This month marks Boston’s 47th Annual Pride celebration; the theme of which is “Stronger Together” (determined by online votes from the LGBTQ community). As The Boston Pride Committee explains it, “This year’s theme was chosen to focus on the imperative that the diverse groups that comprise the LGBTQ community stand together and fight for civil rights for all.”
With this theme in mind, I decided to sit down and talk with our own Campaign & Field Operations Manager, Heather McMorrow. “Stronger Together” has very closely touched Heather’s life.
Heather, can you share a little about your family dynamics growing up?
I have three younger sisters, two of whom are lesbian, and married with children. I don’t even recall the younger of the two ever actually “coming out.” There was never a doubt that my parents would be loving and accepting toward them. My parents and their home was a loving, safe haven for friends whose parents were not so kind and accepting.
What are some of the key values that your parents imparted over the years?
We lost our dad about 7 years ago, and we’ve had other tremendously personal and family tragedies. Some families might have fractured and retreated, only coming together at holidays, or worse, not at all. We grew up as “Army brats,” and our mother instilled in us a fierce loyalty to one another. All throughout our upbringing, and leading by example, my mother ensured our family would stay strong. I’m proud of my parents and my sisters for being the good, capable, and loving people that they are. I’m also lucky to have compassionate, funny, and intelligent sisters-in-law as well.
Have you noticed an impact on your family from the changes to Massachusetts’ marriage equality laws?
Marriage equality in Massachusetts, and what I see as the truest American mindset – that of compassion, fierce loyalty, and concern for ALL Americans – has helped maintain my family’s strong bonds, and that spirit is definitely passed on to my niece, nephews, and will be to their children as well.
Thanks for sharing your family’s experience! Anything else to add, Heather?
Knowing I’d be talking with you, I asked one of my sisters to write something for you all. Here’s what she said:
“Everyone deserves to be loved and supported. I’m one of the lucky ones who has never had to doubt that. Pride starts with family and works its way into the community. Thank you to my family for building me that foundation.
Happy Pride Boston! With love, the McMorrows.”