parade 2017

In honor of the victims and survivors of the Orlando Pulse Night Club massacre, member Renee Manning created an entry for this year’s parade called “The Grand Dance”! Word of the tribute has spread and now twenty survivors are coming to join in! The Grand Dance is issuing an invitation to anyone and everyone. Gay or straight, young or old, faith or no faith, if you are in a wheelchair or can be pulled in a wagon, everyone is welcome! The goal is 1000 people, hence “The Grand Dance”! Contact Renee for more information.

From Renee:
Almost a year ago I walked/danced in the Boston Pride Parade on June 11th 2016. I walked with many small groups, each representing a church in the United Church of Christ (UCC). As a trans-woman I could not be prouder than to walk with Open and Affirming churches. To be accepted by the church is an amazing feeling, especially when history has shown that the GLBT community has been marginalized by many churches. In the past decade we have made tremendous strides in awareness and acceptance.

Walking the Pride Parade is three miles of pure joy when a GBLT person can feel safe. Safe places are few and far between. We carried flags and instruments as we sang and danced along the route. I went home elated and pumped about a most exciting energetic loving day.

I woke up the next morning and heard the news of the Pulse Night Club massacre in Orlando Florida. I was devastated. I went from a mountaintop experience to the lowest of valleys.
These wonderful, innocent young people were dancing as I was 15 hours before. I could not cry enough. I could not attend or speak at enough vigils. I wondered if I could ever dance again. A year later my heart is still torn. I decided I wanted to do something to honor the victims and survivors of that horrible evening. I want to dance again in their honor, but not alone.

I created an entry for this year’s Pride Parade called “The Grand Dance”!  I am asking everyone to walk/dance with me. The goal is to have 1000 people walk or dance …hence “The Grand Dance”! I have purchased 600 12”x18” Pride flags for those individuals that would like to wave a flag as we dance.

To my amazement, and heartfelt joy, some survivors heard of this tribute to them. Twenty survivors have said they are coming to dance with us!

The Grand Dance is issuing an invitation to anyone and everyone. Gay or straight, young or old, faith or no faith, if you are in a wheelchair or can be pulled in a wagon, everyone is welcome!

I am now designing and building a float with the permission of the parade organizers, with 49 flags and the name of each person taken from us too soon.
We will be in front of, beside, and behind this float. The survivors dancing on the float will be surrounded by a sea of love and support.  We shall never forget that tragic night. We can however plant a lasting joyous memory for all who participate.

Please, Please, Please consider joining us June 10th @ 10am to 2pm. Every person has a busy schedule. I promise this will be a highlight of all your 2017 events.

Renee Manning