DotOUT presents METAMORPHOSIS – EMBRACING CHANGE
as year’s float theme for Dorchester Day and Boston Pride parades.
Dorchester’s own LGBT group celebrates a decade of acceptance as change swept through city and neighhorhood. Dorchester Day Committee, parade’s organizers, have welcomed
the local LGBT group’s participation each year since 2004.
BOSTON, June 4, 2014 – Sunday, June 1, 2014 marked DotOUT’s 11th year participating in the Dorchester Day Parade. Dorchester’s LGBT group chose to mark this year’s occasion with the butterfly theme: METAMORPHOSIS-Embracing Change. Celebrating a decade of same-sex marriage and incorporating Boston Pride’s 2014 theme of “Be Yourself/Change The World”, this year’s DotOUT theme focused on how Dorchester has accepted and embraced its LGBT neighbors.
“We can’t believe its been 10 years already since DotOUT was created and the original founders and friends first marched in the Dot Day Centennial parade on June 6, 2004,” said DotOUT President Chris McCoy. “There is a growing GLBTQ community in Dorchester that wants to be integrated and wants to contribute to the betterment of our community. This also reflects the growing number of GLBTQ families who are interested in education for their children and safe neighborhoods.”
When describing this year’s theme, cycles and physical changes recur. The butterfly’s life cycle — from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly — translated into a dynamic float incorporating bright colors and natural, kinetic wing movement. Caterpillar characters with springy, green movement led the flatbed truck driven by D&D Towing of Dorchester. The truck front was decorated with colorful antennae and sported multi-faceted googly eyes over the head lamps. Hanging cocoons and sparkly wings dangled from the truck sides. An eleven foot tall butterfly made out of orange painted PVC and blue patterned fabric flew free from fellow butterfly friends resting atop a shady tree on the truck’s flatbed.
DotOut Steering Committee members Christopher Joseph and his husband and fellow Steering Committee member, Travis Mitchell, have been leading DOTOUT’S float fun for the past few years. The couple even ushered in the group’s “Best Float” win in 2012 with the theme, “The DOT is Right!” “DotDay and (Boston) Pride have become major annual events for our family, when our house turns into a glittery float factory!,” said Chris Joseph. “It’s been an amazing opportunity to connect with both the gay and Dorchester communities. We are especially proud of DotArt‘s involvement this year. Local kids decorated butterflies for the float, and we think they add a beautiful touch.” This year, the group reached out to the larger Dorchester community to help on this year’s butterfly theme. The float incorporated cardboard butterflies painted (and well-glittered) by the young artists at DotArt and under the supervision of DotArt Executive Director, Liz Carney.
“DotOUT and Dorchester has changed so much–our first time in the parade–which was the centennial parade–there were just 6 or 7 marchers,” noted Stephanie Mouras, one of DotOUT’s founders. “Metamorphosis is right for this year’s theme. We started as a small core of LGBT neighborhood leaders that put in the time and transformed into new leaders bringing new energy, creativity and commitment to Dorchester.”
Every DotDay comes with its own set of problems. One of DotOUT’s earliest floats ran into issues with organizing a licensed driver for the float. Mouras recalled, “The group was racking its brain!” Mouras remembered telling the float group, “ ‘Hey, my neighbor drives a school bus,’ and they said, ‘Go ask him!’”
“I was so nervous explaining to this neighbor I only knew casually that it was a gay and lesbian float,” as Mouras continued, “But, you know what, he had a big smile on his face and said, ‘Sure. OK. No problem!’…I was amazed! He and his cousin, who rode in the cab beside him, had so much fun honking and waving in the parade.”
Mouras concluded, “It didn’t phase him at all that he was a straight man from Dorchester and he was driving this big’ ol LGBT float in the Dorchester Day Parade with all his neighbors and family waving from the sidelines.”
This year’s float issue had a different tone to it. DotOUT’s sound system was unusually quiet early on in the DotDay Parade, provoking parade goers to shout, “Where’s the music!” The surprising two-week break between the DotDay and Boston Pride parades allowed the float organizers to resolve the sound issue with firm promises there won’t be a silent moment during next Saturday’s parade.
Following the Dorchester Day Parade, DotOUT members, hungry parade goers and local politicos met at Cedar Grove Gardens for the group’s annual DotDay Summer Party BBQ. Richard O’Mara, another DotOUT founder and Dorchester community leader, played host to the largest DotOUT after party to date with his signature Thai Chicken salad, burgers and grilled Portobello/cauliflower side dish.
Political candidates in attendance and enjoying some cool shade under the garden’s festive yellow tents included: newcomer Representative Evandro Carvahlo (D-Fifth Suffolk), DotOUT friend and ally Representative Daniel Cullinane (D-Twelth Suffolk) and candidates for Lieutenant Governor Mike Lake and Steve Steve Kerrigan, and Suffolk County Probate, Martin J. Keogh. Even O’Mara’s 14 year-old Husky-mix dog, Samantha, joined partygoers on the neighboring lawn, sampling a burger or two from the relaxed crowd.
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DotOUT (http://www.dotout.org) is a grassroots, member driven organization committed to the ideals of acceptance, inclusion, fairness and equality. We believe in the strength of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer (“GLBTQ”) community in Dorchester and recognize that together through our activism and neighborliness we can positively influence local opinion on issues that are relevant to us and our community.
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