By Cameron Small
Hometown Weekly Correspondent
June marks National Pride Month, and for the first time, Westwood held its first–hopefully–annual Pride Celebration, courtesy of the nonprofit Inclusive Westwood. The event took place at the Council on Aging on Nahatan Street from 2 pm until 5 pm on Sunday, June 11. Inclusive Westwood’s pride celebration featured live music, improv classes, lawn games, popcorn and ice cream, and tables to promote inclusivity and education about supporting the LGBTQ+ community, and more.
For a while, “residents and members [of Inclusive Westwood] have really been looking for it [a Pride event] to get started,” Steff Bhatti commented. “This year we really came together, it was a group effort. Everybody brought something...everyone took something and ran with it, and it all came together.”
This year was the year it all came together, as some of the faith communities in town–specifically St. John's, Temple Beth David, and First Parish of Westwood–reached out specifically to partner with Inclusive Westwood. “When we knew we had this support we decided this would be the year to make it happen!” reported Meg Lutze, a member of Inclusive Westwood and the point of contact for the event.
Lutze said it started with an email to the Inclusive Westwood listserv; but from there it grew exponentially.
“So many people stepped up wanting to help out and the donations came flowing in immediately. We ended up raising so much money that we had $1000 left over to donate to OUT Metrowest!”
“The community is coming together to show our pride and to show that, you know, everybody is invited and everybody is welcome and to celebrate everyone in the community,” said Bhatti on what is important about Pride.
Patrick French, colloquially nicknamed “Movie Dad” following his appearance in Hocus Pocus 2, made a similar observation. “It’s been a great weekend for this, and Town Hall has Pride flying out as well. It’s nice to see the town embracing it.”
If you missed the event but still want to acknowledge Pride, you can check out the Inclusive Westwood’s Facebook page. Additionally, if you are interested in getting involved with Inclusive Westwood, you can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.