Boston had planned to throw a spectacular celebration for the 50th anniversary of the first Pride march this year but, unfortunately, COVID-19 had other plans. However, there are still several ways to support Boston’s vibrant, queer community. There are queer-owned businesses and restaurants to support and virtual events to attend all month long.
Celebrating Pride from Home
The Boston Pride website hosted a series of virtual events earlier this month and has posted replays of everything online. The virtual Pride Festival, the Flag Raising, and the Pride Lights ceremony are all available for viewing 24 hours a day. The Boston Pride Dancing Queerly Virtual Festival series is yet to come. Starting June 19th, Dancing Queerly Live kicks off the weekend with pop-up dance lessons, live conversations, and original new work. The next day, guest curator Eva Yaa Asantewaa hosts a series of featured performances that will bring an incredible virtual dance concert to life. Bostonians can enjoy all of it from the comfort of home. The weekend wraps up with BYOBrunch. This Zoom celebration, talkback, and networking event is the perfect way to be “together apart.” Snacks, beverages, and fanciful attire are strongly encouraged.
Boston’s Best Queer Chefs and Restauranteurs
Fox and the Knife
Queer chef, Karen Akunowicz, is a former Bravo's ”Top Chef All-Star“, James Beard award-winner (Northeast), and mastermind behind the South Boston eatery Fox and the Knife. This is Chef Akunowicz’s first solo venture and it’s inspired by the year she spent living in Modena. They’re currently offering curbside pickup all day for sauces, pantry items, and dessert with larger plates available after 4:30 p.m. Patrons can choose the pickup time that is most convenient by visiting their website. The evening menu is filled with a diverse array of Italian classics all with Chef Akunowicz’s signature contemporary twist. Pretty much everything is made in-house and tastes delightfully fresh.
Big Heart Hospitality is a queer-run restaurant group with Tiffani Faison and Kelly Walsh at the helm. Their BBQ join, Sweet Cheeks, is open for takeout and curbside pickup Thursday- Sunday. Guests can choose pickup times in 15-minute increments, a great way to encourage social distancing. They’re famous for pulled pork, brisket, and ribs which are all available by the pound or slab. Their “more sweet, less cheek” dessert options are just as mouth-watering and there are gluten-free options available.
Best Bees is the perfect way for Bostonians to support LGBTQ+ businesses and the environment at the same time. Best Bees offers professionally managed beehive services for private homes or corporations. Once the hive has been installed, professional beekeepers will manage the hive monthly. You get to keep 100% of the raw honey produced and the keepers will share data they’ve collected about the hive with other scientists to help promote the health of pollinators worldwide. Chief Scientific Officer Noah Wilson-Rich Ph.D. started the company to continue studying the immunology of honeybees in a world where they are rapidly disappearing. His efforts to study and support the apian population started in Boston but have expanded to 12 other cities across the U.S.
New England Craft Cultivators
The first and only marijuana retail establishment in Massachusetts, New England Craft Cultivators, is a budding, mostly queer-owned Boston business that comes highly recommended. (All puns very much intended). Their company values are based on inclusion and community. Not only do they support the LGBTQ+ community in their own backyards, but they’re also exclusively supporting local growers, manufacturers, and microbusinesses. They’re focused on providing the highest quality cannabis products from the “little guy” instead of profiting from mass-produced product distribution.
Above & Beyond Catering
Many couples in Boston were excitedly anticipating their wedding day this summer and sadly were forced to postpone. However, some couples couldn’t wait and held small, socially distanced gatherings in open-air locales. The LGBTQ+ caterer of choice is Above and Beyond Catering. This gay-owned catering company has been serving gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual weddings in the Boston area for years when others were hesitant to do so. Their extensive menu options include vegan hors d’oeuvres, main dishes inspired by global cuisine, and sumptuous wedding cakes. Weddings aren’t their only focus. They also cater for private and corporate events. They’re fully licensed by the state liquor authority and can provide curated cocktail menus for any occasion.