There was beads, batons, and body paint, and a whole lot of rains but that did not stop thousands of LGBT and LGBT friendly people attending this year’s gay pride parade in Boston. While marching in a gay pride parade was once controversial, and may still be in some places, yesterday’s event in Boston felt mainstream. Sun Life insurance corporation threw Mardi Gras-style beads emblazoned with its logo. There were drag queens and scantily clad men tossing lollipops from floats, but also a showing by the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, TD Bank, and TJX, parent company of the TJ Maxx and Marshalls chain. Employees at the National Grid utility marched, some soaking wet from a soaking rain, alongside a festooned bucket truck
Thge parade was also was a political battlefield in the campaign for governor.
Incumbent Governor Deval Patrick marched with his daughter, Katherine, who is openly gay, and a contingent of sign-wielding supporters and later behind him came Republican candidate Charles D. Baker, who worked the crowd with his openly gay brother Alexander (who goes by the name Sandy) and his openly gay running mate, Senate minority leader Richard Tisei.
Both candidates got cheers and hoots of support, although there were also some in the crowd who pronounced themselves unimpressed.
Kirsten Martin of Jamaica Plain said Tisei came up to her and introduced himself as he walked the parade route. She had never heard of him but liked how he looked her in the eye when she spoke.
Curious to learn more, she grabbed her iPhone and did a quick search for his party affiliation and voting record.
“Just because he walks with us doesn’t mean I’ll vote for him,’’ she said.