DotOUT float keeps ‘em dancing, smiling

The DotOUT parade team. Photo by Mark Haley

The Bearded Lady caused quite the sensation last Sunday as s/he blew kisses to well-wishers along the Dorchester Avenue parade route from aboard the “DotOUT under the Big Top” float. The balloon –decked, striped circus tent also billowed over a strong man, sword-swallowers, baton twirlers and a confetti cannon.

Once again the Dorchested-based gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender social and civic group made its presence known with one of the most elaborate and whimsical entries in the Dorchester Day parade.

The Big Top float will be out again this coming Saturday during the 43rd annual Boston Pride Parade in downtown Boston, marking the fifth time the group has formally participated in the citywide celebration. DotOUT won its first “Best Float” award in the 2012 Boston Pride parade with a game show themed entry. An estimated 15 volunteers put in over 72 hours of work to create the “Dot is Right,” display, referencing the perennially popular “The Price is Right.” Organizers make no secret that they are hoping for a repeat win in the 2013 Pride parade.

DotOUT president Chris McCoy noted, “Usually the bigger corporations and clubs win the contest so it’s great to be recognized. Hopefully this will bring some awareness to the neighborhood and its diversity.”
Though these floats are definitely a collaborative effort, organizers credit Travis Mitchell, Assistant General Manager at the Ledge Kitchen & Drinks, with being the real creative genius behind these crowd-pleasers.

DotOUT describes itself as “a grassroots, member driven organization committed to the ideals of acceptance, inclusion, fairness, and equality. We believe in the strength of the gay and lesbian community in Dorchester and recognize that together through our activism and neighborliness we can positively influence local opinion on issues that are relevant to us and our community. We recognize that Dorchester’s gay and lesbian residents have a long history of contributing to the very essence of our neighborhood. It is upon this foundation that we unite as gay men and lesbians and commit to working with our neighbors and friends in an ongoing effort to improve the quality of life in Dorchester by continuing to build bridges to Dorchester’s many communities.”

In addition to its impossible-to-miss presence in the Dorchester Day Parade, DotOUT maintains a lively civic presence in the community with participation in the Dorchester Beach Festival, aid to local park and neighborhood clean-ups, promoting beautification with flower seeds, building awareness of recycling campaigns, and collaborating with local businesses and UMass Boston.

DotOUT invites the public to its sixth annual Summer Solstice Tea Dance at the Dot Carnival, which will be held “on the fair grounds at dbar (1236 Dorchester Avenue).” Attractions include “strong men, fortune tellers, games” and dancing to music provided by DJ Gay Jim, from Kiss 108 FM. The $10 admission supports this year’s charity, the Richard family. The organization has held fundraisers for local charities including DotWell, Kit Clark,Boston City Singers, and Dorchester Historical Society.