🏳️‍🌈 Walk through Boston’s LGBTQ+ history

The Boston Equality Trail features 13 spots along the route of Boston’s first Gay Pride March in 1971. Here are a few of the spots you’ll explore on this LGBTQ+ walking route.

Parkman Bandstand at Boston Common on a sunny day

Boston’s 1971 Gay Pride March ended at the Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common.

Photo by BOStoday team

More than 50 years have passed since Boston’s first official Gay Pride March. Now, Bostonians can walk back in time along the Boston Equality Trail to visit the historic sites.

There are 13 total spots along the route — here are a handful of the locations and their connections to Boston’s LGBTQ+ history.

Note: The map below was created by the Boston Preservation Alliance.

Jacque’s Cabaret

The first stop on the route is our city’s oldest surviving LGBTQ+ establishment. Jacque’s Cabaret, dating back to 1938, is where marchers read their first list of demands. The owner of this drag cabaret and bar also opened The Other Side (now closed) across the street in 1965.

Park Square

As the home of the city’s most popular gay bar from the 1950s-1960s — Punch Bowl — this square at the corner of Arlington Street, Stewart Street, and Columbus Avenue was a social hub for Boston’s LGBTQ+ community.

Arlington Street Church

This church on the corner of Boylston and Arlington streets has been host to various LGBTQ+ groups over the years, from the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus to Dignity Boston. It was also the location of Boston’s first same-sex marriage ceremony in 1973, and the country’s first state-sanctioned same-sex wedding in 2004.

Massachusetts State House

The marchers visited Boston’s golden-domed State House to read their third list of demands to the government, aiming to include the LGBTQ+ community in civil rights legislation. In 1975, the State House hosted the swearing in of the country’s first openly gay state legislator, Elaine Noble. The Bay State also became one of the first states to elect an openly lesbian governor — Maura Healey — in 2022.

Bonus: Complete the walking trail this Saturday, June 10, and you’ll find yourself in the area of Boston’s returning Pride Parade and Festival.

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