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DotOut, with a little help from DotArt, uses Dot Day for a nod to town’s embrace of change

Last Sunday marked DotOUT’s 11th year participating in the Dorchester Day Parade, and its first year collaborating with another family-friendly local organization, DotArt.

This year Dorchester’s LGBT group lighted on a butterfly theme: METAMORPHOSIS – Embracing Change. Celebrating a decade of same-sex marriage and incorporating Boston Pride’s 2014 theme of “Be Yourself/Change The World,” the float turned the fluttery cliché around to allude to the way Dorchester has accepted and embraced its LGBT residents.

All the various stages in the insect’s life cycle – from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly – were represented somewhere or other on the float. Caterpillar characters with springy, green movements led the flatbed truck driven by D&D Towing of Dorchester. The truck front was decorated with colorful antennae and sported multi-faceted googly eyes over the head lamps. Hanging cocoons and sparkly wings dangled from the truck sides. An eleven-foot-tall butterfly made out of orange-painted PVC and blue patterned fabric flew free from fellow butterfly friends resting atop a shady tree on the truck’s flatbed.

Christopher Joseph and his husband and fellow Steering Committee member, Travis Mitchell, have been leading DOTOUT’S float fun for the past few years. The couple was at the helm for the group’s Boston Pride “Best Float” win in 2012 with the theme, “The DOT is Right!” 

This year, the duo reached out to young neighbors for creative assistance. Many of the cardboard butterflies were hand-painted (and hand-glittered) by the young artists at DotArt under the supervision of DotArt Executive Director Liz Carney.

“Dot Day and [Boston] Pride have become major annual events for our family, when our house turns into a glittery float factory!” said Joseph. “It’s been an amazing opportunity to connect with both the gay and Dorchester communities. We are especially proud of DotArt’s involvement this year. Local kids decorated butterflies for the float, and we think they add a beautiful touch.”

“We can’t believe it’s been 10 years already since DotOUT was created and the original founders and friends first marched in the Dot Day Centennial parade on June 6, 2004,” observed DotOUT President Chris McCoy. “There is a growing GLBTQ community in Dorchester that wants to be integrated and wants to contribute to the betterment of our community. This also reflects the growing number of GLBTQ families who are interested in education for their children and safe neighborhoods.”

Besides the butterflies on the flatbed, there was, however, a fly in the ointment: DotOUT’s sound system was on the fritz during part of the Dot Day parade, prompting parade goers to shout, “Where’s the music?”
Organizers vow that the music will be cranked full blast as DotOUT joins the citywide festivities during Saturday’s 44th Boston Pride Parade which leaves Copley Square at 11 a.m., heading toward City Hall Plaza.