Main Street News

To Berkshire Pride, Every Day is Pride

By Published On: June 8th, 2024

In honor of Pride Month this June, we will be highlighting local Pride organizations that support and empower the region’s LGBTQ+ community. The modern LGBTQ+ rights movement began with The Stonewall Rebellion on June 27th, 1969, in protest of the NYPD’s raids on gay bars. According to the Trevor Project, “Thousands took to the streets in the days and weeks that followed, leading community organizations to form globally, and the first Gay Pride march to mark the uprising one year later.” Trans women of color Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera were pioneers in organizing and progressing this movement. To learn more about pivotal events and individuals in LGBTQ+ history, the Trevor Project has created a comprehensive document, which you can access here.

Founded in 2017, Berkshire Pride was organized by M Florence Hall, and according to their site, “welcomes over 1,000 members of the LGBTQIA+ community in The Berkshires and beyond.” As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, Berkshire Pride offers a variety of programming to support the community and allies, integrating practical, crucial resources that help to benefit the lives of many. 

Berkshire Pride’s community resources

One example of their pivotal services is the financial coaching this group provides through their partnership with the Greylock Federal Credit Union. As Berkshire Pride’s President Michael Taylor explains, this guidance encompasses many key topics, including budgeting, debt management, lending, and home ownership. 

Michael adds that Berkshire Pride also works with a licensed social worker, a collaboration which helps facilitate “group discussions for parents, families, and caregivers of trans, non-binary, and gender expansive youth.”

This organization has also implemented the Berkshire Pride Certified Safe-Space project to help ensure that participants are well-equipped to foster safe spaces of their own. According to Michael, there are three courses offered as a part of this program, and these classes cover LGBTQIA+ terminology, the significance of pronouns, and the importance of mental health in the community. When the courses are completed, participants receive a certificate marking the completion of the series, a “Berkshire Pride Certified Safe Space” sticker to display, and eligibility to be listed on the Berkshire Pride website “as a competent, safe LGBTQ+ resource,” Michael says.

Every Day is Pride 2024 Festival

Berkshire Pride has offered a ton of activities leading up to and as a part of their Pride Week, like a tie-dye party, drag pageant, block party, 5k run and one-mile walk, family movie night, bar pride night, teen silent disco, karaoke fundraiser, and more. As Michael points out, “Berkshire Pride week is jam-packed with events, from family friendly to adults only, [so] there is something for everyone to enjoy.”

These offerings culminate in the 8th annual Pride Festival & Parade. To kick off the event, the parade will begin today, Saturday June 8th, at 11am, traveling down Eagle Street in Pittsfield, MA—in the direction from North Street to First Street—and will end at the First Street Common. Here, the festival will commence at 11:30am, followed by an 8pm Every Night is Pride Official After Party located at the Holiday Inn, with VIP entry starting at 7pm.

In addition to a selection of vendors, participants of the festival can also enjoy exciting entertainment by “a diverse array of performers, from drag queens and kings, to singers, to dancers, and more!” Michael explains, “We hope that our week of events and everything occurring at the festival will continue to inspire our community, garner allyship, and overall create a safer and more inclusive environment for everyone in Berkshire County.” 

Pride Month, as Michael puts it, is the time for organizations like Berkshire Pride and the LGBTQ+ community at large to shine and fully embrace their identities. Significantly, though, he notes that the importance of Pride spans beyond just a celebration, especially because of the damaging attitudes and oppression evidenced in today’s socio-political environment. “Especially now, as you consider the national climate and on-going discrimination our community continues to endure, it’s more important than ever to not just celebrate our community and the progress we’ve made, but acknowledge that the fight for inclusivity and equality remains.”

Images courtesy of Berkshire Pride. Berkshire Pride would love to hear from the LGBTQ+ community and allies, so feel free to reach out via email at To learn more about Berkshire Pride’s mission, get involved with their organization, and sign up for their newsletter, you can visit their website. You can also find them at @berkshirepride on Facebook and Instagram.