Pride at 39

By CAITLIN E. CURRAN  |  June 1, 2009

Boston Pride Festival
"After twenty years of performing and releasing records, the gay community has been a very big support and audience for me," says Taylor Dayne, who'll headline the Boston Pride Festival, June 13, at City Hall Plaza. Dayne might be best known for her 1987 pop hit "Tell It to My Heart," which peaked at number seven on the US charts, but she's been going steady since then. Last year, her single "Beautiful" reached No. 1 on the US dance charts. "It's a big tour for me — it's pride across America, really," says Dayne, in reference to the many gay pride festivals she'll be playing. Festival-goers might want to sharpen up their best dance moves beforehand — Dayne will be bringing a film crew on tour with her.

"The idea came because I'm doing so many prides in general, and it's so timely with Prop 8 and all," says Dayne. "It just seems like something that needs to be captured." Also performing at Pride Festival are comedians Marga Gomez and Ian Harvie, and dance-pop musician Brian Kent.

Cycle for Pride Cycle-A-Thon
In case Pride Week was lacking events that involve getting sweaty in close proximity to others, while a soundtrack booms, here's one more. Also making its debut at Pride Week this year is a spinning-style cycle-a-thon at City Hall Plaza, hosted by Cycle Essence, a Rhode Island–based indoor-cycling studio. Cyclists can sign up to ride stationary bikes under a tent in the midst of the Pride Day festivities (Saturday, June 13), for anywhere from one to four hours between 2 pm and 6 pm. Riders will pay a $25 registration fee, and try to raise sponsorship funds beyond that, with all proceeds benefiting Boston Pride Week (a benefit for Pride Week at Pride Week — how very meta).

The event is open to non-cyclists and biking enthusiasts alike. A cocktail of fresh air floating into the tent, Cycle Essence coaches shouting encouragements, and dance music will keep the cyclists' bodies moving. "I encourage people who have never done a spinning class before to participate," says Cycle Essence founder Tonya Robichaud. "You go at your own pace — you're in charge of your own ride."

JP and Stuart Street Block Parties
Of course, there are the block parties (Sunday, June 14, beginning at noon) — one at Stuart Street, near Boston Common, and one at Perkins Street, in Jamaica Plain — which have become staple blow-outs to finish off Pride Week. Because who doesn't love a block party — or at least the idea of a block party — during the 30 seconds that Boston's weather is pleasant? Unofficially, and depending on whom you ask, Stuart Street is the men's party and Jamaica Plain is the women's party. This year, Stuart Street will feature five full bars and DJ sets by the very-handsome-indeed New York–based DJ Joe Gauthreaux, in addition to opening sets by local DJs Ranny and Shpank. Over on Perkins Street, DJ Kristin Korpos and DJ Jodi will provide a steady combination of familiar classics ranging from '80s pop to current hip-hop, mixed with some not-so-familiar stuff. Classic American cook-out food and drink specials, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, will be available.

For more information on Pride Week happenings, visit bostonpride.org/multicalendar.php or bostonpride.org/community_calendar.php. Caitlin E. Curran is proud to have written this article. She can be reached at caitecurran@gmail.com.

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