Photo by Alex Witt
“I love a parade,” says Jess Planos Sirizzotti ’10, who organized the Wellesley contingent in the New York City Pride March on June 24. It was a day of exuberant celebration and shared connections among the alumnae who turned out to march—ranging from the class of ’64 to ’18. But for Sirizzotti, it wasn’t just about the joy. It was all about progress.
“In 1981, the Wellesley Lesbians & Friends had bags over their heads in the yearbook,” she says. “Here we are a few decades later with the [Alumnae Association] officially supporting a parade cohort—we had pins! and banners! and hats! … The most meaningful part of the experience for me was taking a moment to appreciate how far we’ve come.”
Wellesley parade contingents (or watchers) also gathered this year in Boston, Los Angeles, and Oakland, Calif., representing a step forward for the Wellesley Alum Pride Alliance, as well. WAPA, a Shared Identity Group under the auspices of the WCAA, was formed in 2017 and elected a permanent governing board earlier this year with Malinda Lo ’96 as president. Sirizzotti, the new vice president for programs, has taken the event count from one last year (the group’s inaugural appearance in New York Pride) to eight so far this year. Gatherings have ranged from a trivia night in Providence, R.I., to a Wellesley alum happy hour in Washington, D.C., to a Seven Sisters Pride Picnic in Boston.
“I’ll be coordinating with a great team of regional reps to bring alums together worldwide,” Sirizzotti says. “Seeing the outpouring of interest and local volunteers has made us so excited for next year.”