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The nation's first openly gay state representative, Elaine Noble, was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1974. Boston is the birthplace to the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). Due in part to actions in Boston, especially by prominent city government officials, Massachusetts was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage.
In Boston proper, there are several neighborhoods with sizable LGBT populations, with the South End being one of the most notable. Other areas with high LGBT populations include the Savin Hill and Melville Park areas of Dorchester, and Jamaica Plain.
Bars and entertainment
Boston only has a handful of permanent LGBT establishments, namely Machine, Paradise, Club Cafe, The Alley and Cathedral Station but plays host to several scheduled and rotating event calendars. These include "gay nights" at regularly "straight establishments" hosted by promoters such as Chris Harris Presents and The Welcoming Committee.
The city's annual Pride Parade is large and well attended with an estimated 25,000 marchers in 2014. In addition to the parade, the Boston Pride Committee schedules a full week of events to celebrate the community's diversity and social progress.
Noteworthy LGBT organizations
Founded as the "Fenway Community Health Center" in 1971, Fenway Health has evolved to become a national contributor in the research of health issues particularly concerning the LGBT community. Fenway Health's mission is to "enhance the wellbeing of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and all people in our neighborhoods and beyond through access to the highest quality health care, education, research and advocacy."
The Fenway Institute is a research organization dedicated to "research, training, education, and policy development, focusing on national and international health issues." They focus largely on supporting those with AIDS/HIV health problems.
The Welcoming Committee
The Welcoming Committee is a social outreach organization founded in Boston in 2007 that promotes "takeover" events, where the organization advertises "typically straight" events and establishments for the LGBT community to attend. The most frequently occurring events are their monthly Guerrilla Queer Bar (GQB) and Flannel Takeover Company (FTC). They also have takeover trips to casino resorts, ski mountains, and cruises. The Welcoming Committee is expanding to other cities as well, which already include Philadelphia and Washington D.C.